What are Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Benefits? How do I get them? Why do I need this coverage? These are questions asked often times after a person is involved in a serious motor vehicle accident.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage, often called UM/UIM coverage, are benefits that you obtain through your own insurance policy or through a household auto insurance policy. Uninsured motorist coverage is invoked when you are in an accident where the other driver does not have auto insurance coverage despite the fact that they are legally obligated to have such coverage. In Pennsylvania, the minimum required coverage is $15,000. Nearly 15% of PA drivers do not have any coverage. In such an instance, where the at fault driver has no coverage, the claim is made against the innocent drivers insurance policy or other available uninsured motorists coverage.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage is somewhat different. Underinsured Motorist Coverage is invoked in situations where the at fault driver does not have enough coverage to pay the innocent drivers claim. Under these circumstances, the underlying coverage of the at fault driver is usually first exhausted or a determination is made that there is not enough coverage. Again, the claim is made against the innocent drivers own insurance company or other available underinsured motorist coverage.
There are different options when purchasing UM/UIM coverage. For example, you can “stack” coverage. This affords additional protection to the policyholder and perhaps others and essentially multiplies the amount of coverage available by the number of cars on the policy. The Patberg Law Firm recommends coverages of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per occurrence, stacked.
With the right amount of coverage, you can protect yourself and your family and enforce your rights under your insurance policy. If you have elected UM/UIM coverage and it applies to your situation, you have the right to collect those benefits in a timely fashion. However, despite the fact that you are their customer, your own insurance carrier may not cooperate.
If you have questions about UM/UIM coverage or need to enforce your UM/UIM rights or if your insurance carrier is not cooperating with your UM/UIM claim, contact Attorney Rolf Louis Patberg at the Patberg Law Firm at 412-232-3500 or email Attorney Patberg at Rpatberg@patberglawfirm.com. Attorney Patberg has 25 years of experience in handling UM/UIM claims.
For questions about your First Party Benefits see our newsletter on First Party Benefits.