know that many people drive in Connecticut without insurance. Our lawmakers know
about these uninsured motorists, too. As a result, Connecticut
personal injury law requires that your automobile insurance
company provide you with a type of coverage known as Uninsured
/ Underinsured Motorist (called "UM" for
short) to protect you if you suffer personal injury in a
car accident caused by a driver without insurance.
out your car insurance policy, or look it up online, and check
the page (the "Declarations Page") that
describes the car accident coverage that you are paying for.
is a section called Liability that covers you when
you cause a car accident, or someone says you did. This section pays
the injured person for medical expenses, lost time from
work, and pain and suffering. Under Connecticut
personal injury law, this coverage has to be at least $20,000 / $40,000
($40,000 total per car accident but only $20,000 for any one person).
next section is usually the Uninsured / Underinsured
Motorist part. This
UM coverage takes care of the situation when you or your
passengers are injured in a car accident caused by a
driver without insurance (an uninsured motorist). This coverage will
also cover you even if you are traveling in someone elseís
car or are a pedestrian at the time you suffer your car
accident personal injury.
Underinsured part comes in if the insurance policy
of the driver who caused the car accident is less than the
value of your case. To
use this part of your insurance, (1) you must first collect the total liability coverage of the driver at fault
for the car accident, and (2) your UM coverage must be higher than the liability
coverage of the driver at fault.
Example: A driver with
$20,000 in liability coverage causes you a personal injury
in a car accident. Your UM coverage
is $50,000. Youíre
personal injury case is worth $35,000.
After collecting the $20,000 available from the
other driverís insurance policy, you can collect $15,000
from the Underinsured Motorist coverage in your policy
that you have paid for.
of all the insurance ads you have seen. Has a single one
of them ever mentioned UM coverage? Probably not. The insurance
companies want you to pay for UM coverage. But they do not
want you to know about this protection that Connecticut
personal injury law requires you to have to protect yourself and your
family in case of injury from a car accident caused by a
driver with no insurance or little insurance.
Connecticut car accident lawyers, we at the Serrano Law
Firm think you should know about your
UM coverage. And
we think you should use it when necessary, the same way you
would use your fire insurance policy if your home
we tell our clients about their UM coverage rights, there
are usually 2 questions:
As to Question
is no reason for your insurance company to drop you or
raise your rates if you have to use your UM coverage. Remember, you did
not cause the automobile accident. You were just
unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
companies base their premiums on how likely a driver is to
be the cause of a car accident. That is why a 16
year old male driving a Corvette with traffic tickets on
his record and who lives in a city will pay more for
insurance than a 60 year old retired woman driving a Volvo
and who lives in the suburbs. He is a greater risk
for making the insurance company pay a personal injury
claim for a car accident.
fact that you were hit by an uninsured motorist in a car
accident does not
mean that the same thing is likely to happen to you again
in the future. There
is no reason for your insurance company to make you angry
by raising your premiums.
You do not present a greater risk to the company that you
will cause a personal injury claim.
Your insurance company has spent a lot of money getting you as a
customer. (Remember those ads.) They know you can
just go to another insurance company that will charge you
a premium based on your driving record. (You did not cause
the car accident, so it is not on your driving record.)
to Question 2:
Your insurance company is not paying you for
someoneís elseís fault.
Your company is paying you for coverage you have
purchased to protect yourself for car accidents, the same
way your fire insurance policy pays you for coverage you
have purchased to protect your house.
Because UM coverage can
protect you and your family in a car accident, it is a good idea to purchase as much
of this type of coverage as you can afford. Make
sure that you are properly covered if a Connecticut car accident
results in a personal injury claim for you or a family
member. As Connecticut personal injury lawyers, we recommend at least $100,000 in UM
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