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Automobile insurance and uninsured/underinsured drivers

As our readers know, automobile insurance is a critical part of being a driver in our society. By law, most states require drivers to have certain types of coverage with minimum limits. Drivers may, of course, carry extra coverage—and this is not a bad idea. Each driver needs to decide for him- or herself how much coverage to purchase on his or her vehicles.

One aspect of auto insurance that is important to understand is the uninsured/underinsured motorist aspect. This covers medical and other expenses when you are hit by a driver without adequate auto insurance. Drivers are able to purchase additional coverage to pay for damage to their vehicle when it is hit by an uninsured motorist, though many people go with collision and comprehensive. 

In the state of Colorado, insurance companies are required to offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in the same amount as the bodily injury limits selected. This coverage can only be waived in writing.

Uninsured and underinsured motorists, to be clear, are motorists who are at fault for an accident but who do not have insurance coverage. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage typically includes a bodily injury aspect and a property damage aspect. This type of coverage is intended to cover the gap between the other person’s liability limits and the amount of your injury or damage expenses.

Accident victims, in addition to dealing with legal issues surrounding the crash itself, often have to battle their insurance companies to get coverage according to their policy. It is important to make every effort to settle with your insurance company rather than going to court, which can be thought of as a last resort. 

Source: Digital Journal, “8 common auto insurance myths you need to know now,” Elizabeth Parker, July 4, 2013. 

CTLA Colorado | Trail Lawyers Association