Auto insurance is required for drivers in Colorado. Drivers who are caught without insurance can face a fine, license suspension, points against their license, and community service. However, the Insurance Information Institute still estimates more than 13% of drivers in Colorado are uninsured. This can be a problem if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage are optional policies for Colorado drivers. UM/UIM insurance coverage is intended to protect the policyholder when the at-fault driver does not have insurance or their insurance is not enough to cover the damages.
UM/UIM Insurance Policies for Colorado Drivers
Many states require UM policies but it is an optional policy for Colorado drivers. However, drivers must be offered UM/UIM coverage for all new automobile and motorcycle policies. If a driver does not want UM/UIM coverage, they have to decline coverage in writing.
All Colorado auto insurance companies must provide optional UM/UIM plans, with a minimum coverage of:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death to any one person in an auto accident; and
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death to all persons in any one accident.
Some insurance companies limit the maximum amount of UM/UIM coverage to the driver's existing liability limits.
For example, Driver A purchases a UM/UIM policy for $50k/$100k. Driver A is hit by Driver B who does not have insurance. Driver A is left with $60,000 in medical bills. Driver A's UM/UIM policy should cover up to $50,000 in medical bills and Driver A will have to pay the remaining $10,000 if it cannot be recovered from Driver B.
If Driver B has the minimum level of insurance coverage in Colorado, 25/50/15, Driver B's insurance should cover $25,000 of Driver A's bills. Then Driver A's UIM insurance should cover the remaining $35,000 in medical bills, leaving Driver A with no remaining losses.
What Does Uninsured Motorist Insurance Cover?
If a driver has UM/UIM insurance that includes property damage, the policy should cover damage to the vehicle and any other covered property involved in the accident. UM/UIM bodily injury insurance covers the costs associated with an injury accident, including:
- Medical bills
- Future medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Loss of income potential
- Pain and suffering
Filing a UM/UIM Claim After an Accident
Even when a driver does have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, their insurance company may push back against paying for the losses. It may not be surprising that the insurance company makes the policyholder jump through hoops or improperly denies claims, hoping the injury victim will just give up or take what they can get. However, it is important to hold the insurance company responsible for their promises.
If you were injured in an automobile accident in Colorado and have UM/UIM coverage, make sure you receive the full amount of what you are owed. The attorneys at accidentdenver.com will deal with the insurance company so you can focus on recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation.