Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage is an optional insurance coverage in Ohio. When you purchase your automobile insurance policy, you can buy this additional insurance coverage that applies if you are involved in an automobile collision with a driver who does not have car insurance or who does not have sufficient coverage to cover the loss.
In Ohio, all drivers are required to carry automobile insurance with the following minimum coverage limits:
- $25,000 per person injured in one accident
- $50,000 for all people injured in one accident
- $25,000 for property damage in one accident
Nonetheless, more than 13% of drivers on Ohio roadways do not have even minimum insurance coverage. If you were hurt in an automobile collision with an uninsured or underinsured driver, your UM / UIM coverage will cover your losses.
Understanding Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage
After an automobile collision with an uninsured driver, your liability policy does not apply. Your liability insurance policy only covers damage you cause to other people or their property. While your liability policy protects you and will cover the losses if you caused the accident, it does not provide coverage for losses you sustain.
If you purchased UM / UIM coverage, your insurance company will compensate you for your injuries and property damage, even if the other driver did not have insurance coverage or did not have sufficient insurance coverage to cover all of the losses caused.
This coverage applies in two situations: (1) when the other driver did not have any automobile insurance; and (2) when the other driver had insurance but it was not sufficient to cover the full extent of your losses.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)
When the other driver did not have car insurance, your UM coverage will apply. Once your lawyer establishes that the other driver was, in fact, uninsured, we will submit evidence to establish the amount of your damages and work to negotiate a fair resolution to your claim.
Proving that the other driver was uninsured is usually straightforward. At the time of the collision, the police officer will have asked the drivers for proof of insurance coverage. If the other driver did not have insurance, that fact will be noted on the police report. Your lawyer will submit this information to your insurance carrier, and we will work to negotiate a fair resolution to your claim.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)
Underinsured motorist coverage is similar, albeit slightly more complex. To initiate an underinsured motorist claim, your lawyer must prove that your losses exceed the limits of the other driver’s insurance policy. This can be difficult in some cases, as the insurance adjuster will try to resolve the claim for the least amount of money possible.
Suppose, for example, that you were involved in an automobile collision and incurred $35,000 in medical bills. The other driver had a minimum-limits policy with $25,000 in coverage available. Once the other driver’s insurance company agrees to pay the policy limits of $25,000, you can seek the balance of the damages through your UIM coverage.
How to Make a Claim Through Your Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Filing a claim with your insurance carrier is similar to filing a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver. We will contact the insurance company to notify them of our representation. We will prepare a demand letter identifying the nature and extent of your injuries and other damages. Then we will negotiate the settlement of your claim.
In cases involving an underinsured driver, the process is the same except that, before your insurance carrier agrees to extend coverage, we must first prove that the other driver’s insurance policy was not sufficient to cover the full extent of your claim.
How a Lawyer Can Help
It can be difficult to obtain full and fair compensation after an automobile collision with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Our lawyers will guide you through the process and advocate for your maximum financial recovery. We will gather evidence to prepare a compelling demand package and work to negotiate a settlement for the full value of your claim. In addition to maximizing your financial compensation, working with an experienced lawyer will ease the stress after an automobile collision, so you can rest assured that your claim is being handled by professionals who know Ohio insurance law and will fight to protect your interests.
To learn more, Call us at (513) 721-3330 or contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation with the personal injury lawyers at RKPT.
Attorneys: Jarrod M. Mohler, Michael A. Galasso, Cory D. Britt, Matthew C. Curran