Underinsured Motorist Coverage is frequently abbreviated UIM. In Missouri and in Illinois, underinsurance motorist is additional coverage that you buy through your own insurance provider so that if you are severely injured by someone else’s negligence you can get paid for all of your harms and losses. Let’s take a bad collision case in Missouri for example. Let’s say the person who causes the auto accident (the defendant) has the minimum required amount of insurance available, which is $25,000 per policy and $50,000 per occurrence.
You were driving your family and you were hit from behind by this vehicle. I hope this never happens to you, but let’s say you all have terrible injuries and fractures. Because the Defendant that did this to you only has $50,000 of insurance, the most the three of you could get in total is $50,000, or a little less than $17,000 each. However, if you have underinsured motorist coverage of a million dollars you would be able to collect the $50,000 from the defendant and then get an additional million dollars from your own insurance company. This million dollars is underinsured motorist insurance. So what is the different between that an uninsured motorist coverage?
Uninsured Motorist Coverage is frequently abbreviated UM. Let’s assume that the same vehicle strikes you and your family and causes terrible injuries but has no insurance. You can then look to your own insurance company for uninsured motorist coverage if you paid for it. For a moment let’s assume that your family has three cars and they each have $250,000 of uninsured motorist coverage. In Missouri, they are sometimes able to stack these policies meaning that instead of $250,000 you could potentially recover $750,000 (250,000 x 3 = $750,000) as a result of being struck by an uninsured motorist.
This is why I advise all of my client’s to buy both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages. Additionally, you should know about the penalty laws in Missouri. If you are hurt by another but do not have insurance on your car you will not be able to recover for your pain and suffering. If you are injured by someone that strike’s you and you do not have any insurance you can sue them, but all you’re entitled to recovery is the cost of your medical bills. If you have an insurance coverage question, please contact us. Just this month, February 2016, we were able to recover an additional $225,000 for one client and an additional $100,000 for another client has a result of knowing the law and finding additional insurance coverages.