UM and UIM accident claims
In the state of Minnesota it is required that your car insurance policy provide UM and UIM coverage. Sure, you’ve seen these listed on the car insurance card you keep in your wallet or purse, but what do they really mean?
Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM):
While any person who owns a car in Minnesota is required to have car insurance, the fact is, it’s expensive and not everyone has it. A significant percentage of car accident cases I work on deal with situations where a person was seriously injured in a car accident where the person who caused the accident did not have car insurance. Due to the frequency of this occurrence, insurance policies in Minnesota include a provision that says you can bring your injury claim against your own policy – yes, even when the other driver was at-fault. Your own insurance step in as if the uninsured driver actually had insurance. Due to the frequency of these types of claims, it is important you do not carry the minimum amount of insurance if you can afford it. If you have further questions about this topic please feel free to contact me.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM):
For those people who do pay for insurance, but carry the minimum liability amounts required in Minnesota ($30,000), there is underinsured motor coverage. When someone is seriously injured in a car accident in Minnesota, where potentially his or her life is changed forever, the minimum level of coverage does not go very far these days. Hospital bills can easily add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in a matter of days. If you have been seriously injured, and the insurance company for the at-fault driver pays their policy limits (or close to it), you may be able to bring a claim against your own policy for your additional injury claims. Again, this is why it is so important for a person who can afford insurance to purchase the proper amount of protection.
Unfortunately, I deal with several calls every year where a person has been seriously injured and after paying their medical bills, they will be left nothing for their lifetime of pain and suffering. Additionally, many insurance agents don’t seem to fully understand the implications of the policies they sell.
A common amount of coverage is 100/300. If that applies to your UM/UIM coverage that might mean you only have $100,000 per individual per accident. People seriously injured often incur medical bills over $100,00 in the first week of care. This could leave you with unpaid medical bills and nothing to provide for several months of therapy and rehabilitation, not to mention lost wages or a permanent disability. If you have questions about your car insurance policy, please feel free to contact me for a quick review and explanation.