IIC talks to Sid Gilreath about Uninsured Motorist Coverage

The importance of Insurance – An Interview with Sid Gilreath

Video By: Chelsea Raschke
Interview by: Katie Loveday

Independent Insurance Consultants recently worked with prestigious Knoxville attorney, Mr. Sid Gilreath, on his personal Medicare Insurance and Group Health Insurance for his office. While working with Mr. Sid Gilreath, he encouraged IIC to share a very important message about another type of insurance – Uninsured Motorist Insurance.

Most responsible people think about the fact that they need a certain amount of auto insurance to cover another driver’s damages if they cause an accident. But consider this: what if you have the amount of insurance that is required by law, but an uninsured driver causes an accident that results in massive medical bills? Are you safe? No, not if you don’t have uninsured motorists coverage.

I urge anyone who’s reading this to take Mr. Gilreath’s words as a challenge. Don’t wait until it’s too late to find out if you have enough coverage to protect yourself and your family. But don’t just stop at your car insurance policies. Check health and life policies as well so that you know you have plenty of coverage in every area of your life. Remember, insurance may cost a little bit of money, but peace of mind is priceless.

IIC: How long have you been in practicing Personal Injury Law?
Mr. Gilreath: 40 years.

IIC: And how often do you handle cases involving accidents with uninsured motorists?
Mr. Gilreath: It turns up in about every other case.

IIC: How many drivers in the state of Tennessee are uninsured?
Mr. Gilreath: 25% of drivers in this state have no insurance.

IIC: But isn’t auto insurance mandated by state law?
Mr. Gilreath: Yes, but you are only required to show proof of insurance if you are in an accident or stopped for a traffic violation.

IIC: What is the state of Tennessee requirements for insurance?
Mr. Gilreath: Well, “full coverage” as required by the state is 25/50, but it’s not really full coverage. It only includes $25,000 of liability coverage. So if you are involved in an accident with someone who has this type of coverage, and they are at fault, they’re insurance will only pay $25,000 even if you have $250,000 of medical bills.

IIC: Is there any way to protect yourself against that kind of situation?
Mr. Gilreath: Uninsured motorists coverage is a great way to protect yourself. The only problem is that a lot of people don’t have it because it isn’t required, or they think they will never need it.

IIC: Is it expensive?
Mr. Gilreath: No, it is typically less than $50 a year.

IIC: Who and what does it cover?
Mr. Gilreath: Uninsured motorists insurance covers the whole household for any kind of auto accident. For example, a Tennessee family has an uninsured motorists policy worth $250,000. They’re daughter goes to New York on a class trip and is hit by an uninsured driver while walking through a crosswalk. Even though their daughter was not in her parents’ car or in their home state, she is still covered for any damages or medical bills up to $250,000.

IIC: How much uninsured motorists coverage do you recommend people purchase?
Mr. Gilreath: $250,000- 500,000.

IIC: So how does someone pay for damages and medical bills if they do not have uninsured motorists coverage?
Mr Gilreath: They would either have to pay for the expenses out of pocket or take legal action if the driver at fault did not have enough, or any, liability insurance to cover the costs.

IIC: Is the uninsured driver just let off the hook?
Mr. Gilreath: No, the other party could go after their home and any liquid assets to cover the damages.

IIC: That’s horrible. If you are the at fault driver, how can you protect your assets?
Mr. Gilreath: You need to make sure you have enough liability coverage. The $25,000 required by law is often not enough.

IIC: If you could offer any advice to all the drivers out there, what would it be?
Mr. Gilreath: Protect yourself before an accident happens. Too many times I see people involved in accidents who do not know they do not have enough coverage until it is too late. Look over your policies. Talk to an agent. Make sure that you will be protected if you are ever in one of these unfortunate situations.

Attorney Sid Gilreath, Gilreath & Associates

Attorney Sid Gilreath, Gilreath & Associates


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