Underinsured (UIM) and uninsured (UM) motorist coverage is one of the most important types of auto insurance coverage Delaware residents should purchase. However, Delaware residents who are injured in car, truck or pedestrian accidents ofetn misunderstand the basics of UIM/UM coverage. While many Delaware residents maintain UIM/UM coverage on their car insurance policies, some do not.
UIM/UM coverage provides benefits to an injured insured, i.e., the person who purchased insurance and any resident relatives such as a spouse, child, etc. This type of coverage protects the insured individual when the accident was someone else’s fault, whereas bodily injury liability coverage protects the insured individual when the accident was their own fault.
What is Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
Bodily injury liability coverage applies when an insured driver or resident relative causes an accident. Other individuals injured as a result of the accident may make claims against the insured driver and recover financial compensation under the insured driver’s auto policy, specifically, the bodily injury liability coverage limit. In Delaware, there is a $15,000 minimum limit. This means that every car insurance policy issued in the state of Delaware must carry at least $15,000 of bodily injury liability coverage. Many people purchase higher limits.
What is Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage
UIM/UM coverage kicks in when the accident was caused by someone else. UIM coverage applies to a situation where the insured driver is injured in an auto accident caused by someone who did not purchase enough coverage to cover the damages they caused in the accident. Essentially, the at-fault driver is underinsured, i.e., does not have enough insurance.
UM kicks in when the accident was caused by someone who did not have any applicable insurance at all, or was uninsured. Examples of situations involving an uninsured driver include a car accident caused by a driver who failed to obtain or renew their auto insurance policy and a hit and run accident situation.
Delaware UIM Law Amended, Effective January 3, 2014
As of July 3, 2014, Delaware’s UIM law was drastically changed in terms of how UIM applies. The amendments took effect on January 3, 2014. Previously, Delaware UIM claims could only be made if the injured driver, i.e., person making the UIM claim, purchased UIM coverage in an amount greater than the bodily injury liability coverage amount of an at-fault driver. Basically, a Delaware resident’s ability to make UIM coverage claims was relatively limited. The amendment makes it much easier for Delaware residents to make UIM claims. Click here for a discussion of examples of UIM claims under the old law and new law.
It is important to note that the new law only applies to Delaware auto insurance policies issued or renewed after January 3, 2014. Therefore, if you have not already done so, you should talk to your car insurance agent to discuss renewing your policy.
If you would like your car accident case reviewed by our personal injury lawyers, please call (302) 658-1717 for a free consultation. Our lawyers have extensive experience handling car accident cases in Delaware. Firm founder, Martin Knepper has been representing those injured in car accidents for over 30 years.
*Disclaimer: This website page does not provide any legal advice or create any attorney-client relationship. Every case is unique and you should not take any action or make decisions in your case without speaking to a qualified car and truck accident lawyer in Delaware. Any discussion of results is no guarantee of the same or similar results in current or future cases.
*Use of the contact form on this website or emailing one of our lawyers does not create any attorney-client relationship. In addition, confidential information should not be sent through the contact form.