At Clark and Steinhorn, LLC we spend a lot of time steeping in the thick tea of insurance coverage associated with personal injury and auto accident cases. We read the policies and the accompanying declaration sheets and see their effects on victim's economic compensation.
Which is to say that the coverage that you purchase has a dramatic impact on what you are entitled to if someone else is at-fault for an accident.
It might not make a lot of sense on first blush but Maryland has low minimum auto insurance requirements. Which is to say that a driver can satisfy Maryland's mandatory insurance requirements with a liability limit of $30,000.00 per person and $60,000.00 per crash.
Hypothetically an at-fault driver could cause a crash injuring a family of four and no matter what injuries are sustained, no matter what bills are incurred the maximum recovery from the at-fault drievr's insurance company would be sixty thousand dollars.
There are two ways to protect against this scenario. One is to purchase PIP coverage and the second and most important, to purchase substantial uninsured motorist coverage. PIP or Personal Injury Protection coverage is a limited amount of no-fault insurance that one buys in amounts between $2500 and $10,000.00.
It can be utilized for a variety of purposes, most prominently for medical expenses and for lost income. If one purchases the maximum PIP amount of $10,000.00 it would mean that the family of four mentioned above would have $10,000.00 more per person to pay for medical care or lost wages.
PIP also does not hinge on whether the insured driver was either at fault or free of fault. It is literally " No Fault". For more see https://www.maryland-law.com/blog/maryland-workers-comp-versus-pip-which-is-better-.cfm?q=pip
The second even more important layer of protection is uninsured motorist coverage. (U.M.) This coverage actually includes underinsured motorist coverage which is very useful in the scenario posited in paragraph four with the family of four.
Uninsured coverage is sold in increments equal to one's liability coverage. Thus if you have liability coverage of say $100,000.00 per person and $300,000.00 per incident you can also obtain uninsured coverage in the same amount.
In the earlier example of the family of four, the implementation $100,000.00/ $300,000.00 U.M. coverage would increase their potential recovery from $60,000.00 to $300,000.00, a fivefold increase. What is nice about having higher uninsured motorist limits is it makes the at-fault driver's liability coverage largely irrelevant.
The bottom line is that increasing your personal insurance limits for bot PIP and U.M. can protect you against insufficient insurance held by other drivers.