While many people may be using this time of isolation to catch up on spring-cleaning, it’s also the perfect time to take a closer look at your insurance policy. Specifically, you may want to pay attention to how much uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured (UIM) coverage you have. This important safety net can protect you when a negligent driver’s policy (or lack thereof) fails to cover the full extent of the damages they caused you.
What is UM/UIM Insurance?
These important coverages, which are available as part of your car insurance, provide financial protection from your own insurance company in the event the liable party doesn’t fully cover you injuries. This can be vital because often the minimum insurance coverage allowed by law is insufficient to cover the high cost of recovering from an accident. Increasing the amount of UM/UIM cover you have is relatively inexpensive, making it possible to get good coverage without significantly increasing your monthly payments. However, as some of our clients learn, getting your own insurance company to fairly compensate you when you make a claim can be difficult.
When UM/UIM Falls Short
After our client settled with the responsible party who carried $100,000 of liability insurance, not enough to fully compensate her for the hip fracture he caused, she turned to her own insurance company. Thankfully, she had a $1 million of UM/UIM – more than enough to compensate her for her injuries. However, her insurance company only offered her an additional $30,000; this amount was insufficient for the damages she had endured. Thankfully, we had a solution.
Holding Your Insurance Accountable
Unlike someone else’s insurance company, your own insurance company has a duty to treat you fairly. There are ways to get these companies to take UM/UIM claims more seriously. In this case. We filed a breach of contract complaint against our client’s insurer for failing to treat their insured fairly and in good faith. Ultimately, we were able to settle her claim for $300,000 more than the $30,000 offer.
UM/UIM coverage is an important safety net for any driver on the road. When your insurance company does not treat you fairly, you can always contact a personal injury lawyer to help you hold them accountable. We are happy to meet with you to review your coverage and make recommendations.
Our attorneys at Nordstrand Black PC are incredibly experienced in the world of bad faith insurance. If you need help, contact us at (805) 962-2022.