Underinsured Motorist coverage (UIM) and Uninsured Motorist coverage (UM) are important to have in Washington State and are often interchangeable with insurance adjusters. UIM and UM coverage is just as important and essential to your auto insurance policy as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is in providing adequate protection against any contingency. Similar to PIP, UIM/UM is not required to be on your auto policy, though the insurance adjuster is required by law to ask if you would like to include it to your policy. With so many people driving without or with little insurance in Washington, UIM and UM are wise choices to add to your insurance in case you ever get into a car accident.
Underinsured Motor Coverage
Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is an automobile insurance policy addition that will provide additional coverage for bodily and property damage which has been caused by a driver with inadequate insurance coverage. UIM coverage is meant to help the injured party that may not be covered by the limited at-fault party’s policy. So, if you’ve been in a car accident that was not your fault and both you (the first party) and the at-fault driver (third party) have insurance, UIM coverage will ensure your medical bills and auto repair are paid for regardless of the amount of coverage the at-fault driver has.
If you have UIM coverage and have been in a collision you will be able to file a UIM claim with your own insurance as soon as you’ve settled your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance. Depending on the limits of your policy, a UIM claim should cover the rest of your expenses and losses after the collision. UIM coverage is usually inexpensive and a no-brainer for most any Washington State driver to obtain.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Some insurance companies and auto policies have lumped Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage in with UIM coverage, but it is a different concept. If you are not at fault in a collision and the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, you can simply file a UM claim with your own auto insurance. That is, if you have UM coverage.
The downside to being in a car accident where the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance is that any settlement you receive from your UM claim is all that will be available. So, if your expenses and losses are more than that of your settlement, you will likely have to pay the remainder out of your own pocket.
How to File a UIM/UM Claim
Typically, you should file a UIM claim after the at-fault driver’s insurance has reached a settlement with you. You should now send everything you sent to the at-fault driver’s insurance company to your own automobile insurance along with the agreed third-party settlement. This will include medical expenses, wage loss, loss of enjoyment of life due to your injuries, photos of your vehicle’s damage, and anything else that you spent or lost money on due to your collision.
To file a UM claim, you must obtain proof that the at-fault driver didn’t have insurance. You can do this by submitting a police report. Otherwise you, your attorney, or your UM insurance adjuster will have to do some investigative work to figure out if there’s any insurance on the vehicle that hit you. If no third-party insurance can be found, your UM claim will be opened.
Contact The Advocates About Your UIM/UM Claim
The attorneys with The Advocates are experts at making UIM/UM claims. We’ll work tirelessly to ensure you receive just compensation for your injuries. Give our office a call today at 206-452-4200 or chat online immediately with one of our attorneys. We’re always available for a free consultation, so contact us today. You deserve an Advocate.