Uninsured Motorist Insurance
Types of Coverage in Automobile Injury Cases:
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist insurance coverage:
Uninsured Motorist Insurance:
One type of insurance that covers "you" that is important is Uninsured Motorist Insurance - both for bodily injury and property damage. Typically the limits are similar to what your liability limits are.
Hit & Run: If someone smashes your car in the parking lot and leaves without giving their information, your uninsured motorist property damage coverage will pay for the damage to your vehicle.
If someone collides into your automobile while it is occupied and causes injury to the occupants, and then that person flees the scene - your uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage will stand in the place of the hit and run driver (note: in a hit and run - you MUST make a report of the hit and run to the police in order to use your uninsured motorist coverage).
Uninsured Motorist Insurance required to be offered:
When purchasing your liability insurance policy for your automobile, your insurer is required to offer you uninsured motorist insurance coverage. In fact, if your insurance company claims that you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, they must have a copy of your signed written rejection of the uninsured motorist insurance showing that they offered you the coverage, but that you rejected it. If they cannot come up with a copy of the signed written rejection, then you have uninsured motorist insurance (at the minimum limits), even though you never paid for the coverage. This is very similar to the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) portion of your insurance policy - where a signed written rejection is required as well for there to be no coverage.
Actual Physical Contact required when the uninsured driver is unknown:
If you are making a claim for uninsured motorist insurance, and the at fault party is "unknown", there must be "actual physical contact" in order to collect on your uninsured motorist coverage. This comes into play when a vehicle cuts you off, you swerve to avoid, but run into something else in your attempt to avoid the other driver (avoiding contact with the unknown driver). In this case, if you cannot get the identity of the person who caused the collision in the first place, you cannot collect uninsured motorist insurance.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance limits of coverage:
Your insurer is required to offer you at least the minimum limits of liability in uninsured motorist insurance coverage for personal injury claims, but cannot increase your limits in uninsured motorist insurance to an amount greater than your liability limits under the liability portion of your auto insurance policy.
For property damage claims made for uninsured motorist insurance, there is a $250 deductible. The insured is able to choose which coverage it wishes to use for their property damage. For instance, if you have collision coverage with a $500 deductible, and you have uninsured motorist coverage with a $250 deductible, you are able to use your uninsured motorist coverage. On the other hand, if your collision coverage has a $100 deductible, you would likely choose to use your collision coverage to use instead, which is permissible.
Burden of Proof Regarding Uninsured:
If there is a question regarding whether the other driver is uninsured or not, the insurance company has the burden of proof to prove that the other driver has insurance coverage. If the insurance company cannot prove the other driver has insurance, then you are able to make an uninsured motorist insurance claim.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage:
If the other driver causes a collision, but does not have enough insurance to pay for all the medical bills, or other damage that he causes to you - then you can make a claim for "Underinsured" Motorist Coverage for the amount that the other driver was underinsured. For instance, if your claim is worth exactly $40,000.00 (hypothetically speaking), and everyone agrees that this is the amount your claim is worth, and you make your claim against the other person's insurance - if they only have $30,000.00 in coverage, then that is all they will pay you. They won't pay more than the coverage that has been purchased. If you have Underinsured Motorist Coverage - it will cover the other $10,000.00 you were shorted by the other driver being underinsured.
Personal Injury Areas We Help With Are:
Auto Accident and Injury Cases, Personal Injury Cases, 18 Wheeler & Commercial Vehicle Injury Accident Cases, Motorcycle Accident and Injury Cases, Wrongful Death Cases, Pedestrian Injured by Automobile Cases, Slip and Fall & Premises Cases, Workplace & Constructions Injury Cases, Dog Bite Injury Cases, Bicyclers Hit by Automobile Cases .
By Doug Goyen, firstname.lastname@example.org