In addition to liability coverage, Colorado law requires that insurance carriers offer Uninsured Motorist insurance, often referred to as UIM or UM coverage. It is up to the insured party to either accept or reject UIM coverage. However, a lot of drivers are not familiar with this coverage, and do not understand how important it is to have.

UIM coverage is additional insurance from your carrier that provides benefits if you are in an auto collision caused by another driver, and that driver either does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to fully cover your damages. In Colorado, the minimum liability coverage is $25,000.00. Many drivers carry policies with state minimum coverage because they cannot afford additional coverage. If one of these drivers were to cause a collision with you, any damages over the policy limits would have to be recovered directly from the driver. Realistically, recovering additional damages from an at-fault driver very rarely is even possible. The result would mean that you would likely have to pay these additional expenses out of your own pocket.

This is where UIM coverage is key. Once the at-fault driver’s policy limits have been reached, UIM coverage will take over and continue to pay your damages until either you have been fully compensated, or until you reach your own UIM policy limits. UIM policies generally carry coverage equal to the liability limits of the same policy. The state minimum coverage is $25,000.00 per person and $50,000.00 per incident. UIM coverage also protects you in cases where the at-fault driver has failed to obtain insurance at all, or in unique cases where the other vehicle’s normal coverage would not apply such as a hit-and-run or a stolen vehicle.

Another interesting point about UIM insurance is that it doesn’t just cover you when you are a driver. Except in some very rare and specific instances, if you have UIM coverage and are hurt as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, your UIM coverage will likely protect you. If the driver of the car you are riding is also has UIM coverage, both insurance policies will protect you, though you can only collect from both if your damages exceed the policy limits of one or both of the UIM policies.

You cannot control the actions of another driver, either on the road or off. For this reason, it is important to be sure you are as protected as you can be. UIM coverage allows for a piece of mind that will protect you from the poor decisions of other drivers, and can help make an already difficult event in your life easier.

If you are unsure what coverages you have, speak with your insurance agent. If you have been injured in an auto collision and are confused about what steps to take, it is imperative that you speak with an attorney to protect your rights, and to make sure all avenues for recovery are explored. We urge you to contact the attorneys at Law One if you have been injured or have any questions. We are always happy to speak with you!