What you need to know about Uninsured and Underinsured motorist coverage in Indiana.

After a car collision, one of the most important questions that needs to be answered is the amount of car insurance coverage available. Available car insurance coverage includes not only the at-fault driver’s insurance, but also your own uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (frequently referred to as UM/UIM coverage).

In Indiana, all drivers are required to carry car insurance on their vehicle. These policies vary in limits and are designed to protect you in various situations. In Indiana, state law dictates the minimum amount of insurance coverage an individual must have. State minimums in Indiana are:

  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage – Bodily Injury: $25,000.00/$50,000.00. In other words, $25,000.00 per person and $50,000.00 per incident)
  • Property Damage: $25,000.00
  • Underinsured Motorist – Bodily Injury: $50,000.00

There is oftentimes confusion as to the difference between underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) and uninsured motorist coverage (UM). The difference between the two boils down to the insurance coverage of the at-fault driver. If the driver has no insurance, or if the collision was a hit and run, the uninsured motorist coverage will be applied. If the at-fault driver has insurance, but that insurance is not sufficient to cover your damages, the underinsured motorist coverage will apply.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

With an increase in uninsured drivers and hit-and-run collisions in Indiana, uninsured motorist coverage has become especially important. Uninsured motorist coverage offers peace of mind in the event you are involved in a car accident for which you are not at fault and will help with any medical bills or other expenses associated with the collision.

Uninsured motorist coverage can cover various types of damages including:

  • Medical bills associated with the collision;
  • Lost wages;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Mental and emotional distress.

When a collision occurs with an uninsured driver, the chances of being able to collect from that driver are often slim. Therefore, having your own insurance policy that will provide coverage for you in the event you are in a collision with an uninsured driver will ensure that you are protected. The amount of protection you are provided by uninsured motorist coverage is dependent on the amount of coverage that you carry in your own policy. When possible, we advise everyone to carry more than the state minimum in order to have as much protection as possible.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

What happens if the at-fault driver has insurance, but it is not enough to cover your damages resulting from the collision? This is when underinsured motorist coverage comes into play. Frequently, if a collision is severe and the at-fault driver only carries the state minimum coverage, this will not be sufficient to cover your damages.

The concept of underinsured motorist coverage can oftentimes be difficult to understand. The following example can help explain the math of an underinsured motorist claim.

A collision occurs in which you experience extensive injuries and medical bills. The other drive is carrying Indiana’s minimum coverage of $25,000.00. Due to the nature of your injuries and the medical bills, the at-fault driver’s policy is quickly exhausted.

However, you have $100,000.00 in underinsured motorist coverage. Because the at-fault driver already exhausted their policy of $25,000.00, you would have an additional $75,000.00 in underinsured motorist coverage.

Underinsured motorist coverage can cover various types of damages including:

  • Medical bills associated with the collision;
  • Lost wages;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Mental and emotional distress.

As with the uninsured motorist coverage, we advise carrying more than the state minimum in order to provide as much protection as possible.

Questions about Uninsured and Underinsured Claims?

It is important to note that when you file an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim, despite the fact that you are working with your own insurance company, it is important to have an attorney on your side. Frequently, insurance companies are looking to pay as little as possible to settle a claim.

The attorneys at Waldron Tate Bowen Land have extensive experience in handling uninsured and underinsured motorists claims. If you have been in a collision and have questions about your options, please contact us for a free consultation.

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