How Does Underinsured and Uninsured (UM/UIM) Insurance Work?August 13, 2019
UM/UIM insurance offers coverage for crashes caused by uninsured and underinsured drivers, as well as hit-and-run drivers. It can also cover your family members or someone else who you have permitted to drive your vehicle when these types of crashes occur.
Here’s more on how UM/UIM insurance works and what you need to know whenever it’s time to file a UM/UIM claim.
What Does UM/UIM Insurance Cover?
UM/UIM policies usually provide coverage up to the limits of your liability policy, covering:
- Bodily injury, including medical expenses, disability, suffering, and lost wages
- Property damage, including vehicle repair costs, rental car expenses, and the cost of replacing any other property damaged in the crash.
While there is usually no deductible for UM/UIM’s bodily injury coverage, the property damage coverage typically comes with a mandatory $250 deductible.
Do I Have to Have UM/UIM Coverage?
No, Texas does not mandate that motorists carry this coverage.1 It’s optional.
However, given that about 1 in every 7 motorists in Texas is driving without auto insurance,2 this additional coverage can provide extra protection and a little added peace of mind.
How Do I Know If I Have UM/UIM Coverage?
All insurance companies that provide auto insurance in Texas are legally required to offer UM/UIM coverage. If you don’t want this coverage, you have to opt out in writing. So, if you haven’t specifically opted out of UM/UIM coverage, you may have it.
The best ways to determine whether you have UM/UIM coverage are to:
- Read your auto insurance policy
- Call your insurance provider and ask about this coverage.
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How Do I File a UM/UIM Claim?
After a covered a crash, you would file a UM/UIM claim with your own insurance company. If your crash involved an underinsured motorist—or a hit-and-run driver who is later identified, you would also file a claim with the other motorist’s insurance company.
If you’re dealing with your insurer and another insurer, the insurance for the at-fault motorist would kick in first, covering up the limits of the other motorist’s policy (if the resulting damage demands it). After that, your own UM/UIM insurance would come into play (if needed), covering any outstanding damages.
Here’s an example:
- You’re hit by a driver who only has a $30,000 auto insurance policy.
- The damages from the accident total $45,000.
- After the other driver’s insurance covers the first $30,000, your UM/UIM insurance would come into play, covering the remaining $15,000.
Will My Insurance Rates Go Up If I File a UM/UIM Claim?
Texas law prohibits insurers from raising rates on policyholders who file UM/UIM claims. That being said, not all insurers abide by the law. So, if your rates do go up after a UM/UIM claim, it’s time to talk to a lawyer about your legal options.
How Can an Attorney Help Me with a UM/UIM Claim?
A lawyer can set your claim up for success so that you’re able to secure the recovery you need and deserve. The unfortunate reality is that:
- After an accident, your insurance company is not on your side, and it’s not looking out for you.
- Simply filing a UM/UIM claim with your insurance provider NOT mean you can count on getting the full compensation you may deserve.
- Making mistakes during the claims process can give insurers the leeway they’re looking for to undercut or deny your claim.
At the Amaro Law Firm, we have extensive experience helping people successfully file and resolve UM/UIM claims. With past experience in insurance defense, we know the tactics insurers use to try to avoid paying valid claims—and we are highly skilled at effectively combatting these tactics so our clients can obtain the benefits they deserve.
Have More Questions About UM/UIM Claims? Ready to File a Claim?
If so, it’s time to contact the Amaro Law Firm. Our top-rated Houston car accident lawyers are ready to partner with you in the pursuit of recovery and justice.
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At the Amaro Law Firm, our attorneys have deep knowledge of how insurance companies work and how to effectively stand up to them. We’re dedicated to helping accident victims navigate the claim and recovery process so they can focus on healing and rebuilding their lives.
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