under insured uninsured

Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage Claims

South Carolina requires all motorists with vehicles registered in the state to carry liability insurance so they can pay for any accidents they cause. According to the South Carolina Department of Insurance, the levels of South Carolina minimum insurance include:

  • $25,000 in property damage per accident
  • $25,000 in bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 in bodily injury per accident

This is liability insurance, meaning that it covers the damages a negligent driver causes another party. Drivers who do not have insurance could face stiff penalties, according to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, including a license or tag suspension.

Still, far too many drivers make the irresponsible decision to break the law and forego carrying insurance. In fact, according to a recent study conducted by the Insurance Information Institute, nearly one in ten South Carolina drivers is uninsured. As such, it’s important to know what legal options you have in case one of these uninsured drivers hits you. Contact Stewart Law Offices to have a team of experienced South Carolina car accident lawyers work for you!

Why UM/UIM Coverage Matters to You

Ordinarily, if a motorist is at fault for hitting you in South Carolina, their liability insurance policy should cover your medical care, property damage, and other related losses – provided they carry this legally mandated insurance. Fortunately, you could still have options even if they don’t.

Uninsured motorist coverage in South Carolina (UM) covers your costs if the other driver doesn’t have any insurance. You file a claim against your own auto policy. You could choose to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, seeking compensation for your losses from them personally. However, drivers who forego insurance often lack the financial means to cover these costs out of pocket.

Unlike UM insurance, underinsured motorist coverage in SC is not required by law. However, it’s a good idea to purchase this coverage, as it can help “fill the gap” between your total losses from the wreck and the other, at-fault driver’s policy maximum.

Uninsured Vs. Underinsured Motorist Insurance in SC

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if an uninsured driver hits you. You are required by SC state law to carry this coverage.

On the other hand, underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) is an optional policy that can cover expenses beyond the other driver’s policy maximum, according to the South Carolina Department of Insurance. For example, let’s say that the at-fault driver had the state minimum liability coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury per person, but your medical bills are $50,000. Unfortunately, $25,000 is all the other driver’s insurance offers. If you have UIM insurance, you may file a claim with your own insurance carrier to have the remainder of your bills paid through your own policy, up to its limits.

Why You Need an Attorney to Assist with a UM/UIM Claim

Filing an underinsured motorist claim sounds simple, right?

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Insurance companies are notorious for undervaluing valid claims. Your carrier might contest the underinsured motorist claim you file, either undervaluing it or denying it outright.

A South Carolina car accident lawyer who understands the nuance of SC insurance laws and has experience dealing with insurance companies can act on your behalf, negotiate with your insurance company, and advocate for your interests.

Stewart Law Offices: Your Guide and Advocate

Insurance companies lose money when they approve claims – and they hate to lose money. As such, they’re not on your side, even though you’ve paid your SC UIM premiums on time and filed a valid claim. The legal team at Stewart Law Offices is on your side. We’re ready to work for you and demand that you receive the coverage or other benefits you’re entitled to. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Call at 866-783-9278 or contact us online to arrange your free and confidential case review.