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Posted on Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 at 4:07 pm    

In a previous blog, I mentioned the importance of setting up an underinsured motorist (UIM) and an uninsured motorist (UM) policy with your insurance company. This coverage is a necessity because if you get into an accident with someone who is driving without insurance or doesn’t have enough of it, you could potentially incur substantial financial losses. So what exactly is underinsured motorist and uninsured motorist coverage?

An uninsured driver is someone who did not have any insurance or whose insurance company denied his claim because he was not financially able to pay it. A hit-and-run driver also counts as an uninsured driver as it relates to bodily injury.Uninsured policies can cover injury-related medical expenses and costs associated with repairing damages to your car.

An underinsured driver, however, is someone who met minimum legal financial responsibility requirements, but did not have payment limits high enough to cover the damage he caused. In these cases, if you had an underinsured motorist protection policy you could receive money for damages that exceed the payment limits carried by a driver who is considered underinsured.

Both UM and UIM apply to you and any passengers in your car, and to you and others listed on your insurance policy (including family members) when in other cars. Here is an example of whenUM/UIM coverage would be useful to you:You are a driver involved in a hit-and-run. The driver, later identified, has a minimum liability insurance policy carrying $25,000, the minimum policy limits in Arkansas and Oklahoma. However, you suffered a total of $50,000 in damages, including hospital expenses, time off work, etc. You should pursue collection of that $25,000 claim from the at-fault party and if you have UM or UIM coverage from your own insurer, you are entitled to pursue a claim with your own policy for the additional financial losses.

You have to protect yourself fiscally and physically, and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection policy can help you in that regard.If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle-related accident because of another driver’s carelessness or negligence, and the driver at fault has inadequate insurance or no insurance at all, it is important that you speak to an experienced Fort Smith personal-injury lawyer who can successfully handle your case. Please call (479) 783-0036 for a free consultation or contact me by email at jmccutchen@mccutchenlawfirm.com.