People tend to think about auto insurance during one of two types of moments. The first time is as they are shopping for a quote. When you’re looking for a quote, you’re probably most concerned with price. You might gloss right over those three letters on the declarations page: UIM. This is an article about UIM insurance coverage.
The truth is, UIM insurance is something most drivers don’t find out about until they find themselves in that second situation. (Usually, that’s also the exact same moment a driver regrets purchasing that insurance in the first place.)
Need a fast crash course on UIM? Check out these three particularly stunning UIM videos HERE
According to one source, (video link above) as many as 2 out of every 7 drivers pays for the minimum amount of coverage required by the state. In Colorado, that minimum coverage includes what’s known as “25/50.” This means that in the event of an accident, the insurance company of the driver will pay up to $25,000 of a victim’s medical expenses and no more than $50,000 per accident.
As medical costs continue to rise, it seems pretty clear: that just isn’t enough coverage.
So what can you do?
Check your Policy
Your policy is probably at least 50 pages long and full of legalese. The trouble is, it’s your responsibility to know the details of your coverage. You’ve just got to ensure that you are covered correctly.
The auto insurance policy should have come with a simple document that highlights the features of your coverage. Insurers call this document a “declarations page.” All insurance companies should provide you with this easy to read document. Many of the big auto insurance companies even provide a copy of this document online. (Remember: if you’ve misplaced your copy, you can always ask your auto insurance agent.)
We’re going to focus on two categories of coverage you’ll read about on this declarations page.
Bodily Injury, BI, is a type of insurance coverage. BI covers the injuries that you cause during an accident. If you are injured by someone else, your personal injury attorney will first make a BI claim.
What happens if the person who injured you doesn’t have enough bodily injury coverage?
In Colorado, the state minimum coverages are $25,000.00 per person and $50,000.00 per accident.
After that it’s up to you, the victim.
Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage (UM/UIM) is a special type of policy add-on.
In the all-too-likely event that you are in an accident caused by someone who cannot cover the cost of your injuries, UIM insurance can help pay your bills.
Learn about Medpay: a coverage that pays health insurance bills right away HERE
UIM is not considered ‘mandatory’ coverage.
We’ve all been tight on cash before. Maybe there have even been times in your life when you’ve carried the minimum amount of insurance coverage the state requires. Car accidents can cause serious injuries. Even moderate injuries often require much more than $25,000.00 of treatment.
Without UIM insurance coverage, you are on your own to cover these medical bills.You want UIM coverage, and you want to insure that it is equal to what you are paying to cover others.
As your attorney prepares your auto accident claim, he or she will review your insurance declaration page(s).
Some drivers, perhaps feeling exceedingly generous, carry much more BI coverage than UIM coverage. Usually, this is an honest mistake.
If your insurance company issued you a policy that includes more UIM coverage than BI coverage, you should meet with a lawyer immediately. The Colorado legislature requires that a driver not carry more UIM than BI coverage.
The few hundred dollars you save by not buying UIM coverage today, seems a lot less attractive, doesn’t it?
Take a look at your declaration page before you get in an accident, and make sure you have UIM coverage. If you have a concern, many personal injury attorneys are happy to review insurance policies. Don’t be afraid to call a lawyer.
Colorado has strict laws about UIM insurance coverage. If your insurance company tries to tell you that you can buy less BI than UIM coverage, you should speak with an attorney.
An insurance company is required to advise you (and even send a written letter) explaining what you are purchasing. You’ll even be required to submit a signature page where you agree that you understand what you are doing.