By: Josh Ferrell
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UNDERINSURED MOTORIST (UIM) COVERAGE
What is it and do I need it?
When handling a claim for personal injuries sustained in a car wreck, there can be multiple avenues for recovery. The first avenue of recovery is to pursue the at-fault driver’s liability coverage. Each state sets minimum limits on the amount of insurance that a driver can carry. In WV, KY, VA, and TN, the minimum limits are $25,000.00 per claim and $50,000.00 per occurrence. That means that the most an individual could recover against an at-fault party carrying minimum limits would be $25,000.00 (unless the party had the means to satisfy a judgment personally, which is often not the case). Well, what happens when $25,000.00 is not enough to compensate you for the damages you suffered? That’s where UIM coverage kicks in.
UIM coverage is insurance coverage that is on YOUR policy that will compensate you for injuries when the at-fault party does not have sufficient insurance coverage to provide proper compensation. Like with a liability policy, you can purchase different levels of coverage. Common polices increments are $25,000.00, $50,000.00, $100,000.00, $250,000.00, and up. This coverage provides you an extra layer of protection and another avenue of recovery in cases where you would otherwise not receive enough money to make you whole for your damages.
With that being said, do you need UIM coverage? YES! While it is not required, for a very reasonable price you can have extra coverage that can help you tremendously down the road. Talk with your insurance agent and see just how affordable this coverage can be.
Every state has different rules and laws regarding UIM coverage and certain steps must be taken prior to being able to recover from your UIM carrier, which are two of the many reasons it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. At Ferrell & Brown, we are knowledgeable and experienced at handling personal injury claims and do so in WV, KY, TN, and VA. If you have been involved in a car wreck, contact us for a free consultation.