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Underinsured Motorist Coverage


By Bill Kuziara
Most of us know what uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is, but what about underinsured? Legally, they are treated the same. However, the important difference is underinsured only applies if the defendant doesn’t have enough insurance to satisfy your damages.

For example, say your case is worth $25,000. The defendant has a minimum insurance policy of $15,000. How do you get your $25,000? Before 1987 you had to be satisfied with $15,000. Since this time, you are able to get $15,000 from the defendant’s insurance and then go to your own company for the additional $10,000.

In reading your policy UM means both uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist (UIM). To be able to use underinsured motorist your limits must be over $15,000. Further, your insurance company cannot raise your rates for making an underinsured motorist claim. Remember, rates can be raised only for at fault accidents or tickets.

One other advantage of underinsured is it takes your case out of the mainstream legal system and puts it into binding arbitration. This is generally more cost-efficient for plaintiffs.

This legal message is sponsored by The Law Offices of Bill Kuziara. This information is not a guarantee of outcome as each case varies and consultation with an attorney is advised.


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