More than 1 in 10 motorists in South Carolina is uninsured, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). While this is a bit below the national average (of nearly 14 percent of drivers being uninsured), it is still a troubling statistic.
And what may be more distressing are the facts that:
- Far more motorists in South Carolina may be underinsured.
- When uninsured or underinsured motorists cause traffic accidents, crash victims can be left with serious injuries, a pile of bills and limited options for financial recovery.
Uninsured/Underinsured (UM/UIM) Coverage Can Be Key to Future Financial Recoveries
South Carolina laws require all drivers to carry UM coverage, but they do not have any requirements when it comes to UIM coverage.
While this may make it tempting to forego UIM coverage (to try to save money), it’s important for motorists to understand that this type of coverage can provide some important protections in the future if an underinsured driver hits them and the resulting damages won’t be covered by the negligent motorist’s existing policy/insurance provider.
Uninsured/Underinsured (UM/UIM) Coverage: More Important Info
- UM/UIM coverage can be used following hit-and-runs – Many drivers are unaware of this, but the fact is that damage claims can be filed under UM/UIM policies after hit-and-runs happen (and when the negligent drivers cannot be tracked down). This can be another important reason to have this coverage.
- UM/UIM coverage can have loopholes that benefit insurers – Despite the protections that UM/UIM coverage can offer, these policies can be written to contain some loopholes, and knowing what these loopholes are can be important to understanding when you are (or aren’t) covered. For instance, UM/UIM policies may allow insurers to only pay the remainder of what another insurer doesn’t pay (rather than paying the full value of the policy).
- Just because you have UM/UIM coverage doesn’t mean insurers will honor your policy – Another important issue to be aware of with these policies (or any auto insurance policy, for that matter) is that insurance companies may not always be forthcoming about honoring claims following crashes. In fact, insurers can (and commonly do) try to find ways to reduce claims or deny them entirely. So, the real takeaway here is that insurers are not necessarily on drivers’ sides after crashes happen and it’s time to file claims.
- Pursuing recoveries via UM/UIM claims will work out best with the help of a lawyer – And this is the good news victims need to be aware of, as they can count on a lawyer to help them stand up to insurers, protect their claims to compensation and help them succeed in their financial recoveries.
Contact the Columbia SC Injury Attorneys at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law
If you have been injured in a traffic accident, contact the Columbia SC injury attorneys at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for clear answers about your rights and options for proceeding, as well as effective legal advocacy moving forward
Call our firm at 866-881-8623 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.