Knepper & Stratton, Delaware Personal Injury Lawyers

Delaware Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage Statute – UM/UIM Title 18 § 3902

 

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Appearing below is the full text of Delaware Title 18, § 3902 which is Delaware’s Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage Insurance Statute also known as UM / UIM. This is current as of January 3, 2014. Click here to read about the recent amendment to this law, effective January 3, 2014. Title 18 of the Delaware Code is part of Delaware’s Insurance Code. If you have a question about Delaware’s Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage Insurance Statute also known as UM / UIM and how it applies to you please feel free to call one of the attorneys at the Delaware Auto Accident Injury Law Firm of Knepper & Stratton at (302)658-1717 or (302)736-5500 for a Free Consultation*. Also feel free to click on any of the links on the right side of the page for more information about Delaware auto accident injury law and how it applies to you.


Title 18 Delaware Code § 3902. Uninsured and underinsured vehicle coverage; insolvency of insurer.

(a) No policy insuring against liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of any motor vehicle shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this State with respect to any such vehicle registered or principally garaged in this State unless coverage is provided therein or supplemental thereto for the protection of persons insured thereunder who are legally entitled to recover damages from owners or operators of uninsured or hit-and-run vehicles for bodily injury, sickness, disease, including death, or personal property damage resulting from the ownership, maintenance or use of such uninsured or hit-and-run motor vehicle.

(1) No such coverage shall be required in or supplemental to a policy when rejected in writing, on a form furnished by the insurer or group of affiliated insurers describing the coverage being rejected, by an insured named therein, or upon any renewal of such policy or upon any reinstatement, substitution, amendment, alteration, modification, transfer or replacement thereof by the same insurer unless the coverage is then requested in writing by the named insured. The coverage herein required may be referred to as uninsured vehicle coverage.

(2) The amount of coverage to be so provided shall not be less than the minimum limits for bodily injury and property damage liability insurance provided for under the motorist financial responsibility laws of this State. The coverage for property damage shall be subject to a $250 deductible for property damage arising out of 1 accident, unless the insured and the insurer agree in writing to a different deductible. As used herein, the term “property damage” shall include the loss of use of a vehicle.

(3) For the purpose of this section, an uninsured vehicle shall be defined as:

a. One for which there is no auto liability bond, insurance or other security applicable at the time of the accident in at least the amounts required by the financial responsibility law where the auto is principally garaged or registered;

b. One for which the insuring company denies coverage or becomes insolvent; or

c. A hit-and-run motor vehicle that causes an accident resulting in bodily injury or property damage to property of the insured. Bodily injury or property damage must be caused by physical contact of the hit-and-run vehicle with the insured or with an insured motor vehicle, or by a noncontact vehicle where the identity of both the driver and the owner of such vehicle are unknown. The accident must be reported to the police or proper governmental authority. The insured must notify his/her insurer within 30 days, or as soon as practicable thereafter, that the insured or his/her legal representative has a legal action arising out of the accident.

(4) In the event of payment to any person under uninsured vehicle coverage and, subject to the terms of such coverage, to the extent of such payment, the insurer shall be entitled to the proceeds of any settlement recovery from any person legally responsible for the bodily injury or property damage as to which such payment was made and to amount recoverable from the assets of the insolvent insurer of the other vehicle; provided, that this right of subrogation is limited to the amount of coverage required by the financial responsibility law.

(b) Every insurer shall offer to the insured the option to purchase additional coverage for personal injury or death up to a limit of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident or $300,000 single limit, but not to exceed the limits for bodily injury liability set forth in the basic policy. Such additional insurance shall include underinsured bodily injury liability coverage.

(1) Acceptance of such additional coverage shall operate to amend the policy’s uninsured coverage to pay for bodily injury damage that the insured or his/her legal representative are legally entitled to recover from the driver of an underinsured motor vehicle.

(2) An underinsured motor vehicle is one for which there may be bodily injury liability coverage in effect, but the limits of bodily injury liability coverage under all bonds and insurance policies applicable at the time of the accident are less than the damages sustained by the insured. These limits shall be stated in the declaration sheet of the policy.

(3) The insurer shall not be obligated to make any payment under this coverage until after the limits of liability under all bodily injury bonds and insurance policies available to the insured at the time of the accident have been exhausted by payment of settlement or judgments.

(4) An insured who executes a release of a single tortfeasor owner or operator of an underinsured motor vehicle in exchange for payment of the entire limits of liability insurance afforded by the tortfeasor’s liability insurer shall continue to be legally entitled to recover against that tortfeasor for the purposes of recovery against the insured’s underinsurance carrier. An insured who executes a release of 1 of multiple tortfeasors shall have rights against that tortfeasor and the insured’s underinsurance carrier determined in accordance with the Uniform Contribution Among Joint Tortfeasors Act and paragraph (3) of this subsection.

(c) The affording of insurance under this section to more than 1 person or to more than 1 vehicle shall not operate to increase the limits of the insurer’s liability. When 2 or more vehicles owned or leased by persons residing in the same household are insured by the same insurer or affiliated insurers, the limits of liability shall apply separately to each vehicle as stated in the declaration sheet, but shall not exceed the highest limit of liability applicable to any 1 vehicle.