Not to be confused with uninsured motorists, there are also situations of underinsured motorists on the road. Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage covers medical bills and expenses when you are involved in an accident with someone who has inadequate auto insurance. In the US, states have an option to make the coverage a requirement or simply available as an option. You can purchase additional coverage to pay for damage to your car if hit by an underinsured motorist, but your car's damage is usually covered by your policy's collision and comprehensive programs. There are (6) other classifications of auto insurance as follows:
- Liability Insurance
- Bodily injury liability (BI): Provides coverage for other's injuries when you are liable in an accident.
- Property damage liability (PD): Provides coverage for other's property when you are liable in an accident.
- Collision: Provides coverage for damage to your vehicle in an accident.
- Comprehensive: Provides coverage for damage to your vehicle caused by reasons other than a collision. (fire, theft etc.)
- Uninsured Motorist: Provide for medical and other expense coverage if the liable driver does not have any.
- Medical payments coverage: Provides medical coverage for accidents regardless of fault or liability.
- Rental car coverage: Provide funds for a temporary rental car if your vehicle is damaged. (often blended with collision or comprehensive)
Underinsured coverage protection assists with paying for medical bills and vehicle damage that may exceed the at-fault driver's own policy limits. For example, Colorado requires 25,000 per person of bodily injury coverage. What if your total medical bills were $30,000? The underinsured policy could cover the $5,000 shortfall in this case. In Colorado, insurers must offer UM/UIM in the same amount as the BI coverage; however, the insured may sign a waiver of coverage. Underinsured motorist policies are not available as a “stand-alone” policy, thus are considered to be “add-on” policy options.
Underinsured coverage is available potentially to insure many types of on-land motor vehicles. This includes cars, trucks, and motorcycles--essentially any type that is legally allowed on the roadways. Vehicles that are not “street legal” such as all-terrain or go-karts are excluded. If you are involved in an accident while upon a bicycle or as a pedestrian, generally underinsured coverage would not be applicable; however, consult your specific policy for details. In single car accidents (just you involved) underinsured policies do not provide coverage for medical costs which exceed the bodily-injury coverage of your own policy.
Have you been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by the negligence of another party? If the other driver either did not have insurance coverage at the time, or had insufficient coverage, the problem is exacerbated. For many years now, Colorado accident victims have turned to The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal for justice. Make the call today to begin a consultation.