The Lawyers Lounge: Hit by an uninsured or under insured driver

I had a car wreck caused by an uninsured driver. My insurance company payment doesn’t begin to cover all my expenses. I had full coverage and have been a loyal customer for years. Do I have any options to recover my losses?

That is a very good question and one that we at Skaug Law get asked more often than you may think. The term “full coverage” is a loaded term. I say this because if you look at 10 different full coverage plans for different providers, they all will have different definitions. Unfortunately, the most common assumption is that full coverage insurance …. ”covers everything.”

The problem is the term full coverage does not have a formal definition. If you look through the 18 or so pages of your insurance policy, it’s highly unlikely that there is no definition.

So how do you protect yourself if you want “full coverage”? First, get your declaration page of your insurance policy and look at your coverage amounts. You will see how much insurance coverage you have in actual dollar terms. I recommend having at least $100,000 in bodily injury coverage, as well as underinsured, and uninsured motorist coverage. I also recommend medical payment coverage of at least $10,000.

I personally have a 1 million dollar vehicle insurance policy for bodily injury, underinsured, and uninsured motorist coverage. You would be surprised how much extra I pay compared to a $100,000 policy? About $60 every six months! In fact, the most expensive insurance coverage is on the first $25-100K coverage. From there, the coverage gets disproportionately cheaper for most people!

So in your case, review your declaration page to see what your insurance company is on the hook for. If you do not have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (or do not have enough), consider increasing the amount and don’t rely on the term “full coverage” when you talk with your insurance agent.