In Oklahoma, motorists are only required to have $25,000.00 in automobile insurance to cover potential injuries they may cause while driving. Unfortunately, with the rapidly rising costs of healthcare, $25,000.00 does not go very far. In many situations, an innocent individual, who just happens to have the misfortune of being hit by someone with these minimum limits, will be stuck with medical bills that far exceed $25,000.00. If the individual is lucky, the doctors and hospitals may be willing to take a pro-rata share of the available $25,000.00 and call it even, but they do not always do so, leaving the innocent individual with thousands upon thousands of medical bills to pay for, even though they did nothing wrong.
What can you do to try and make sure this doesn't happen to you? Well the most important thing you can do is make sure you plan ahead and get the appropriate insurance coverage on your automobile policy. In Oklahoma, drivers are given the option of purchasing uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or UM/UIM coverage for short. Many Oklahoma drivers decline to purchase this insurance, because it is optional and it makes their auto insurance premium increase. This is a huge mistake. In a situation where your medical bills exceed the amount of available insurance from the other driver or even where the other driver has no insurance at all, you would be able to collect from your UM/UIM coverage – assuming you decided to purchase it. And having UM/UIM coverage can be a huge boost in a case like this, because if you have more than just the state minimum coverages you could have $50,000.00, $100,000.00, or more in UM/UIM coverage to help pay for your medical bills and other damages associated with being injured.
Some people will argue that UM/UIM insurance is too expensive for such a remote possibility of being used. But, I would disagree. I have seen too many clients come to my office and tell me about an accident they were involved in where there was no insurance or not nearly enough insurance available to cover their medical bills to agree that this coverage would be rarely used. In fact, on the occasions where my clients had UM/UIM coverage available and we did use it, they were all extremely grateful they had it. Without question, I believe every driver that has automobile insurance, even if they have health insurance or other insurance available, should have UM/UIM coverage to help protect them and their loved ones.
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