What Idaho Drivers Need to Know About Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage probably isn't something you think too much about when you're reviewing your auto insurance policies.
Idaho insurance companies are required to offer you at least $25,000 in uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, but many drivers don't know what that means. It's a little confusing, so we turned to our friends at The Advocates Injury Attorneys for all the details.
Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage protects you if a driver injures you or damages your vehicle in a crash and doesn't have enough insurance — but how they calculate your coverage may surprise you. Let's say you suffer $75,000 in a crash caused by a driver without insurance. You purchased the minimum uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000, so you receive $25,000 from your insurance company.
That's easy enough. But consider what happens if you suffer the same $75,000 damages in a crash with a driver that has just $25,000 of liability insurance. You receive the $25,000 from his insurance company — but your insurance company won't offer you anything because your coverage was up to $25,000 and you already received $25,000.
Some states allow you to "stack" underinsured motorist coverage, so in that last example, you'd receive $25,000 from the at-fault driver's insurance and $25,000 from your insurance.
Kelby Monks, an attorney at The Advocate, has been urging state legislators to change Idaho law to allow that "stacking" —and therefore allow Idaho motorists to recover more when they are in a crash with an underinsured motorist.
In the meantime, though, experts at The Advocate say motorists should explore buying larger coverage for underinsured motorists — think more like $50,000 or $100,000 rather than the $25,000 minimum.
If you or someone you know has been in an accident and needs help filing a personal injury claim, don't hesitate to call The Advocates Injury Attorneys at (208) 471-4444 or chat with them online. They work on a contingency basis, so they don't get paid until you do.