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Why You Should Have Underinsured Motorist Insurance in North Carolina

Car accidents can be life-changing, and they can happen to even the most cautious drivers. Having insurance coverage is essential to help avoid the financial consequences of a car accident. Living in North Carolina, you are required to have the state’s minimum amount of liability and uninsured motorist coverage. But sometimes, more than the minimum coverage is needed to cover the damages and injuries. This is why it is essential to have underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance coverage.

What is Underinsured Motorist Insurance Coverage?

UIM insurance coverage is a type of policy that protects you when you are involved in a car accident with a driver who does not have enough insurance to cover the damages or the damages exceed the coverage limits of their policy. When you have UIM insurance coverage, your insurance company will cover the gap between what the at-fault driver’s insurance can pay and the amount of the damages. This coverage can also provide protection for you and your passengers, where your own insurance company can cover the costs of your injuries and other damages.

Limits of Liability Coverage for UIM and Uninsured Motorist Coverage

In North Carolina, the minimum car insurance requirement states that drivers should have at least $30,000 per person for bodily injury, $60,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 for property damage. However, the costs of healthcare have skyrocketed since, and they’re rarely enough to cover even minor accidents. Therefore, we recommend having at least $100,000 in UIM and uninsured motorist coverage. With more coverage, the chances of a larger immediate payout from your insurer are higher.

The Cost of Not Having Enough Insurance

If you do not have adequate UIM insurance coverage, you could bear the financial burden, and that’s quite a lot to shoulder. In North Carolina, the minimum requirement may not be enough to cover the cost of serious accidents. Therefore, investing in UIM insurance coverage is essential to avoid being left with astronomical medical bills.

Pursue Two Claims

The UIM insurance coverage lets you pursue two claims rather than being limited to only pursuing one. If the coverage isn’t enough, you could pursue both options with this type of coverage. You can seek the maximum policy amount on the at-fault driver’s insurance and then make up as much of the difference as possible with your UIM coverage. This means that you won’t have to worry about who will cover what. The insurance companies will sort that out for you.

Does UIM Cover Pain and Suffering?

The simple answer is yes, it does. However, determining the amount of compensation may get tricky. Insurers usually calculate all economic damages in a case and then use a multiplier to cover non-economic damages like pain and suffering. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you can maximize this multiplier. However, if you hit your policy maximum, this may be moot unless a trial is warranted. Therefore, if you’ve been hit by an underinsured motorist, seeking immediate legal representation to discuss your options can be beneficial.

Need More Guidance? We Can Help You

Having underinsured motorist insurance coverage has significant benefits, which can save you from many headaches in the future. Though the state has a minimum limit for car insurance coverage, the cost of healthcare and the potential impact of serious car accidents may require more extensive coverage. 

Investing in underinsured motorist insurance coverage can provide you with peace of mind that you will not face a financial burden alone in case of a severe car accident. If you have any doubts about your current auto insurance policy, contact Mills & Mahoney, P.A. a Durham law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of North Carolinians since 1980. Call (919) 683-2135 to evaluate your options.