What is it?
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is insurance coverage which is offered by your auto insurance company to protect you when you are injured by another driver who has no insurance, or who has insurance with a policy limit that is not enough to compensate you for your injuries.
Should I purchase it?
The short answer is, absolutely. Colorado law requires insurance companies that issue automobile policies to include coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. In addition to paying a premium for your liability coverage, you pay a separate premium for this coverage. Your insurance company must obtain from you a disclaimer, in writing, stating that you have been offered the coverage and you declined the coverage in order for you to opt out of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured and Underinsured motorist coverage plays an important role in compensating you for injuries when the other party has no insurance or low policy limits. If you have a victim of a car accident and the other driver has no insurance coverage, your only way to get compensated is through your uninsured motorist coverage as most negligent driver do not have enough personal assets to compensate you for your losses.
Drivers in Colorado are only required to have $25,000 in liability coverage. That means that the person who causes the accident that injures you may only have $25,000 to reimburse you for your injuries. With the rising costs of medical treatment, $25,000 is often not sufficient to fully cover your losses. Another example of when it is beneficial is if you are the victim of a multi-vehicle accident the at fault driver’s policy will not fully compensate everyone involved. This can occur in high speed accidents with trucks, which often cause serious to catastrophic injuries to those involved. The minimum policy limits required for over the road truckers is low, and there is not enough to compensate all involved when a multi-vehicle accident occurs. Underinsured motorist coverage closes the gap and provides coverage in circumstances similar to those illustrated above.
What does it cover?
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage does not just cover your injuries while you are injured in a car. Coverage typically applies to the named insured, and the relatives of the insured who live in the same house as the insured. The coverage typically applies whenever or wherever bodily injury is inflicted on an insured by the negligence of an uninsured motorist. That means you may have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage if you are hit by a car while you are walking, or while you are riding a bike. Each policy is unique, and an analysis of the policy language is necessary to determine coverage in each specific instance.
Will my insurance premiums rise if I make claims under my Uninsured Underinsured Motorist Policy?
Pursuant to the Colorado Code of Regulations, an insurance carrier shall not refuse to write, cancel, fail to renew, reclassify an insured under, reduce coverage under, or increase the premium for any complying policy based upon a claim made under your uninsured or underinsured policy. You should not hesitate to make claims under this coverage for fear of rising insurance premiums.
Uninsured and Underinsured motorist coverage is an efficient way to protect yourself and your family members against drivers who have low insurance policy limits or no insurance at all. It is worth the price of the premium and worth using if you are injured in an accident. Contact HSD Law to discuss your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage claim today.