Uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage covers the insured and his family, along with any passengers for bodily/personal injuries, damages, or death caused by an at-fault uninsured or hit-and-run tortfeasor. It provides an additional source of compensation for an injured plaintiff when the tortfeasor either has no insurance, or the limits of his or her insurance are inadequate to fully compensate the insured. If the insured becomes involved in an accident where the other driver is at fault but has no insurance, UM coverage will cover the insured’s medical expenses, up to the limits of the policy. Persons without health insurance should strongly consider UM coverage because if they are injured by an UM tortfeasor, they will be responsible for their own medical bills. UM and UIM property damage is available in some but not all states and usually is not mandatory like UM and UIM bodily injury coverages are in many states.
Sadly, uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) motorist claims are becoming more and more frequent. According to a study conducted by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) and co-sponsored by the Hanover Insurance Group, the number of uninsured motorists in the U.S. has increased to 13% in 2015. This percentage is up from 12.3% in 2010. In 2020, that number climbed even higher. Squeezing blood out of a turnip isn’t an insurance company’s favorite past time, but some of our clients are insisting on obtaining default judgments against those who choose to flaunt our laws and drive uninsured with impunity.
UM and UIM insurance coverage is highly dependent on and regulated by state statutes. Virtually every state has a statute governing whether UM/UIM coverage is required, what limits must be provided, and whether the UM/UIM carrier has a right of subrogation against the UM/UIM. UM coverage is a rather misleading form of coverage, because it does not insure uninsured motorists or vehicles. Instead, it affords first-party coverage to persons for whom the insurance contract is being written. It, thus, matches the complexity of the underlying policy and affords benefits on account of a wide variety of losses.
Consult with Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. (MWL) when it comes to substituted payments in UIM subrogation claims and the cost to pursue uninsured tortfeasors directly. Litigation and handling of personal injury and property damage uninsured and underinsured motorist reimbursement and subrogation claims, including advise and counseling regarding substituted payments, consent-to-settle issues, UM/UIM offsets, and compliance with applicable state law regarding subrogation. Our industry is drowning in information but starved for knowledge. Allow MWL to make a different in your recovery efforts.