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Why You Must Have Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Why You Must Have Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Posted By The Dunnion Law Firm || 8-Feb-2017

Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage (UI/UIM) ensures that if you get in an accident with with someone who has very little insurance coverage or no insurance coverage that your bodily injuries are still covered.

This protection is so important that the state of California’s Insurance Code section 11580.2 mandates that all policies covering personal bodily injury also include the equivalent of the state’s minimum 15/30 coverage unless specifically stated otherwise. Most Monterey car accident lawyers would recommend UI/UIM coverage as well in order to help injury victims obtain compensation during certain potentially devastating scenarios.

While many people can naturally understand how uninsured motorist coverage can be useful, they may be confused as to the benefits of uninsured motorist coverage. Learn these benefits and other important information about UI/UIM by reading on.

How Underinsured Motorist Coverage Works

Underinsured motorist coverage guarantees a certain amount of coverage up to its stated policy limit in conjunction with the available coverage of the at-fault motorist. What that means is that when someone causes an accident with you and the cost of medical treatment for the resulting injury is significant, you can have your coverage add on to theirs up to the maximum limit on your policy.

Note that this means that underinsured motorist coverage does not provide you with both your maximum available coverage and their maximum available coverage, but rather with coverage for your own medical costs minus their coverage.

To elaborate, consider the following scenario: Sean causes a wreck with Bill, sending Bill to the hospital. The total cost of medical treatment, including all supplies, medications, appointments and other costs, equals $50,000. Sean, the at-fault driver, only had the minimum California liability coverage amount of $15,000 per person, but Bill luckily had $100,000 in underinsured motorist coverage.

Since Bill’s policy supplements Sean’s up to Bill’s total costs, Sean’s policy will pay out the full $15,000 and Bill’s UI/UIM policy will cover the remaining $35,000. While this may seem slightly unfair, recognize that underinsured motorist policies come bundled with uninsured motorist policies, which will cover the full amount if the at-fault driver has no liability coverage to speak of.

Furthermore, UI/UIM policies are relatively cheap additions to auto insurance, and they are expected to come standard with personal bodily insurance coverage according to aforementioned state laws. So, with a small investment, you can protect yourself from risk while adding to your available coverage.

Pursuing an Underinsured Motorist Claim with the Help of a Monterey Car Accident Lawyer

While UI/UIM policies are incredibly useful, they can present a complicated scenario for policyholders. They will be making two concurrent claims for one accident in an underinsured motorist scenario: one with their UI/UIM provider and one with the at-fault driver’s insurer. Your own insurance may even press you on the amount of coverage they offer, alleging things like the at-fault driver’s policy could have paid more or that some of your medical expenses were non-essential.

To protect yourself from such allegations while simplifying the process of filing a UI/UIM claim, you can entrust a Monterey car accident attorney to help represent you. Contact the Dunnion Law Firm now, and you will receive a free consultation for your case along with the possibility of starting your claim today.