Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage
We talk with injured individuals every day who ask about Uninsured Motorist Coverage. If you’re injured in an automobile accident and the other driver does not have insurance, you may think you can’t be compensated for your injuries. Generally, this is not true. This holds as well for individuals insured as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycle accident victims.
In North Carolina, motorists are required to carry minimum insurance coverage. That coverage requires $30,000 for bodily injury, $60,000 for total bodily injury for all persons in an accident, and $25,000 for property damage. Lastly, they are also required to carry Uninsured Motorist Coverage and underinsured motorist coverage of $25,000.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured Motorist Coverage is exactly what it sounds like. If someone without insurance injures you in an auto accident, your Uninsured Motorist Coverage will pay for your property damage and bodily injury. Placing a claim with your insurance company in this manner will not affect your insurance rates. If you’re hit by a hit and run driver, you should also be able to access your Uninsured Motorist Coverage—be ready though, your insurance company will want to know plenty of details about the accident and the hit and run driver before they will provide coverage. The reason is that insurance companies are fearful that drivers make up hit-and-run stories as a way to create fraudulent claims.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Underinsured Motorist Coverage plays a different role than Uninsured Motorist Coverage. If your injuries cost more than the coverage the other driver has, you can access your Underinsured Motorist Coverage. However, there’s a catch—your Underinsured Motorist Coverage must be more than the coverage of the driver who hit you. Essentially, your policy will get a ‘credit’ for whatever has been paid. Take, for example, a situation where the at-fault driver has a policy of $30,000 and you have a policy of $50,000. If you reach a settlement for $30,000 with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you potentially have access to an additional $20,000 from your carrier ($50,000-$30,000).
Stacking Your Coverage
North Carolina has an anti-stacking statute. In states that allow stacking, the purchased coverage can be multiplied by the number of vehicles in the insurance plan. In an insurance plan that has $30,000 in Underinsured Motorist Coverage, if there are 3 vehicles in the plan, you would have access to $90,000 in Underinsured Motorist Coverage. North Carolina does not allow this mechanism for determining the amount of Underinsured Motorist Coverage available to you.
Separate Insurance Policies
If you have two separate insurance policies in your household, you may have the ability to ‘stack’ your Underinsured Motorist Coverage and your Uninsured Motorist Coverage. Where your damages exceed the coverage of the at-fault party, you can access one or both of your auto insurance plans to be fairly compensated for your injuries and lost wages.
Call A Personal Injury Lawyer Today
As you can see, insurance issues are complex. Having a law firm with the experience to understand the coverage available to you and your family is critical. If you would like to speak with a personal injury lawyer about a car accident, call us today at 704.749.7747. Or, click here for a FREE PERSONAL INJURY CONSULTATION and we’ll reach out to you quickly. We know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.