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  • Writer's pictureSarah Morris Ocampo

What is UM/UIM coverage and how does it relate to Personal Injury?

What is UM/UIM coverage and how does it relate to personal injury cases? This is a topic that came up recently, so I thought it was relevant. UM/UIM coverage stands for uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage. When you get auto insurance for your vehicle, which is required in the state of Nevada right now, the minimum limits for auto insurance are 25/50. Meaning you must have bodily injury limits of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per occurrence in the state of Nevada. When you get this coverage, you do not have to elect Um/UMI coverage, but of course it’s recommended what this coverage is for you yourself. The uninsured motorist coverage covers you and your injuries.

If you get in an accident and it’s the other person’s fault, and they do not have insurance, at that point, your UM coverage would come into play if you have it. I believe it’s very important to always have UM coverage, because you never know who might hit you. You can’t rely on them to follow the law and have insurance, so you need to make sure that you have insurance to cover yourself.

UIM coverage is under-insured coverage. That means that if you get in an accident and it’s the other person’s fault and they do have insurance, and let’s say they just have minimum limits, which like I said, in the state of Nevada is 25/50, but your injuries are much more than 25/50. So you get injured to the point that you’re treating and your treatment exceeds $25,000. Then that’s when it would be very handy to have UIM coverage, because if you are injured and your treatment exceeds whatever coverage they have, then you would look to your UIM coverage to help with your damages. Once you recover the other person’s policy limits, which in this case is $25,000, then you can go to your own insurance company if your damages over $25,000 and you have UIM coverage. You will be compensated over and above what this person’s policy limits were. That’s why it’s important to have UM/UIM coverage, because like I said, you do not know what’s that going to happen. Hopefully nothing ever happens, but you can’t trust other people to have enough coverage for you if in fact they cause an accident and you’re involved.

I would strongly suggest that you have UM/UIM. I have a case where we went to arbitration, she recovered as much as she could under the other person’s policy, and now we are trying to go after the UIM coverage. The problem is she has UIM under her policy, but at the time of the accident, she was driving a Uhaul vehicle. So under that particular policy of hers, her insurance policy, there’s no coverage if you’re driving a Uhaul. So she’s actually not going to be able to recover UIM in that accident because she was driving a vehicle that wasn’t owned by her, every policy and every insurance is different, so I would encourage you to make sure you read the policy or at least read that section, or have your agent explain that to you.

Even if you get UM/UIM coverage, if you’re driving something like Uhaul and you get in an accident, then you might be out of luck in terms of the UIM coverage. So that’s just something to look out for. When you’re considering UIM and ask your agent about it, ask them, because like I said, every insurance company is different and their policies read differently. Some might cover Uhaul, others might not be the same with rental cars. You know, you have to make sure that your rental car coverage is covered under your policy. If you get in an accident, if it isn’t, then maybe you’ve purchased the rental car company’s coverage, and that does cover it. But these are all things you need to look out for when you’re dealing with insurance.

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