Legal News Missouri Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Are You and Your Family Adequately Covered?

If you were involved in a Kansas City, Missouri car accident today due to someone else’s negligence, do you know what benefits YOUR OWN auto insurance provides? What if the negligent driver only has $25,000 in coverage and your bills alone are $50,000? Will your insurance company pay the difference? You might need a Kansas City car accident attorney . See: In Missouri, you can purchase optional coverage known as underinsured motorist coverage (also known as UIM) and insurance agents do not always go out of their way to tell you about this coverage because it typically costs very little for that extra protection.

What is UIM coverage?
UIM coverage protects you in the event that a negligent driver is underinsured, meaning your injuries and damages exceed that driver’s policy limits. The state of Missouri only requires that drivers carry minimum policy limits of $25,000. That may be fine in your average fender bender but $25,000 is typically not enough if you are seriously injured. Following a four day hospitalization as a result of injuries sustained in a car crash, you could incur upwards of $50,000 or more in initial medical expenses, not including the ongoing treatment you will likely need such as physical therapy and/or surgery.
How much UIM coverage do you need?

In order for UIM coverage to apply, you have to have more coverage than the other driver. If you only have $25,000 policy limits, the minimum required insurance, UIM coverage will not provide any additional coverage or benefit to you because UIM pays the difference and if both parties have the same amount of coverage, there is no difference to pay. In other words, if the other driver has $25,000 in coverage, and you have $100,000 in underinsured motorist coverage, your insurance will pay up to $75,000 for a total of $100,000. So you need to purchase at least $50,000 policy limits with the same amount for underinsured motorist coverage. We typically recommend that you purchase $100,000 in policy limits with uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, though. The additional cost of that extra security is minimal, especially when compared to the cost of a devastating car accident with significant bills and not enough money to pay the providers who will go after you for payment, not the negligent driver.

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