Previously, I posted about Missouri Uninsured Motorist Insurance (“UM”). Now it’s time to talk about Underinsured Motorist Insurance (“UIM”). Remember that UM is in play when you attempt to recover from your own insurance company because another at-fault driver hit you and did not have insurance or fled the scene. UIM, however, comes into play when you are hit by an at-fault driver who does not possess adequate insurance coverage to compensate you for all of your injuries. In such cases, you would recover against your own insurance company for UIM in an amount which would fairly and reasonable make you whole because the at-fault driver’s insurance just wasn’t sufficient.
UIM, though, is not required in the State of Missouri. There are no statutory requirements for it, nor are there any public policy implications enshrined in Missouri case law or statute. As such, whether an individual has UIM is completely voluntary — and the contractual provisions between the insured and insurer are completely controlling. Because UIM language, and most contractual language for that matter, is often vague, ambiguous, and littered with legal terms of art, it is a very good idea to consult with an attorney to be able to adequately decipher the extent of the UIM coverage that you may have.
And if you don’t have UIM coverage, it’s probably a good thing to explore.