Our firm has for years represented individuals with serious bodily injuries arising out of an auto accident. In recent years we are seeing more cases where the party at fault has inadequate auto liability coverage to address the losses suffered by our clients. We are also seeing more cases where our clients do not have adequate underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, and most of our clients who have this coverage in their auto policy were not aware of the amount of UIM coverage they have until they met with us. Here is how UIM coverage works:
Assume the Motorist at fault for the accident has liability coverage of $100,000.00, however you (the claimant) have medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and permanent injuries that would warrant a settlement of $500,000.00. If your auto policy had UIM coverage of $500,000.00, than you can first collect the $100,000.00 from the insurance company for the motorist responsible for your injuries, and then you can make a UIM claim against your own auto policy for $400,000.00, the amount necessary to fully compensate you for your losses. If you have only $100,000.00 in UIM coverage (or less), the same coverage amount as the liability coverage in the policy of the person at fault, you will collect nothing from the UIM coverage on your policy, because the person responsible for your injuries is only under-insured for liability coverage if your UIM coverage is greater than the person at fault for your injuries.
The cost to add higher limits to your UIM coverage on your auto policy is worth the investment in our opinion, as it allows you to control the amount of coverage available to you for your injuries (and those of your passengers in your car who may have been injured as well). I urge you to review your auto policy and consult with your insurance representative if you plan to increase your UIM coverage.
Please feel free to call us if you would like more information on this subject.