insuranceThere’s a danger to you and your family in Cumberland County, and it’s not going anywhere. It’s not crime, 100+ degree heat indexes, or the Zika virus. The danger is underinsured drivers. I know, it’s not exactly the apocalypse, but let me explain.

North Carolina law requires drivers to have liability insurance. This insurance pays for damages caused by the “at-fault” driver in a collision. At a minimum, everyone is required to have what is called “30/60/25” limits. If an at-fault driver only has the minimum, that means there is $30,000 to cover the injury or death of one person, $60,000 to cover the injury or death of two or more people, and $25,000 to cover property damages. That’s it! In many accidents, the minimum is just not enough. Where there is a serious injury or fatality, it doesn’t come close.

Did you know that the drivers of city-owned vehicles performing a traditional government function, like picking up garbage, are immune from suit? In the past, the City of Fayetteville hasn’t waived this immunity. This means that although the city drivers have liability insurance, it is never used because the at-fault city drivers can’t be sued. These city drivers and their city vehicles are effectively uninsured.

To make matters worse, many citizens who drive in Fayetteville have no insurance. This is a fact. As an assistant district attorney, I watched people pour into Cumberland County Courtroom 2C on Fridays and routinely have their tickets for no insurance dropped if they brought in a certificate that said they’d since gotten coverage. No harm, no foul, right?

Wrong. As an attorney, I too often have to tell severely injured people that even though the accident was clearly the other person’s fault, they will not be fully compensated for their injuries because that person wasn’t insured or had minimal coverage.

Now that we know the problem, let me give you the solution: “UM/UIM” coverage “UM,” or “uninsured motorist” coverage protects you if you are hit by an uninsured driver. “UIM”, or “underinsured motorist” coverage protects you if you are hit by a driver with insurance limits too low to fully compensate you or your family.

UM/UIM coverage is often inexpensive. For a few more dollars a month, you can eliminate a substantial risk to you and your family. Add or increase your UM/UIM limits through your insurance agent or company. Protect yourself and your family.

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