Is Uninsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage Important?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Steven Jones with Phillips Law Group.
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Steven Jones, a Personal Injury attorney based in Arizona.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage or UIM is a type of coverage which can be added to your standard car insurance policy. UIM coverage is one of the most highly praised types of coverage by car accident attorneys across the board because they have seen the financial damage an individual and their family may undergo without it. UIM insurance can come in handy in a variety of scenarios, including an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, and even hit-and-runs. Unfortunately, pursuing litigation in these scenarios is not always feasible because individuals who cannot afford to purchase insurance are unlikely to have any assets of useful value.
UIM coverage essentially pays the injured party the money that the at-fault driver would have if they had insurance, up to whatever amount the injured party had purchased. Car accident attorneys generally recommend purchasing as much UIM coverage as you can afford.
If you are hit by a driver without insurance, UIM coverage is the best means of recovery.
UIM insurance is designed for exactly this situation; if you or a loved one were injured in a car accident with a driver who does not have auto insurance, your options for recovery are limited. Unlike standard car accidents where the at-fault party’s insurance may pay a portion of your damages and you may be able to pursue the rest of the damages in court, UIM accidents generally require the injured party to rely on their own insurance policy for recovery, which unfortunately tends to leave accident victim’s severely lacking in financial recovery.
If you are hit by a driver with insufficient insurance, UIM coverage can supplement the remaining damages.
UIM coverage may also come in handy if you are involved in an accident with a driver who has only purchased the bare minimum insurance. In this scenario, if your damages exceed what the at-fault driver’s insurance company is willing to pay, you can fall back upon your UIM coverage as a means of financial recovery for you and your family. Litigation may be slightly more feasible in this scenario if you decide to take the negligent driver to court, but again, insufficient insurance is often indicative of insufficient personal holdings, so the recovery may be limited.
If you are struck in a hit-and-run, UIM coverage may be your only real means of financial recovery.
Unfortunately, many hit-and-run drivers are never located, leaving the injured party unable to identify the negligent party and equally unable to have that driver’s insurance company pay for their damages. Even if the police are able to track down the hit-and-run driver, in many cases hit-and-run drivers flee because they do not have insurance; this scenario is in many ways identical to a run-of-the-mill UIM accident, where a driver who cannot afford insurance likely cannot afford to pay for the injured party’s damages.
While Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payments (MedPay) coverage may be able to help with your medical bills in the event of an accident, UIM coverage is the only insurance coverage of its kind designed for the unique purpose of compensating the victim of an uninsured or underinsured driver.
To learn more about UIM coverage or for help stacking your insurance benefits after an accident, reach out to an experienced car accident attorney.