Uninsured Motorists (UM) / Underinsured Motorists (UIM) bodily injury coverage is insurance that pays persons insured by your policy who are injured in an accident caused by an owner or operator of an uninsured or underinsured motor vehicle. Depending on the coverage purchased, UM/UIM coverage can provide compensation for both economic and non-economic losses.
Economic losses are those that can be measured in specific monetary terms including but not limited to medical costs, funeral expenses, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses.
Non-economic losses are losses other than economic losses and include but are not limited to pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish and other non-economic damages otherwise recoverable under the laws of Louisiana.
By law, your policy will include UM/UIM coverage at the same limits as your bodily injury liability coverage unless you request otherwise.
At the time you select your coverage amount, the insurance company must provide you with a UM/UIM form sheet. A UM/UIM form sheet allows you to either 1) select UM/UIM coverage with lower limits than your liability coverage 2) select economic only UM/UIM coverage which provides compensation for economic losses with the same limits as the liability coverage limits. 3) select economic only UM/UIM coverage which provides compensation for economic losses with limits lower than the liability coverage limits. 4) reject UM/UIM coverage.
By default, your UM/UIM coverage will be equivalent to your liability limits coverage. However, you can change this by initialing next to a different coverage and signing, dating, and writing the policy number on the UM/UIM form.
Fig 1: In the above example the insured has $50,000/$100,000 liability insurance coverage and is selecting a lower UM/UIM coverage of $25,000/$50,000. WE ADVISE OUR CLIENTS TO ALWAYS SELECT UM/UIM COVERAGE EQUIVALENT TO YOUR BODILY INJURY LIABILITY COVERAGE.
KEY POINTS TO ADDRESS ABOUT UM/UIM COVERAGE UM/UIM coverage is a great means to provide extra protection to you and your family in case you or a family member are injured in an automobile accident. Not only can you collect from the at-fault driver’s liability insurance, but you can also collect from your own UM/UIM coverage. Therefore, having UM/UIM will provide more coverage to pay for hospital bills and compensate you for your injuries.
The real advantage of having UM/UIM coverage is that if you make a claim on your uninsured motorist coverage your rates will not rise and your insurance company cannot drop you. In Louisiana, there is a law that makes it illegal for an insurance company to raise your rates because you file an uninsured motorist claim as this is considered a nonfault claim. This law is found in La. R.S. 22:1284 which provides: A. No insurer shall increase the rate, increase or add a surcharge, cancel, or fail to renew any policy of motor vehicle insurance when such action is based on consideration of one or more nonfault incidents.
If you have been injured in an automobile accident through the fault of another, making a UM/UIM claim will provide you with more benefits in which to recover from. Give us a call today at 318-224-2222 if you have been injured in an automobile accident. Spurgeon Law Firm has a team of experienced attorneys who will go after the maximum compensation for your injuries.