Underinsured (UIM) and uninsured (UM) motorist coverage is one of the most valuable categories of automotive insurance available to drivers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. UM/UIM protects you and your passengers in the event you are injured in a crash involving an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Recent trends in driver habits and purchasing behavior have highlighted the need for UM/UIM coverage. Requirements for such insurance vary by state, but the coverage is generally a sound idea for any driver wishing to protect him- or herself in the event of a serious injury accident.
What UM/UIM Coverage Does for You After an Accident
The primary function of UM/UIM coverage is to protect you in cases where you cannot recover sufficient compensation from an at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
The two categories function as such:
- UM – pays when the at-fault driver has no liability insurance; and
- UIM – pays when the at-fault driver’s liability coverage cannot meet your medical or property damage needs.
For instance, consider an accident in Rhode Island in which the at-fault driver carries the state minimum of $25,000/$50,000 in Bodily Injury Liability. In this case, you could pursue the $25,000 to address your medical bills and expenses.
Unfortunately, you would be bound by the other driver’s limits, even if your injuries exceeded the value of the other driver’s policy. So if your injuries resulted in $67,000 in medical bills, you would be left to pay the difference.
However, say you carry UM/UIM coverage on your own insurance policy. In this scenario, you could turn to your UM/UIM policy and pursue compensation to address the shortfall of coverage.
This category of coverage is particularly important to you in the event you are injured in an accident caused by a driver who carries no automotive insurance. In those cases, you must rely on your own insurance policy. UM coverage typically represents your greatest source of compensation in such accidents.
Why UM/UIM Coverage is Important
Auto insurance or proof of financial responsibility is mandatory in all states. Regardless, statistics from the Insurance Information Institute show an increase in the number of uninsured drivers in the United States. Further, the recent economic slump has caused many drivers to reduce their available coverage. These factors illustrate the importance of purchasing additional protection in the event of a collision.
UM/UIM Coverage Requirements
UM/UIM coverage options and requirements vary by state, as follows:
- Connecticut – UM/UIM is a voluntary coverage (there is a three-year time limit for filing such a claim);
- Massachusetts – UM/UIM coverage is mandatory with minimum coverage of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident (there is a six-year time limit for filing such a claim); and
- Rhode Island – UM/UIM coverage is mandatory with minimum requirements of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Stacking of policies is permitted (there is a 10-year time limit for filing such a claim).
No amount of coverage can prevent an accident from occurring, particularly when a negligent driver is involved. Prepare for such a possibility by purchasing the right type of automotive insurance and by downloading our free car accident app, available for the iPhone or Android.