How Does Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage Work in Utah?
What Is the Difference Between Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
For most people, it can seem that auto insurance is full of alphabet soup, but for Utah drivers, two acronyms are worth knowing: UM and UIM.
The at-fault driver has no insurance: Uninsured Motorist
Imagine you are driving in Salt Lake City and you enter an intersection after the light turns green when, “crash”, another vehicle, trying to turn left, rams into your car. The accident is not your fault; you had the right of way. The at-fault driver’s insurance should cover any injuries, right? Right?
Yes and No. Utah law requires drivers carry insurance, but unfortunately, approximately 10 percent of Utah drivers still do not have any, and the guy who hit you was one of them. What do you do if you or your passengers are injured?
The answer lies in your own insurance policy. If you carry uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, your policy should cover any costs related to bodily injury, sickness, or wrongful death caused by the accident.
However, According to Utah Code Ann. §31A-22-302, UM coverage is not required by Utah law. In order to ensure you are protected in this situation, you must purchase an insurance policy with more coverage than the state minimum. The extra investment is worth it, especially given that UM coverage can protect you from a hit-and-run driver.
The at-fault driver does not have a policy large enough to cover all the damages: Underinsured Motorist
Imagine that you are in the same situation as above, driving in Salt Lake City, and hit by another driver trying to turn left at a green light, and this time the other driver has insurance. However, you are so injured that the at-fault driver’s insurance policy will not cover all of your medical expenses. What do you do now?
Of course, you can file a claim on the at-fault driver’s policy, but where will the rest of the money for your medical expenses come from?
The answer again lies in your own auto insurance policy. If you have underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, your own insurance policy will cover your medical expenses after the other party’s insurance policy is exhausted.
Just like UM coverage, UIM coverage is not required by Utah law. You must make sure your policy covers more than the state minimum. Ask your insurance agent whether or not your policy includes UM and UIM coverage.