First of all, let’s clarify those acronyms. We are referring to UM and UIM, which are commonly used shorthand designations relevant to automobile insurance coverage. They come into play when a driver involved in an accident lacks sufficient coverage to fully compensate another motorist.
Here’s a representative scenario. You’re conscientiously negotiating the road when a negligent driver slams into your car (maybe he or she was speeding, tailgating, driving drunk or just flat-out distracted; the possibilities are many). Your injuries, while luckily not fatal, are serious. Moreover, they will unquestionably incur scores of thousands of dollars in medical expenses.
It turns out the at-fault driver has an insurance policy with limits that won’t come remotely close to paying those care-linked bills.
What can you do?
In a nutshell, you can reasonably rely upon the UM/UIM coverage you carry relevant to your own vehicle. Uninsured/underinsured coverage that you pay to your provider specifically addresses situations such as that described above. If the other driver’s policy can’t make you whole, your own insurer should step up to the plate and contractually perform pursuant to the terms of your UM/UIM coverage.
All is good when it does. Sadly, though, the annals of insurance tales are replete with instances where insurers balk at performing their duties. They sometimes purposely delay or even deny outright policyholders’ legitimate claims, including payment demands relevant to UM/UIM coverage.
Proven pro-policyholder insurance law attorneys ensure they pay a price for such behavior, helping wrongly denied claimants secure the full recoveries they are entitled to under their policies. Plaintiffs’ remedies sometimes include punitive damages that an insurer must pay for wrongdoing. We note at the experienced Oklahoma City law firm of Mansell, Engel & Cole that punitives spell money “that goes above and beyond the amount you were originally owed.”
As a policyholder, you are tasked to comply with the terms and conditions of your insurance policy. Your insurer bears a reciprocal duty. A seasoned insurance law legal team can ensure that it honors that obligation.