What is Underinsured Motorist Coverage and Why should I pay for it?

In the world of automobile insurance there is no better bargain than Underinsured Motorist Coverage, commonly referred to “UIM”.  

In short, UIM coverage provides protection in case of an accident in which the at-fault driver carries insufficient limits of liability to cover your losses.  For example, in South Carolina the driver of an automobile is only required to carry $25,000 dollars per person in bodily injury coverage.  This means that the most an insurance company will pay for any injury or even a death is $25,000 dollars.  Additionally, the overwhelming majority of motorists that carry South Carolina’s minimum coverage have no assets that can be attached by a legal judgment.  At Thomason and Pracht, LLP we have unfortunately seen too many cases where folks are seriously injured or killed.  In many of these cases the recovery for the client is only a small fraction of the loss suffered; however, the purchase UIM could have helped increase the net recovery.

The best way for South Carolina residents to protect themselves against careless drivers who carry low limit insurance is to purchase UIM coverage.  You can purchase UIM coverage up to the limits of liability insurance you carry.  For instance, if you have a $100,000 per person in liability limits, then you can purchase up to $100,000 dollars in UIM coverage.  It is important to ask your insurance agent about UIM coverage.  DO NOT LET ANYONE TALK YOU OUT OF PURCHASING UIM!  The premiums are very reasonable for UIM.  Remember you cannot control what type of insurance other people purchase, but you can control the insurance you purchase.

Also make sure that all of the vehicles in your household carry UIM.  South Carolina law allows you to “stack” the UIM coverages on top of each other to maximize the financial recovery from a car crash injury in South Carolina.  However, you are not allowed to stack any at home policies if you are driving an automobile with no UIM coverage on that vehicle.  The trial lawyers at Thomason & Pracht, LLP have focused on litigation involving serious personal injury and Wrongful Death resulting from car crashes, tractor trailer crashes, and pedestrian accidents. In all of these scenarios, having UIM expands the available funds for compensation.

If you have any questions about UIM call your Anderson, South Carolina injury trial lawyers at Thomason & Pracht, LLP.  UIM coverages can be extremely confusing.  If you or any member of your family have been injured and have questions about insurance coverages, lawsuits, property damage, or any other aspect of your automobile accident, please email me at chris@864law.com or call us at 864-226-7222.  We offer free consultations and you will meet with me personally to discuss your case. We have handled injury and death cases in almost every county in South Carolina, including but not limited to, Anderson, Greenville, Richland, Orangeburg, and Charleston.  Finally, it is important to remember that there is no charge to the client for any injury case unless we are successful in obtaining a verdict or settlement.


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