Mansell, Engel & Cole

What is UM/UIM insurance coverage, and how does it protect me?

Chances are that you haven't given a lot of thought to the acronym UM/UIM in your Oklahoma auto insurance policy. After all, isn't it commonly the case that we necessarily rely upon an insurance agent to simply tell us what the law mandates and what coverage levels should be printed out on the document sitting in our car's glove compartment?

If in fact you don't know much about uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage, you should at least be pleased by this upside relevant to UM/UIM coverage: It protects you when you and/or loved ones are involved in a motor vehicle accident in which the other driver who caused your injuries lacks sufficient coverage to adequately compensate you.

In a sense, UM/UIM coverage is a fill-in-the-gaps assist with a critically important function.

And its payout is the responsibility of your insurer, who, under the terms of a contract executed with you, has a moral -- and, more importantly, a legal -- duty to make you and your family whole in an accident's wake.

Sadly, we all know that, when it comes time to step up and perform, insurers collectively don't have the most impressive of performance records.

That is, your insurance carrier might ignore your best interests by delaying the full payment you are entitled to. Alternatively, the check amount it sends your way might be insultingly low. Some carriers just figuratively shut their doors on clients with bona-fide claims and refuse to pay at all.

Passivity in the face of such conduct yields policyholders nothing. In fact, such a response -- which often owes to an insured's confusion, sense of helplessness and feelings of intimidation in having to deal with a huge, impersonal and non-performing contractual partner -- is precisely what a bad-faith insurer hopes for.

Conversely, what it doesn't hope for is this: swift, knowledgeable and aggressive intervention by an insurance law firm that routinely protects the interests of policyholders in coverage-related disputes.

We note on our website at the Oklahoma City law firm of Mansell, Engel & Cole that an insurer "is obligated to handle [your UM/UIM] in a way that protects your best interests."

A proven team of attorneys dedicated to policyholders' rights in insurance disputes can help ensure that it does.

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