Vehicle and contact information are the first things to ask for after a car accident occurs. In an accident, the most important information that needs to be exchanged is auto insurance. In 48 states, drivers are legally required to have minimum auto insurance. When you file a personal injury claim, you may be asked if you have UM, UIM, or PIP. What do these words mean and why are they important to your claim?
What is UM?
UM stands for Uninsured Motorist Insurance. UM is designed to protect a driver in the event that the other party in the accident does not have insurance. In 48 states, drivers are required to have auto insurance. However, in Texas, the coverage is optional.
Uninsured motorist can be a useful coverage. In the event that the other party does not have insurance, the uninsured motorist option under your plan allows you to file a claim to pay for your medical bills as well as lost wages. It also covers the passengers who were in the car at the time of the accident. Purchasing the additional coverage can help pay for car repairs. A deductible, however, may be required to use the option.
UM coverage may be used for accidents that were involved in a hit-and-run. According to The National Institute of Insurance Commissioners, in 2015, about 13% of people across the country drive uninsured. In Texas, 14.4% of drivers drove uninsured. In cases mentioned above, UM can be a great asset to protecting yourself in an accident.
What is UIM?
UIM stands for Underinsured Motorist Insurance. It is coverage that applies whenever the other party does not have enough liability in their policy to cover your medical bills, lost wages, etc. As the same with UM, in Texas, the coverage is optional.
In Texas, the minimum policy limits is $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident. This means that the most an injury claim can settle for is $30,000 with a minimum policy coverage. If your medical bills exceed this minimum, underinsured motorist insurance will be able to pay the remainder. However, there are exceptions to filing an Underinsured Motorist Claim.
The amount settled with the other party determines an UIM claim. If your claim settled for less than policy limits, you cannot claim underinsured motorist. For example, if your claim settled for $30,000 but the other party’s policy was $50,000, you cannot claim for UIM because the policy of the other driver was not exhausted.
You must receive permission to settle from your insurance company. Before you start to use underinsured motorist, your insurance company runs a check to make sure that the other party is in fact underinsured.
What is PIP?
PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection Coverage. It is an add on to any coverage but differs from underinsured and uninsured coverage. PIP is also called “no-fault” insurance. PIP can be used regardless of who is at fault.
Personal Injury Protection coverage amount can range anywhere starting at $1,000 and up. PIP is primarily for medical expenses but can used for lost wages, funeral expenses, etc. Even if you have health insurance, PIP can still be used. PIP is different from Med Pay. Med Pay only covers medical expenses. PIP covers the policyholder as well as the passengers who were in the car at the time of the accident regardless if the other party had insurance or not.
While PIP can cover a lot of expenses, it cannot be substituted for liability insurance in Texas.
Tran Law Group Can Help
UM, UIM, and PIP are great additions to have when filing a claim. Simply having these additional coverage isn’t enough. Insurance companies, even your own, will try to settle your case at the lowest amount possible. With Tran Law Group as your legal team, you can have peace of mind. We protect your rights and you receive the full value of your case. We have a lot of experience navigating the complicated waters with the insurance companies and have emerged victorious. Let us be your legal team. Call us now to receive a free, no obligation consultation of our case at 713-789-5200.