Should You Pay for Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Colorado?
While Colorado law requires all drivers to carry auto insurance, the mandatory coverage requirements do not include uninsured/underinsured (UIM) coverage. Should you pay extra for UIM?
If you can afford it, the answer is clear, “Yes.” According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), an estimated 13 percent of Colorado drivers are uninsured. This means that, if you are involved in an accident, there is more than a one-in-ten chance that the driver who hit you won’t have insurance and an even greater chance that he or she will not have sufficient assets to pay just compensation for your injury-related losses.
But, the risk of being hit by an uninsured driver is not the only reason to purchase UIM coverage. Remember, this coverage applies to situations in which an at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured. With Colorado only requiring drivers to carry $25,000 of bodily injury liability (BIL) per accident victim (with a per-accident cap of $50,000), if you are seriously injured, there is a good chance that the other driver’s insurance won’t be enough to cover all of your accident-related losses.
What Colorado Drivers Need to Know About Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Here are some more important facts about UIM insurance from the Denver accident lawyers at Levine Law:
1. You Can Choose Your Policy Limits
Just like other types of insurance, with UIM coverage you can choose your policy limits. Do you have a medical condition that makes you more likely to suffer life-changing consequences in the event of an accident? Do you work in a high-paying job? Do you have a family? These are just some of the factors that should influence how much UIM coverage you buy.
2. UIM Insurance Provides Fault-Based Coverage
Just like BIL insurance, UIM insurance provides fault-based coverage. This means that your insurance company will only pay if the other driver was at fault, and this means that you will likely need legal representation in order to pursue a successful UIM claim.
3. UIM Insurance Also Covers Injuries from Hit-and-Run Accidents
For insurance purposes, a hit-and-run is treated similarly to an accident involving an uninsured driver. If you are hurt in a hit-and-run and you have UIM coverage, you can use your policy to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and non-financial losses.
4. Your Non-Financial Losses Can Far Exceed Your Medical Bills and Lost Wages
While $25,000 may sound like a lot, it can go very quickly if you suffer a traumatic injury. Additionally, many accident victims will experience long-term pain and suffering, and these non-financial losses can far exceed the financial costs of a debilitating injury.
5. Your Insurance Company Must Process Your UIM Claim in Good Faith
Finally, while most of us mixed feelings (at best) about the insurance companies, Colorado law requires all insurance companies to process their policyholders’ claims in good faith. If your insurer unfairly denies your UIM claim, you can seek additional compensation for bad-faith insurance practices.
Questions? Call or Click for a Free Consultation
If you have questions about uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, or if you need to file a UIM claim after an auto accident in Denver, we invite you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. To speak with an experienced attorney at Levine Law, call 303-333-8000 or tell us how we can help online today.