Approximately 12% of motorists in Montana do not carry liability insurance coverage. If another driver slams into you and your family, there is a one out of ten chance that the motorist who struck you does not have any automobile insurance coverage, which is in violation of Montana law.
When you purchased bodily injury coverage, you also purchased uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. UM coverage protects you and your family if you are in a collision with the one out of ten drivers in this state who do not carry any insurance. The amount of UM coverage may not exceed the amount of bodily injury coverage you purchased. Typically, the amount of bodily injury coverage you purchase is the same amount you carry for UM coverage.
Most automobile insurance policies in Montana provide an exemption for underinsured motorist coverage if you use your UM coverage. If you are unfortunate enough to be hit by a driver who does not carry automobile insurance, you may be unable to collect on the underinsured motorist coverage described below. It is important to remember that though you purchased UM coverage, your insurance company is not your friend when you make a claim. The entire claims process following an automobile collision is adversarial. Though you trusted your insurance company to cover you if you became involved in an automobile collision and the other motorist has no insurance, your insurance company is your adversary, not your friend.
When you purchase automobile insurance, the amount of bodily injury coverage you purchase not only protects others, it protects you as well. Because insurance policies limit the amount of UM and UIM coverage to the amount of bodily injury coverage you purchase, the policy limit you purchase for bodily injury coverage should reflect how much it would take to protect you and your family if you are in a collision with an uninsured motorist. Remember, if you are in a collision, there is a one in ten chance that you will have to use UM insurance. Purchasing as much bodily injury coverage as you can afford is the only way to protect other motorists as well as your family.