Legal Quizzes
Legal Tip of the Week: The Benefit of (UIM) Underinsured Motorist Insurance Deborah Nelson+ March 3, 2015

In Washington state, drivers are only required to have liability insurance coverage in the amount of $25,000 “per person.” If you are injured as a result of another driver’s negligence and you incur medical expenses of $20,000, wage loss of $8,000, and pain and suffering, how much money can you receive for your case, even if the at-fault driver has “full coverage”?

(a) $20,000
(b) $25,000
(c) $28,000
(d) It depends

Correct Answer: D

The amount of money you can recover on your case often depends on how much insurance coverage YOU have. If the other driver has only $25,000 and you do not have Underinsured Motorist insurance, you will be limited to recovering only $25,000, regardless of your injuries and losses (unless the other driver has significant assets that can be collected – this is very rare). However, if you purchase UIM insurance, that amount of money is added to the amount of insurance coverage that the negligent driver has. For example, if you have $100,000 in UIM coverage and the negligent driver has $25,000 in liability insurance, the most you can recover is $125,000. You are entitled to seek recovery for your medical expenses, past wage loss, future wage loss, and pain and suffering. The pain and suffering damages generally exceeds the total amount of your medical expenses and wage loss. EVERYONE should have as much UIM insurance as they can afford! Don’t rely on a bad driver to have sufficient insurance coverage to fully compensate you.

Tip to protect yourself: Check with your insurance agent today to make sure you have UIM insurance on your auto insurance policy.