Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
We review a client's motor vehicle insurance coverage to determine whether uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is provided. Generally, the amount of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage may not exceed the amount of liability coverage that you carry on yourself in case you injure someone else through your own fault. $15,000.00 is the minimum amount of liability insurance coverage that must be carried.
Suppose you were injured by someone who either did not have any insurance or was underinsured, and did not have property or other assets with which to pay for your injuries. If you don't have coverage for yourself in the form of uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage, you would get nothing. On the other hand, if you have adequate uninsured and underinsured coverage, you may make a claim under your own insurance for your pain and suffering.
We have had numerous cases come into this office where we estimated damages in excess of $100,000.00, only to learn that the culpable party carried no liability insurance at all or only carried the minimum $15,000.00 liability coverage. Accordingly, it is our professional opinion that at least $100,000.00 liability coverage should be carried, as well as $100,000.00 for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Like increased medical expense coverage and "full tort" coverage, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is an option that should be exercised.