What is UM/UIM coverage? How can an umbrella policy enhance it?

What is UM/UIM and why do I need it? - imageWhat is UM/UIM Coverage?

UM and UIM stands for "uninsured motorists" and "underinsured motorists".  The meaning of “uninsured" is “the absence of” and the meaning of “underinsured” translates to “not enough”. 

According to the Insurance Research Council, in 2015, 13% of motorists were uninsured. That is equivalent to one in eight drivers.  If you think about the number of cars you pass by each day, this number is very alarming. This disturbing fact is a clear example of why you need to know more about UM and UIM coverage to protect YOURSELF. 

Below is a quick scenario to help you better understand the importance of this insurance coverage. 

Mary was driving her vehicle and was hit head-on by another vehicle that had crossed the center line and entered her lane.  The other driver was insured with state minimum limits, at $50,000 liability.  Mary has insured with an “A” rated carrier at TROXELL and had a liability limit of $500,000 per accident on her auto policy.  Mary was taken to the hospital by ambulance, she had several broken bones, and was in the hospital for one month.  After she was released, Mary needed Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and required additional care and expenses.  Mary’s vehicle was a total loss from the accident.  Mary’s auto insurance company paid a total of $480,000 for Mary’s car and all medical expenses. 

In this example, Mary almost reached her maximum policy limit of $500,000 per accident. What if Mary had passengers in her vehicle that were injured as well? Mary’s policy would have been exhausted. 

Protect Yourself With an Umbrella Liability Policy

A personal insurance umbrella is a type of liability insurance that provides additional liability coverage above and beyond the limits of the policyholder's underlying insurance policies, such as homeowners insurance or auto insurance. Umbrella insurance is designed to protect the policyholder from the financial consequences of a covered liability loss, such as a lawsuit.  Reading this should make you ask, how do I buy more coverage to protect myself?  The answer is to add coverage to your personal umbrella policy. Umbrella liability policies start at a limit of $1,000,000 and can be increased per million.  However, the uninsured and underinsured coverage is NOT an automatic add-on when you do this. It must be added onto your umbrella policy and therefore an additional, but minimal premium is charged.   

Answer these two questions:

  1. Do you have an umbrella policy?
  2. Do you have UM/UIM coverage added to your umbrella policy? 

If you do not know the answer to these questions, call a TROXELL representative today to discuss your coverage options.

And keep this in the back of your mind as you drive down the street: Roughly 1 in 8 drivers are uninsured. 

This article was written by:

Sharlene Langford

Sharlene Langford - Troxell Insurance, a Springfield, Illinois, insurance agencySharlene is an insurance agent located in TROXELL’s Chicago office.  She is part of the Specialty Personal Lines team at TROXELL.  Sharlene can be reached at 312-948-5232.  
Troxell Insurance is a locally-owned insurance agency in Illinois, offering auto insurance, business insurance, personal insurance, life insurance, health insurance, and employee benefits.


I was applying for an umbrella policy and was asked if I had property in a foreign country. I reported my wife's condo in Brazil. I was told that this ownership excluded me from eligibility. Why?
Hi Mark, This really can depend on the insurance company that you are working with. Some companies will exclude properties based on other country's laws. Each company has their own eligibility requirements.
Garry Barker
I have a 5 million umbrella policy with an endorsement extending the coverage to uninsured and underinsured limits. Do you offer this?
Hi Gary, We do offer the uninsured and underinsured limits on our umbrella policies!