Do You Have Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)? Should You?

Posted by the Charleston, SC Car Wreck Lawyers at Anderson & Schuster, Attorneys at Law, LLC. Our Charleston car wreck lawyers help people that have been seriously injured in car, truck and motorcycle accidents in Charleston, North Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Summerville and across the South Carolina lowcountry.  If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car wreck or any other accident, give us a call today.

In our last post, we discussed the numbers in auto insurance policies.  We learned that numbers like 25/50/25, 50/100/50 and 100/300/100 refer to the limits of liability insurance coverage.  We also talked about situations when an at-fault motorist's liability insurance can be insufficient to fully compensate someone that has been injured.  As we mentioned in our last post, the current minimum limits liability insurance coverage for vehicles in South Carolina is 25/50/25.  This means that the maximum that an insurance company will pay to someone that one of their policy holders negligently injures is $25,000.00 per person and a maximum of $50,000.00 per accident for bodily injuries as well as $25,000.00 for property damage.

This limit can often times leave injured people without sufficient compensation to adequately take care of expensive medical bills, lost wages, or other damages that result from the collision like damage to their automobile if it is worth more than $25,000.00.  Unfortunately, we cannot make sure that every motorist on the road in South Carolina has adequate liability coverage.  However, there is something that you can do to protect yourself from a situation where you have been damaged by an at-fault motorist that has low liability insurance limits and you have a very high amount in damages.

In South Carolina, automobile insurance carriers are required to offer underinsured motorist coverage.  In fact South Carolina Code Ann. § 38-77-160 requires that insurance carriers offer at the option of the insured "underinsured motorist coverage up to the limits of the insured liability coverage to provide coverage in the event that damages are sustained in excess of the liability limits carried by an at-fault insured or underinsured motorist or in excess of any damages cap or limitation imposed by statute."  As you see, you can only purchase underinsured coverage up to the limits of the liability coverage you have on the vehicle you are insuring.  This prevents people from purchasing minimum limits coverage for liability to others and then purchasing a large amount of underinsured coverage to protect themselves.

This underinsured motorist coverage is for the situation that we talked about above, when you are injured or have suffered damages because of the negligence of another driver and that at-fault driver's liability insurance coverage is insufficient to cover your damages.  At that point, the underinsured motorist coverage you have should act as (in simplified terms) additional insurance coverage for the at-fault motorist.  Another interesting thing about this type of insurance coverage is that it is possible in some situations to take advantage of underinsured coverage that you maintain on other vehicles you own.  This allows you in the right circumstances to add the underinsured motorist coverage from another car that you or a family member that lives with you owns to help pay for the damages you experience.

Underinsured motorist coverage is a great way to protect yourself from drivers on South Carolina roads that cause catastrophic injuries while maintaining low liability insurance limits of coverage.  If you or a loved one has been badly injured in a car accident, give us a call today so that we can put our knowledge to work for you in assisting you to recover from an insurance company whose job it is to reduce the amount of money that is paid on claims.  Call us today at (843) 388-3661.

Charleston Car Wreck Lawyers

Our car wreck lawyers are here to help those injured in car, truck and motorcycle accidents in Charleston, North CharlestonMount PleasantSummervilleGoose CreekHanahanJames IslandWest AshleyIsle of PalmsSullivans IslandFolly BeachJohns IslandLadsonAwendawMcClellanvilleMoncks Corner and across South Carolina.