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

Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UI/UIM) coverage is a standard part of your personal car insurance policy that is required by Wisconsin law. If you suffer injuries in an accident caused by another driver who has no insurance, your own insurance policy becomes effective and compensates you for your injuries, up to the policy limits. This bodily injury coverage applies to you, your family, and anyone else riding in your vehicle. This type of insurance also applies when you are injured in a hit-and-run accident, or when the other driver has some insurance coverage, but it is a lesser amount that your uninsured motorist policy covers, and it does not fully cover your expenses. If, however, your UI/UIM coverage is the same as or less than the driver’s liability coverage, then you are not entitled to any benefits from the UI/UIM policy.

The minimum amount of liability coverage required by Wisconsin law is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. It is not unusual to reach these limits very quickly, especially if you or a family member has suffered serious injuries. As a result, you may wish to purchase UI/UIM coverage to protect your family in the event that you are involved in an accident with an uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run motorist.

Wisconsin law does not require that you carry UI/UIM coverage. When you are purchasing vehicle insurance, the insurance company is required to make you a one-time offer of minimum UI/UIM coverage of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident. Whether you choose to purchase the UI/UIM coverage is up to you, but it is generally inexpensive. As you can see from the examples above, though, it usually is well worth the money to purchase it.

Keep in mind, however, that the availability of your UI/UIM coverage will change if you pursue a legal claim against the driver who is responsible for the accident. Any compensation that you settle for or otherwise receive from the claim will reduce the amount of UI/UIM insurance check that you receive.

Individuals who suffer injuries or even death as a result of a vehicle crash may have valid legal claims for damages under Wisconsin law. The Wisconsin personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan 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 and set up an appointment for us to assist you with your legal needs.