What is UIM Coverage?
If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, and you are not at fault, it is up to you and your insurance company to cover the costs. If you don’t have UIM coverage, you are at risk for substantial financial loss. Your damages including property damage, medical bills, lost wages, physical pain and mental suffering will not be covered by your insurance company.
Uninsured motorist coverage will reimburse you, a member of your family, or a designated driver if your car is hit by an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run driver. Underinsured motorist coverage comes into play when the driver who hit you has insufficient insurance to pay your damages. Remember, in Ohio drivers are only required by law to carry $25,000 in coverage per person and $50,000 per accident.
What the Statistics Tell Us
A study conducted by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) in 2014, showed that in 2012, 12.6% of motorists in the United States, that is one in eight drivers, were uninsured. Ohio was ranked number 17 in having the highest number of uninsured motorists on the road. 13.5% of Ohio motorists were uninsured in 2012. That equates to more than 500,000 people in the state of Ohio driving without insurance.
It is also more likely that an uninsured driver will cause an accident than a driver with adequate insurance. In 2015, 94,647 Ohio drivers were uninsured at the scene of a crash. The uninsured driver was at fault 67% of the time. Uninsured drivers were responsible for 21% of the total number of car crashes in Ohio in 2015. This means that uninsured drivers are twice as likely to be involved in an accident.
Will My Rates Increase If I Use My Coverage?
The law is very clear that an insurance company is not permitted to increase your premium if you make an uninsured motorist claim against your policy if you are not at fault for the accident. (Ohio revised code section 3937.23)
Every insurance company has a duty to handle claims in good faith when it comes to dealing with its own customers. If your insurance company takes an overly adversarial approach to your UIM claim, it may have violated its duty to handle your claim in good faith.
Contact Rinehardt Law Firm
Even if you have UIM coverage, insurance providers may refuse to pay you a fair amount for your damages. In that case, you bring a claim against your own insurance company to get the benefits you paid for and were promised. Insurance companies often offer claimants very low amounts without finding out how much the claimant has suffered or how the accident has impacted your life. If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, contact Rinehardt Law Firm for a free consultation.