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How exactly does underinsured motorist coverage work?

Although they are treated the same in many respects, it is important for Denver residents to have an understanding of the difference between uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage.

The most important point to remember is that, if a Colorado resident gets in a car accident that involves an underinsured driver, then, depending on the type of insurance they purchased from their car insurance carrier, they may have options to pursue additional compensation from their own insurance company.

An underinsured driver is a person who fulfilled his or her responsibility under Colorado law to have car insurance. Unfortunately, how much coverage one must have to be legal is pretty low, and many people choose not to purchase additional coverage for a variety of reasons.

If one of these people has an accident, though, then their insurance may be barely enough to cover their victim's medical bills, leaving nothing for lost wages and other damages. Assuming the person does not have assets that the victim can go after directly through a civil lawsuit, the end result is the victim could well be out of luck.

However, if the victim has the proper coverage, and it is greater than the coverage available under the responsible driver's policy, then the victim can in theory file a claim for underinsured motorist benefits and potentially collect up to the difference between the responsible driver's policy limits and his or her own policy limits. So, for example, if a driver had $30,000 in insurance, and the victim has $100,000 in underinsured coverage, then $70,000 is available.

Filing an underinsured motorist claim and understanding how this coverage works in one's particular case can be a complicated matter best discussed with an experienced Colorado accident attorney.

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