When you purchased your current auto insurance policy, do you know how much UM/UIM coverage you bought? Many of us simply renew our auto policies year after year and never review the coverage amounts and categories.
What is UM/UIM coverage?
In Kansas, drivers are only required to carry $25,000 in liability coverage. That means, if you are injured by a negligent driver who only has the minimum coverage required by law, your medical bills could easily exceed their coverage. A typical trip to the emergency room with non-life- threatening injuries following an accident can cost anywhere between $10,000 - $20,000, which may include separate fees for the ambulance, the hospital, physicians, and imaging. More serious injuries that require a surgery, an extended hospital stay, and follow up care would far exceed the minimum liability coverage of $25,000. Even worse, some drivers have no insurance at all. What can you do to protect yourself?
Check your auto policy for UM/UIM coverage, which means “Uninsured Motorist” or “Under Insured Motorist”. This type of coverage is available to Kansas drivers as a safety net to provide additional coverage for medical bills under your own auto policy. However, you must carry more in UIM coverage than the other driver has in liability coverage to access it. Why? Kansas law does not allow “stacking” for UIM coverage.
Example 1: The other negligent driver has $25,000 in liability coverage and you only have $25,000 in UIM coverage = no UIM coverage available to you under your own policy.
Example 2: The other negligent driver has $25,000 in liability coverage and you have $50,000 in UIM coverage = an additional $25,000 available to you in UIM coverage under your own policy.
Example 3: The other negligent driver has $25,000 in liability coverage and you have $100,000 in UIM coverage = an additional $75,000 available to you in UIM coverage under your own policy.
Therefore, it is important to be aware of how much UM/UIM coverage you purchased and increase the coverage limit if necessary.
If you or a family member was injured in a car accident caused by the negligence or inattentiveness of another driver, you might be confused about the best course of action. At Spigarelli Law, we can help you examine the facts of your case and advise you based on your unique situation. Call us for a free consultation.