How Does Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage Work?

Author: Mesriani Law Group
Posted on: December 11, 2020

California has one of the highest numbers of uninsured drivers in the country. Unfortunately, there’s also a large number of underinsured drivers on the road.

In Los Angeles, auto accidents happen every day. Generally, drivers exchange insurance information. But what happens if another drive leaves before you can get their information? Or what happens if the other driver doesn’t have enough coverage?

In this case, underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage can financially protect you from irresponsible drivers.

Generally, underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage is used when the at-fault driver doesn’t have any (or enough) liability coverage. It can also save you from paying out of pocket for a car accident you’re not at fault for. 

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

By law, California drivers are required to maintain a minimum liability auto insurance of 15/30/5. At a minimum, California drivers must carry the following auto insurance coverage:

  • $15,000 per person
  • $30,000 per accident
  • $5,000 property damage

But some drivers can’t afford or refuse to pay for insurance coverage.

Having uninsured motorist insurance covers you if you’ve been in an accident with an uninsured driver.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

California drivers often select the minimum auto insurance coverage. That mean the coverage is often too low to cover any significant damage. Many times, the minimum coverage aren’t enough to cover damages in any serious accident.

An underinsured driver may have auto insurance, but the limits are insignificant and isn’t enough to cover your bills after an accident.

That’s where underinsured motorist insurance can help. If you’ve been hit by a driver with insufficient coverage, underinsured motorist coverage can help pay for your expenses.

Difference Between Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage

Although they may sound similar, there are some important differences between uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

Uninsured motorist insurance protects you if you’ve been involved in an auto accident with an at-fault driver that doesn’t carry liability insurance.

On the other hand, underinsured motorist coverage protects you if you’re in an accident with an at-fault driver with liability limits that are too low to fully cover medical expenses of any injured party. The insurance company of the party at fault will generally pay for the damages up to his or her insurance policy limit. Then, if you have underinsured motorist coverage, this may cover any excess amount up to the limit you selected.

If you’ve been in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t have to pay the price. Understanding your rights is important so you can obtain the maximum compensation for your injuries. You may even be entitled to more compensation than your insurance company offered. As insurance companies are notoriously difficult to work with, an experienced lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best proceed with your claim.

Consult with an Underinsured Motorist Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has been injured by an underinsured motorist, contact Mesriani Law Group today for a free legal consultation. An experienced California injury attorney can help you discuss your options. We’re confident that our knowledgeable attorneys can obtain the maximum compensation for your case and offer a “no win, no fee” guarantee.