What if the Other Driver is Underinsured?

What Happens If You're In a Car Accident and the Other Driver is Underinsured?

While you do your best to abide by the state’s laws and carry the state-required auto insurance policy limits, there are thousands of drivers who elect not to carry the state-mandated liability insurance. In the vast majority of instances people choose not to carry auto insurance simply because they can’t afford it. Because there are so many uninsured/underinsured drivers on the roads, Connecticut drivers are required to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to protect themselves from drivers who break the law or fail to carry sufficient coverage.

With uninsured/underinsured coverage (UM/UIM coverage), you, your family members and your passengers are covered for bodily injuries in the event of an accident caused by a motorist with insufficient or no insurance. The standard for this type of coverage is equivalent to the bodily injury liability coverage you have on your current policy with the option to purchase additional coverage, which can amount to twice as much as your bodily injury liability. In Connecticut, the law requires insured drivers to carry a minimum coverage of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident.

Underinsured Motorist Conversion Coverage

In Connecticut, drivers have the option of purchasing underinsured motorist conversion coverage which provides reimbursement if you are injured by a driver with insufficient insurance coverage. If the costs that you incur due to an accident that was not your fault exceed the at-fault driver’s current policy, your UIM insurance policy will cover the remaining damages. This is optional coverage and will not be reduced by payments from outside sources or the driver’s liability insurance.

For example, suppose your UM/UIM coverage is $400,000 and your suffer $500,000 in personal injury damages from an accident caused by a driver who’s insurance only covers $300,000 of bodily injury liability. Without UIM conversion coverage, you would only be able to collect $300,000 of the $500,000 in damages, and an additional $200,000 to simply cover the expenses. However, with conversion coverage, you would be able to collect the $300,000 from the at-fault driver and activate the entire coverage of $400,000, covering all of your expenses and providing you with an additional $200,000 from your conversion coverage.

If you were injured in an accident with an uninsured/underinsured driver, then you should be able to collect from your own insurance policy. While you should be entitled to the full limits under your own policy, often times insurance companies fight these claims, in which case your own insurance carrier can become your adversary. In order to explore your policy limits and the full scope of your entitlement to damages, contact a Hartford car accident attorney from McCoy & McCoy today!

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