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Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage How it Works

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What is Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Personal injury attorneys represent various cases, from medical malpractice to slip and fall accidents and from dog bite incidents to injuries at a construction work site. Statistically, most of us will never suffer injuries in most of the accidents that personal injury lawyers represent. However, many of us could become victims of motor vehicle accidents at some point in our lives.

Car crashes can be terrifying events that destabilize our lives in more ways than one. We may suffer property damage from a totaled car, we may get horribly injured, we could face lost wages if an injury forces us to miss work, we might be stricken with psychological pain and suffering, and we could even lose a loved one in a crash. We never know when or where a car accident might occur, and we likely know next to nothing about the other driver(s) involved in such a crash.

If you, or the other driver, are uninsured motorists (UM) or underinsured motorists (UIM), it could result in a substantial financial loss. According to the Insurance Research Council, one in seven motorists in America does not have car insurance of any kind. However, Nevada law requires that car insurance companies offer optional UM/UIM auto insurance policies to drivers for just these situations.

By purchasing UM/UIM motorist coverage, Nevada drivers can protect themselves and their passengers from other accidents with other motorists on the roads who lack adequate car insurance. This means that if a driver with UM/UIM insurance is struck by a driver with no insurance (or inadequate insurance), the insured driver will not be on the hook for the financial fallout of the car wreck. Also, suppose a driver with UM/UIM insurance is the victim of a hit-and-run wherein the guilty driver cannot be identified. In that case, they will recover insurance compensation for their case with far less difficulty than a driver would if they lacked UM/UIM coverage.

Are There Different Types of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Nevada?

Yes, there are two types of UM/UIM motorist coverage to consider adding to your car insurance policy.

UM/UIM property damage coverage covers your vehicle or other pieces of property that suffered damage due to an underinsured motorist. If your property requires repairs or replacement, this insurance coverage should cover the cost, regardless of whether the at-fault party has adequate insurance.

UM/UIM bodily injury coverage would assist you if you or your passengers suffered injuries due to the car accident. This coverage will pay for economic damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, physical therapy, and lost future income. The coverage may also provide compensation for non-economic damages, such as emotional distress, loss of partnership, loss of quality of life, psychological pain and suffering, and wrongful death.

Are You Required to Carry Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Under state law, all Nevada drivers are required to obtain auto insurance. Since a law change in July 2018, the minimum auto insurance coverage is now $25,000 in bodily injury per victim, $50,000 in bodily injuries per auto accident, and $20,000 in property damages per auto accident. However, a driver can acquire additional car insurance coverage if they choose.

Collision coverage provides financial protection to your vehicle if it is damaged or totaled in a car accident. Regardless of who is at fault, collision coverage can help a driver recover so that they may continue relying on their automobile to get to work and social events.

Comprehensive auto insurance covers incidents extending beyond car crashes. Vehicle theft, vandalism, and natural world damages (falling trees, tornadoes, flood waters, fire, hail, wind, etc.) are covered.

Underinsured Motorist coverage is an additional option that a driver may opt to add to their car insurance policy. So, while a certain level of adequate car insurance is required by Nevada law, UM/UIM coverage is not.

Is Acquiring Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage a Good Idea?

Approximately 12% of Nevada drivers do not have car insurance. And even among those that do, many lack adequate car insurance coverage for accidents resulting in severe injuries and property damage. If you do not have Underinsured Motorist coverage and you are in an accident with one of these uninsured drivers, you cannot expect to rely upon a car insurance company to have your back. The expensive financial losses of medical bills, property damage, emotional pain and suffering, lost wages, and wrongful death are often too much for most drivers.

Simply put, not having UM/UIM coverage could cost you much more than the insurance policy itself ever could, potentially altering your life forever with a catastrophic financial loss.

How Does a Driver File a UM or UIM Claim?

The statute of limitations for filing a UM or UIM insurance claim is six years. However, considering that it is necessary to build a strong case, it is advisable that drivers not wait so long.

If you hope to file an Underinsured Motorist car insurance claim, you should speak with a lawyer beforehand. At Murphy and Murphy Law Offices, we offer a free case evaluation to prospective clients looking to understand their legal options better.

If you have any questions or concerns about uninsured or underinsured motorists, please contact our law firm to discuss your case. Call us anytime at 877-433-7776.