What is the Difference between Uninsured and Underinsured?

As of the end of 2021, the most recent date for available statistics, there were 2,597,441 licensed drivers in Oklahoma. Although Oklahoma law requires drivers to have a minimum amount of car insurance, 13.4 percent of Oklahoma drivers are uninsured. Thousands more are underinsured, which means they have the minimum required insurance which turns out to be not enough to cover your losses.

What is the Difference between Uninsured and Underinsured?

Oklahoma law requires your insurance company to offer you uninsured motorist coverage (UIM) when you purchase auto insurance. You can decline this coverage, but you must do so in writing.

If you do purchase UIM coverage, it will cover you if you have an accident with either an uninsured or underinsured motorist. There are differences in the coverage provided.

Uninsured coverage

If you are in an accident with a driver who was at fault for the accident but has no car insurance, if you have purchased UIM coverage, your own policy will cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses due to the accident.

Your UIM policy will also cover you if you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident. To obtain this coverage, you generally must file a police report and notify your insurer within 24 hours of the accident. The hit-and-run driver must have made physical contact with your car. There is no UIM coverage if a driver just cut in front of you, made no contact, but caused you to swerve off the road and hit a tree.

Underinsured coverage

If you are severely injured, and the at-fault driver has only the minimum legally required coverage, that may not be enough to pay for all your damages. You may need extensive hospitalization and incur other damages that exceed the limits of the at-fault driver’s policy which means that the driver is underinsured. When the policy limits of the under-insured driver have been met, you can make a claim under your own UIM policy which will pay the remainder up to the limits you chose when you purchased the policy.

Contact Owens Law Office in Oklahoma City for Assistance

If you were injured in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, learn more about how Owens Law Office can help by contacting our team and scheduling a free initial consultation.



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