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What is Uninsured Motorists’ Coverage and Underinsured Motorists’ Coverage?

Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UI/UIM) coverage is a standard part of your car insurance policy that is required by Wisconsin law.

However, there are differences between the two coverages. It can be tricky to understand which coverage applies to whom or what circumstances in an accident. In this blog, the Boller & Vaughan team explains UI/UIM coverage.

Dealing with any insurance company after an accident can be nerve-wracking, even if you understand your coverages.

That’s why you should leave dealing with insurance companies to us. So if you’ve been in a car accident, call 608-268-0268 to schedule a free consultation with one of our auto accident attorneys, or fill out a form online.

Why liability coverage matters

Whether or not uninsured motorist insurance or underinsured motorist insurance protects you depends on the other driver’s liability coverage or auto liability insurance.

Liability coverage is a type of car insurance coverage required by law in most states. Liability coverage helps pay for the other person’s expenses if you are responsible, or liable, for a car accident.

Wisconsin law requires that your automobile insurance policy provides the following minimum liability coverage:

  • $25,000 for injury or death of one person
  • $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people
  • $10,000 for property damage

Now, if you’re in a car accident and the other driver is at-fault, but they do not have enough liability coverage or any at all, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can help you pay for your expenses.

What is uninsured motorist insurance?

Uninsured motorist insurance, also called uninsured motor vehicle coverage, protects you if you’re in an accident caused by a driver who does not have liability insurance.

In Wisconsin, uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage is required, with a minimum limit of $25,000 for one person and $50,000 for two or more people.

You can purchase more coverage than the minimum required. This law doesn’t cover property damage, which is separate and may be required in other states.

What is underinsured motorist insurance?

Underinsured motorist insurance protects you if you’re in an accident caused by a driver who does have liability insurance, but their limits aren’t high enough to pay for your damages.

For example, if you’re in an accident that an underinsured driver caused, their insurance will likely pay for all damages up to their policy limits. Any excess damage amounts after that may be covered by your underinsured motorist insurance.

Wisconsin does not require underinsured motorist coverage.

What does UI/UIM coverage pay for?

Both types of coverage may help pay for:

  • Lost wages or loss of income
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • If applicable in your state, damages to your car (this is not applicable in Wisconsin)

UI/UIM coverage can save you from having to pay out of pocket for a car accident that wasn’t your fault.

Is UI/UIM coverage worth it?

Even though liability coverage is required in many states, Wisconsin included, that doesn’t mean people drive without it.

In fact, a 2017 study by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) found that in 2015, about 13 percent of motorists were uninsured, or about 1 in 8 drivers. The estimated percentage of uninsured motorists in Wisconsin in 2015 was over 14 percent.

If you’re in an accident with a driver who chose not to carry liability insurance, they may not be able to pay for physical injuries or property damages that they caused. That’s why UI/UIM coverage may be worth the investment.

Consult with a Wisconsin insurance attorney

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident another driver caused can be stressful enough. Figuring out which insurance policies cover which damages and how much can add to an already overwhelming situation.

 If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Wisconsin and are unsure about the UI/UIM coverage and how it affects your claim, contact the personal injury attorneys at Boller & Vaughan.

We know how to stand up for the rights of those who have been injured, and how to hold negligent or reckless drivers financially responsible for their actions.

Call us today at 608-268-0268 to set up a free consultation with our team. You can also follow the Boller & Vaughan Facebook page, or fill out a contact form on our website.