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Auto Accident FAQ: What's the difference between Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Auto Accident FAQ: What's the difference between Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

| Nov 19, 2013

Many drivers have questions about underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage with their auto insurance policies. Some get UM and UIM coverage confused, or believe they are the same thing. In fact, uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage are two separate forms of insurance designed to protect you in the event of an accident. Knowing the differences between these two policies can help you know how to avoid liability after a car wreck.



What is Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage?

Uninsured motorist coverage - or UM coverage - is a mandatory insurance policy designed to cover situations involving a collision with a driver who has no auto insurance at all. Many states, including South Carolina, require uninsured motorist coverage as an addition to your car insurance policy. Vehicle repair costs and medical expenses are notoriously high in the United States, and public officials recognize the fact that many uninsured drivers are unable to pay for damages on their own. UM coverage should cover all expenses if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver who can't pay for the damages.

What is Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage?

Underinsured motorist coverage - or UIM coverage - is for when the at-fault driver has some insurance, but not enough to cover all the damages from the car accident. Because basic liability insurance required by many states is not nearly enough to cover the costs, UIM coverage is becoming more necessary, even though it is not required by law. While it is not mandatory in South Carolina to add underinsured motorist coverage to your auto insurance policy , it is certainly recommended, as UIM coverage will often pick up the costs that health insurance or the other party's car insurance policy won't pay, helping to "fill in the gaps."

The biggest difference between uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is simply that UM is required by law, and UIM is only a strongly recommended option for your auto insurance policy. If you have been injured in an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver, contact an experienced auto accident attorney right away. The legal team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can help you understand what is covered under your insurance policy, and how you can get all the money you need to cover medical expenses. Call today for a free case review; we can meet you in Charleston, Greenville, Columbia, or anywhere in SC to discuss your rights and options.

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