Although I have previously blogged about the importance of uninsured and underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage, this is a topic that again bears repeating. Too often, I meet with a new client who was injured in a motor vehicle accident but is unable to receive compensation because the at fault driver does not have insurance and the injured party lacks UM/UIM coverage. While having minimum limits of bodily injury insurance coverage is mandatory in Colorado, please understand the importance of protecting yourself and ensure you have both UM and UIM coverage today.
Here’s and example of why this type of coverage is a necessity: if an insured driver caused damages to you of $125,000 and he had limits of only $25,000, then you could recover the other $100,000 from your own company so long as your own UM/UIM coverage limit was at least $100,000. If your UM/UIM limit was less than $100,000, say $50,000, then you would only be able to recover an additional $50,000 above what the other driver’s insurer paid you.
A lot of people reject this type of coverage out of monetary concern. However, the majority of the cost of UM/UIM insurance is built into the first $25,000 of coverage and it costs very little to increase your UM/UIM coverage to $100,000 or more. In fact, many insurers will include UM/UIM coverage in umbrella policies providing $1,000,000 in coverage for a small additional premium.
The concept of stacking is another factor to keep in mind when making a UM or UIM claim. Stacking allows you to stack the UM/UIM limits of various policies covering you so as to provide you with more compensation for the damages an uninsured or underinsured driver caused you. For instance, suppose you are a passenger in a friend’s car and are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver and suppose you have $50,000 UM coverage and your friend has $50,000, you are able to stack those policies so that you have $100,000 in UM/UIM coverage. Then if you lived with someone who had $100,000 in UM/UIM coverage on their own car, you might be able to stack that on as well, so that you would then have $200,000 in UM/UIM coverage. You can even stack where you have insurance covering multiple vehicles you, your spouse, and resident child own so long as they are each insured under a separate policy. Many times you can even stack where you are not listed as an insured under the policy. Also, remember that if you have an umbrella policy with UM/UIM coverage, you can stack that onto your auto policy’s UM/UIM coverage.
If you’ve been injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver, call the Denver personal injury lawyers at Kidneigh & Kaufman today at 303-393-6666 for a FREE consultation!
Filed under: Articles by Jennifer Crichton
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