Maryland, like all states, requires motorists to maintain a certain minimum amount of liability insurance, i.e. $30,000 bodily injury coverage, $60,000 for two or more people, and $15,000 for property damage. Nonetheless, the Insurance Research Council estimates that as many as 12 to 15% of Maryland drivers do not maintain any insurance coverage at all, despite downward trends in uninsured motorists over the past several years. In car accidents with drivers who do not maintain the required insurance coverage, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can help compensate you for any losses that you might have.
Defining Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance
Uninsured motorist (UM) insurance policies offer coverage when a driver who has no insurance and is involved in an accident that causes property damage or personal injuries to you. Under a UM insurance policy, you or anyone covered by your insurance policy can obtain compensation for any damages to which you are legally entitled as a result of the accident. When you purchase general liability insurance, your policy automatically includes UM coverage, which also may compensate you if you are injured by a hit-and-run driver, in some circumstances.
On the other hand, underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance policies provide coverage to fill the gap between the insurance coverage available from an at-fault driver and your damages from the incident at issue. This allows you to receive full compensation for your losses, even if the other driver’s insurance policy limits are too low to fully pay your claim. UIM coverage is not automatically provided in your general liability insurance policy and is an optional additional purchase. However, insurance companies are required to make a meaningful offer of UIM coverage when you are purchasing an insurance policy. In fact, the cost of purchasing UIM coverage is relatively low and certainly helpful in the case of an underinsured driver.
Problems with UM and UIM Claims
If you file a claim for UM or UIM benefits, you are actually filing a claim for benefits from your own insurance company pursuant to the policy you purchased. Unfortunately, your insurance company may be reluctant to pay out the compensation to which you are entitled. In this situation, you may need the legal advice and representation that our Baltimore auto accident attorneys can provide you.
Contact an Experienced Baltimore Car Accident Attorney Today
Personal injury cases involving motor vehicles can be extraordinarily complex, particularly when a driver is uninsured or underinsured. In these situations, it may be necessary to file claims not only with the other driver’s insurance company, if he or she is at fault, but also with your own insurance coverage, if UM or UIM coverage is an issue in your case. Contact Michael Freedman and explore your options with one of our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers today.