Nov Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Posted on November 12, 2012


Often when I discuss insurance coverage with my clients, I hear them say things like, “Don’t worry, I have full coverage.” For a car wreck attorney, this doesn’t begin to answer the question. I’m more interested in knowing how much insurance coverage you have. Particularly, one of the single most important components of auto insurance coverage is underinsured motorist coverage.

Underinsured motorist coverage is there to protect you in situations where the person who caused the accident doesn’t have enough insurance to fully compensate you. In those situations, usually the best option to to make an underinsured motorist claim on your own insurance after you have received the full policy limits from the at-fault driver

I don’t mean to sound like a car insurance salesman, but I always urge my clients to purchase as much underinsured motorist coverage as they can reasonably afford. Everyone wants a good deal on insurance, but purchasing the cheapest car insurance sometimes misses the point.

Of course, you don’t get to choose the person with whom you get in an accident. You never know who’s going to hit you. I like to tell clients that if you got to choose then you would pick to get in an accident with a Coca Cola truck because they have all the insurance, money, and assets in the world. In making a claim against Coca Cola there’s always going to be enough money to satisfy your claims and damages. That’s not the case when you get in an accident with Joe Citizen. In those cases, you’re typically going to be limited to the amount of insurance that Joe Citizen decided to purchase. Again, you have no control over that. He might have purchased $25,000.00 or $50,000.00 or $100,000.00 or $250, 000.00, or any other amount. You might even get really lucky and find out that Joe Citizen has a $1,000,000.00 liability umbrella policy.

But, what if Joe Citizen doesn’t have enough insurance to fully compensate you or your family member for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering? In order to protect yourself, you need to purchase Underinsured Motorist Coverage.

Unfortunately, I have handled many personal injury auto accident cases here in Utah where the person that caused the accident did not even have enough insurance to cover my client’s medical bills. This can be a real tragedy and injustice when it seems the wrongdoer isn’t being held fully accountable for his or her actions. In those situations, we simply have to make the best of a tough situation and hope that the injured client has sufficient underinsured motorist coverage to make up the difference. We also work hard to get reductions with medical providers and health insurance companies to ensure the medical bills are able to be satisfied with the available settlement money.

Purchasing sufficient underinsured motorist coverage is a simple step you can take to protect yourself and your family in the event of an accident. If you have a question about your insurance coverage, give my office a call and we can talk about it.