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Defining Underinsurance

Updated on February 28, 2024 , 659 views

Even though a good insurance coverage won’t always guarantee complete prevention against accidents, health issues, or other calamities in life, it would at least make the policyholder bear those losses more easily.


A good insurance policy should cover enough of the expenses of losses that enables the insured person to manage difficult situations like accidents, diseases, home damage due to fire or hurricanes, etc. However, Underinsurance will leave the policyholder liable for large expenses or financial losses in case a serious issue occurs.

Consequences of Under Insurance

For better understanding, let's take an example.

Suppose you have an inadequate health insurance policy. In that case, it can result in medical debts or not getting enough money for treating serious illnesses or injuries received from an accident. It may also lead to Bankruptcy. Hence, a good health Insurance Coverage is necessary. Most importantly, you wouldn't have to delay medical treatment due to a lack of finances.

Similarly, if a homeowner is not insured well or underinsured, he may not get enough coverage for the expenses required to fix any significant damage caused to the residence. This is because the insurance payout provided by an underinsurance policy may not be enough to cover replacement or repair costs.

What Happens if you are Underinsured?

If your policy has some exclusions, gaps, or hidden terms and conditions, you will be underinsured, leaving you with negligible or no coverage. Alternatively, it may also happen that your claim exceeds the maximum insured amount that the insurance company needs to pay in case of an unforeseen situation.

Such lower-benefits insurance policies may seem attractive at first, such as in the form of low premiums, but in the end, you may end up losing higher percentages of your hard-earned money! The loss that arises from a claim may be far greater than the marginal savings you were making on insurance premium amounts.

Hence, needless to say, that you may face a serious financial crisis if you are underinsured, depending on the extent of the gap or shortfall present in the policy and the asset being insured.

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Underinsurance and Health Insurance

When families and individuals are underinsured, they may have large debts to pay for their medical bills and deductibles. This may even urge them to postpone the medical care, which leads to serious issues.

For example, not having the required coverage to meet these medical expenses, people may start skipping doctor visits, tests, not fulfilling a prescription, not seeing a specialist, avoiding treatment, etc.

To avoid health underinsurance, try to -

  • Save enough money to pay for the deductibles and copays.
  • Ensure that your health insurance plan offers a high upper limit to cover unexpected situations and emergencies.
  • Take care of your health regularly and seek medical care without delay. As a result, you can save in premiums.
  • If you are suffering from a chronic illness or health conditions, opt for a higher coverage.

Underinsurance and Residential Insurance

Underinsurance for your residence may lead to loss of money depending on the extent of the damage that occurred. To avoid such situations, try to -

  • Go for a less expensive option but ensure its providing enough coverage.
  • Read all the terms and conditions carefully and check for the exclusions in your policy. For example, damages caused by floods and earthquakes are generally not covered.
  • Request for a higher Deductible from your insurer, who also can maintain good coverage.
All efforts have been made to ensure the information provided here is accurate. However, no guarantees are made regarding correctness of data. Please verify with scheme information document before making any investment.
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