What is Oregon underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage?
Insurance can be confusing because there are many components to any policy. Some are mandatory; some are not. You may have heard the term “underinsured motorist” coverage or “UIM coverage.” Though close in name, it’s different from uninsured motorist coverage, or UM coverage. Underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage will exist as part of your policy if your uninsured motorist (“UM”) policy is higher than the minimum amounts covered by Oregon law. In Oregon, the statutory limits are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
How is it the amount of uninsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage calculated?
With UIM insurance coverage, should it be available, you would get coverage equal to the difference between the policy limits on your UM policy and the policy limits carried by the insurance policy of a negligent driver who caused an injury (the at-fault driver) in a car accident, motorcycle accident, or bicycle accident. Stated differently, you can calculate the amount of UIM benefits you have available by subtracting the amount of the at-fault driver’s liability limits from the amount of UM coverage you have on your policy. For example, if an at-fault driver carries the legal minimum amount of liability insurance of $25,000, and your policy has $75,000 of UM coverage. Your policy would provide you with up to $50,000 in UIM insurance. See ORS 742.504 - Required provisions of uninsured motorist coverage, for the full statutory details.
Make sure you get the uninsured motorist (“UIM”) details right.
Every situation is unique, and calculating Oregon auto insurance can be tricky. Despite the generalities, there are times when the full amount of the at-fault driver’s liability insurance policy does not have to be used entirely before UIM coverage will take effect. Oregon's best personal injury lawyers will help you access the most coverage in these circumstances. This includes obtaining consent from your UIM carrier's before settling with the adverse driver’s liability policy carrier. Simple mistakes like this can result in a waiver and loss of your UIM benefits. To complicate matters further, time limits for making a UIM claim exist, which should be discussed with an experienced Oregon car accident, motorcycle accident, or bicycle accident attorney to ensure that you get all coverage from your policy that you paid for.