Every year we encourage our clients, as well as the general public, to have our office review their automobile insurance policies absolutely free of charge. This free resource is invaluable to finding holes in your auto policy, as well as keeping our connections up to date with any important changes in insurance laws or offerings throughout Maryland. In the past few years, we’ve seen new laws such as the Enhanced UIM provision that is available to new policies, or if you specifically ask for it.
In many situations, our guidance to clients is to add an umbrella policy to protect them beyond incidents that may happen related to the automobile. One question that often comes up from some of our more savvy clients, is whether or not they can purchase an umbrella policy that also includes underinsured motorist coverage.
What is underinsured motorist coverage? It’s a coverage on your auto policy that steps in when you’re injured by another driver’s negligence, but their insurance policy is not large enough to cover all of your damages.
What is an umbrella policy? An umbrella policy is an added layer of protection, usually in a liability situation, that will step in and further protect you should you or someone driving a vehicle you own cause a significant injury to another. These umbrella policies often cover more than just losses that occur using your insured automobiles.
Traditionally, personal liability umbrella policies (aka plups) were strictly limited to liability coverage in Maryland. Recently my Erie Insurance agent reached out to me to let me know that Erie would be offering umbrellas that also included underinsured motorist coverage.
What does this mean? Simply put, if you are a relatively high income earner who should become victim to an automobile loss that disables you from work for an extended period of time, you’d normally be limited to the limits of the at-fault driver’s liability policy, plus the limits of your underinsured motorist coverage. If you did not have the enhanced UIM coverage, your UIM coverage would get credit for the amount of the liability coverage. If you were to also have UIM on your umbrella policy, you may be entitled to an extra million dollars in coverage from the umbrella, should your injures and time missed from work exceed the value of the underlying claim.
If you’re insured with Erie, and you have an umbrella, call your agent to get some pricing on adding UIM to the umbrella. If you’re interested in a referral to a trusted Erie agent, call, email or text our office at (410) 885-6200 and we’ll put you in touch.