What Can You Collect If You Are Hit by an Underinsured Motorist?

By: Frank H. Bailey, Founder/Senior Partner

 

Common Misconceptions About Being Hit by an Underinsured Motorist

An underinsured motorist is a driver whose limits of insurance are not high enough to cover the damage they cause in an accident.  Your insurance company can provide coverage for you if you are hit by an underinsured motorist, but you must elect that coverage along with uninsured motorist coverage.

In Arkansas you automatically have both underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage unless you sign a rejection of that coverage at the time you purchase your policy of liability insurance.  Once you sign a rejection of the coverage your rejection continues with each renewal of your insurance.  We recommend you do not sign the rejection.

What Amount of Insurance Should You Purchase?

The minimum amount of liability insurance in Arkansas is 25/50.  That means for each accident your insurance will pay up to $25,000 to a person and up to $50,000 total for the accident if more than one person is injured.  Often accidents cause more damage than the minimum limits.  If you have elected underinsured motorist coverage and the at fault driver’s insurance offers their limits, which are not enough to cover your injuries, you can then file an underinsured motorist claim against your insurance company for your limits.

We recommend that you purchase as much coverage as you can afford.  Ask your agent how much $250/500 would cost, and if you can afford that amount, we recommend you purchase the higher amount.  You might be hit by a driver that only has $25,000 in coverage and that would not begin to compensate you for serious injury.

If you have questions about underinsured motorist insurance call one of our experienced attorneys.  (479) 202-5200.