Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)
In Pennsylvania, the minimum bodily injury limits are $15,000. If you are hit by a drunk driver with the minimum policy limits, the most you can recover from his/her insurance policy is $15,000. If you fracture your leg requiring surgery at a cost of $30,000, your medical bills alone exceed the drunk driver’s policy limits. Under these circumstances, there will be no compensation for your pain and suffering as the drunk driver is under insured.
In PA, underinsured motorist insurance is an optional car insurance coverage offered to protect you in a situation like this. If you have purchased UIM coverage, you may be able to make a claim against your own insurance company for your UIM benefits.
UIM coverage may be equal to, less than, but not more than the bodily injury liability limits on the policy. Some underinsured motorist clauses require litigation in the Court of Common Pleas in the County in which you reside. Other insurance contracts mandate an arbitration process in front of three attorneys acting as the Arbitration Panel. The contract language of your insurance policy decides this issue.
The choice you made regarding the election of full tort or limited tort does legally control whether or not you can make a Pennsylvania underinsured motorist claim.
There are times when a UIM claim can be denied or UIM coverage can be excluded. Pennsylvania underinsured motorist law constantly evolves. Our attorneys are experienced in dealing with UIM claims. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident where there is not enough insurance coverage to compensate you for your injuries, contact us today for your free consultation.