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Understanding UM/UIM Insurance

Everyone knows that you need to have car insurance if you want to drive a car. However, many people do not really understand how their policies work and what they are actually paying for. In fact, a lot of people think that the liability coverage they purchase on their cars is meant to protect them if they are injured in an accident. This is not the case. Liability coverage protects you from suit if you injure someone else but does nothing to protect you if you are injured. Your protection comes from your ability to sue the at-fault driver; but if that driver has little or no insurance, you have little or no protection without UM/UIM coverage.

UM/UIM stands for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. You can purchase that allows your insurance additional UM/UIM coverage that allows your insurance company to step into the shoes of an at- fault driver if that driver’s insurance is insufficient to cover your injuries.

For example, if you are injured by a driver who has Maryland state minimum liability coverage of $30,000 and suffer $100,000 in losses, you can often only realistically recover $30,000 from the driver’s insurance company. You can go after the driver personally, but this helps may be futile if he or she has few assets. If, however, you carry $100,000 in UM/UIM insurance, your own insurance company must pay the $70,000 shortfall.

The downside to this type of coverage is that insurance companies essentially treat UM/UIM claimants the same way they treat people making claims against their at-fault insureds — as adversaries. Even though it is your insurance company, they will do everything they can to minimize or avoid making a payout. That is why it is important to have a Maryland car accident attorney assist with your UM/UIM claim, even if the at-fault driver’s insurance company paid up without a fight.

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