As a professional in Rhode Island, you likely take great care to cultivate a successful appearance that your clients can trust. Not only does your professional success impact how potential customers and clients view you, but so does your overall appearance, including your vehicle.
If you drive a vehicle from one of the many manufacturers associated with successful professionals, such as a Mercedes-Benz, a Lexis, Audi, BMW or another expensive import, you have probably invested tens of thousands of dollars in your vehicle.
In the event that you get into a motor vehicle crash caused by another driver in Rhode Island, you could find yourself in a situation where there won't be adequate insurance to cover the costs of repairing your vehicle.
Some drivers only carry the bare minimum for insurance
It is surprisingly common for drivers to purchase the automobile liability insurance policy that is the most affordable, not necessarily the one that offers the best protection. In fact, you may have fallen victim to the idea that saving money on your policy premium is more important than carrying adequate coverage. You may have decided to forego paying extra for a higher limit that protects you in the event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
That mistaken belief is often the basis for the same money-saving impulse that results in drivers carrying only the minimum amount of insurance required under RI law. A driver with a minimum coverage insurance policy may have as little as $25,000 in property damage protection.
The repair or replacement of your car could cost much more than that, especially if it was still relatively new at the time of the crash. In other words, you could wind up financially responsible for the gap between the coverage of the driver who caused the crash and the actual cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
Underinsured driver coverage protects you from irresponsible people
There is no way to know if the driver that just slammed into you from behind has an active insurance policy on their vehicle, let alone how much coverage their policy will afford you. Ideally, you will never wind up in a crash that causes extensive property damage. However, if you do, having uninsured motorist coverage can protect you from the losses that could result.
That same coverage could prove invaluable for you if you lose wages as well. Medical coverage for minimum policies only offset $25,000 of medical cost, to say nothing of your lost wages. The right coverage can protect your income if someone else causes a crash that leaves you unable to work.
You may also need to consider taking civil action against irresponsible drivers after a collision that damages your vehicle or leaves you severely injured. Working with an attorney who has experience in Rhode Island personal injury cases will help you make more informed decisions about your options going forward.