Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) is automobile insurance that covers you (the policyholder) for damages caused by another driver who either has no insurance or has less insurance than you do. This is a vital type of insurance to have because it protects you in the event that you are injured by someone who has little or no coverage. Without UM or UIM coverage, if you are injured by someone who is uninsured, you may end up with no way to be compensated or reimbursed for your injuries, no matter how serious they are.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage 101
Uninsured motorist coverage is simple. This merely means that you are covered through your own policy if you are injured by a motorist who has no insurance. You will be covered only in the amount of your policy limit. If you purchased $15,000 of UM coverage, then that amount will be the maximum amount you are entitled to, no matter how serious the injuries you suffer in the car accident. Even if your case has a value far in excess of the policy limit, that is the maximum amount available to you. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you purchase the highest policy limit that you can afford.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage 101
Underinsured motorist coverage is slightly different. UIM coverage means that you will have coverage afforded to you if your uninsured motorist policy is higher than the insurance coverage that the defendant has. An example would be if you purchased a UM policy with a limit of $30,000 and you are injured by a driver that has a policy limit of $15,000. If your case has a value in excess of both policy limits, the defendant would pay his or her $15,000 limit and you would have an additional $15,000 available to you through your own insurance company pursuant to your UIM policy. Simply, you would subtract the amount of the defendant’s policy from the limit of your policy to know how much coverage is available to you.
There are other differences between a UM or a UIM claim against your own insurance company and a case against a third party with his or her own coverage. It is important to obtain a qualified and experienced attorney to make sure your case is handled appropriately.
If you live in Oxnard, Ventura, or the surrounding area, call (805) 470-1628 and connect with The Law Offices of Schurmer & Wood for your case.