Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Is it necessary?

Posted Wednesday, February 28, 2007 by Ed Harper

Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage: Coverage that is a necessity

When one is injured in a collision caused by a person who does not have insurance, or is underinsured, Uninsured (UM) and Underinsured (UIM) Motorist Coverage may be the only avenue to recoup your losses.

In 2002 in the State of Washington, according to a leading insurance company in Washington, 18.2% of all motor vehicle collisions were the fault of uninsured drivers. Thus, there is almost a 20% chance the collision you or your loved one will be or may have been in will be caused by an uninsured driver. This percentage has risen through the years in Washington even though the State Legislature in 1963 made it mandatory for one to have automobile insurance.

UM or UIM coverage is important and our state legislature has written the law in a manner which supports the courts to find coverage. Any question of coverage goes with the insured person. Then, when the claim is made to the insurance carrier, the UIM carrier steps into the shoes of the at-fault driver and takes on the responsibility for compensating the injured person as if the at-fault driver was settling the claim. (The insurance carrier will have claims against the at-fault driver if they desire to re-coup the money they have to pay out.)

Further, with insurance limits of $25,000/$50,000 in Washington, the Underinsured Motorist benefits will often be necessary to provide full compensation. The UIM coverage stacks on top of the at-fault insurance policy in order to obtain complete relief for the injuries. Making these claims is often necessary as the cost of health care and costs related to personal injury claims continue to rise for the injured person.

When making a UM/UIM claim, one can recover for these medical expenses, wage loss and other expenses and the UIM coverage protects you financially for these unforeseen circumstances.

This coverage is not mandatory but highly encouraged. The amount varies depending on the coverage you would like to purchase. However, typically one has the same amount of UIM coverage as the amount of liability coverage one has on their policy.

We Are Here to Help

Although our office does not handle all types of cases, we hope you will contact us regarding any legal issues you may encounter. We will answer your questions, or refer you to another quality and trustworthy attorney if we are unable to assist you.

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Harper Law PLLC
826 6th Street South, Suite 101, Kirkland, WA 98033-6740 US
Phone: 425.284.3333
Fax: 425.284.4286