Underinsured Motorist Coverage (or “UIM”) is an optional coverage available for your personal automobile insurance that compensates you for personal injuries in a car accident when the at-fault driver’s insurance does not adequately cover your injuries. Unlike uninsured motorist coverage, drivers in Missouri are not required to have underinsured motorist coverage.
Under Missouri law, a Missouri driver must carry at least $25,000.00 in liability coverage to cover any bodily injuries that the driver may cause in a car accident. Since state law only requires $25,000.00 in liability coverage, many drivers do not elect to obtain additional coverage under their policies. As a result, many people who are seriously injured in a car wreck cannot recover the amount they need from the other driver’s insurance to cover their injuries. This is when underinsured motorist coverage comes into play.
Along with looking at whether medical payments coverage (medpay) applies to cover your medical bills, one of the first things our firm does is notifies your insurance company of a potential underinsured motorist claim. We have found that it is very important to completely know what insurance coverages are available to cover your injuries so that we can give you a full range of options at the beginning of your case.
Furthermore, it’s important to cooperate with your own insurance company in the instance that you have to make a claim for underinsured motorist coverage. In the instance we discover that we do not need to make a claim under your own automobile policy, we inform your insurer and they close the file. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and your insurance company will want be notified as soon as we know that a claim may exist so that they can investigate the potential claim as well. That’s why we think it’s important to notify them at the first opportunity. By doing so, we know what coverages are available and your insurance company is not surprised at the last moment if a claim exists.
Underinsured motorist claims can be difficult claims to pursue and are complex in nature. There are a number of considerations that go into pursuing an underinsured motorist claim, and the law is constantly changing about the rules, policies, and procedures for pursuing these types of claims. Our firm has had a number of victories pursuing underinsured motorist claims, and we have the experience and knowledge to advise you on what steps you should take to preserve your claim.
If you have questions about whether you have underinsured motorist coverage available to you in your car accident case, do not hesitate to contact our office. We will gladly review your insurance policies and see if underinsured motorist coverage may apply in your case.