In order to legally operate your vehicle in Missouri, you must have an insurance policy that covers at least $25,000 per person in bodily injury and $50,000 for bodily injury per accident. The at-fault driver in an accident is responsible for these damages, and their insurance may only meet the minimum coverage.
What is Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)?
If the damages caused by the at-fault driver exceed the aforementioned minimum policies, underinsured motorist coverage adds additional coverage and protection. In essence, this type of policy covers damages that the liable party’s insurance policy cannot cover.
Does Missouri Require Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Some states require motorists to drive with underinsured motorist coverage. In Missouri, however, UIM coverage is an optional coverage available to motorists. Although underinsured motorist coverage is not required by state law, the Law Office of Chris Miller strongly encourages motorists to consider this coverage. Studies have shown that many drivers only carry the minimum required coverage which is not adequate coverage in most cases.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)?
This is an insurance policy available to drivers that provides coverage for damages caused by motorists without insurance. This type of policy is extremely useful in situations involving hit and run collisions. Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI) can help pay for your medical expenses caused by an uninsured driver. UMBI coverage also extends to passengers in your vehicle. Uninsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD) can help pay for repairs to your vehicle caused by an uninsured driver.
Does Missouri Require Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Yes. Missouri law does require that all owners and operators of motor vehicles have uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury claims per person and $50,000 of bodily injury claims per accident.
Can I Sue an Uninsured Motorist?
Yes, but this course of action rarely proves to be fruitful. The sentiment is understandable; you were left injured by someone driving illegally without insurance. However, one must consider the conditions for which an individual drives without insurance. Typically, people drive without coverage due to financial difficulties. Thus, the odds of being able to collect any suitable damages from an uninsured driver is usually low.
This is why having adequate uninsured motorist coverage on your car insurance policy is so important. Despite the fact that you might not be able to recover damages against the other driver, your insurance may be able to provide compensation for your damages. The increased premiums for thousands of dollars of additional coverage can sometimes amount to as little as an extra $5-10 per month.
How Large of an Underinsured or Uninsured Policy Should I Consider?
The Law Office of Chris Miller always recommends buying as large of a UIM/UM policy as you can reasonably afford. Frankly, the benefits of having this coverage far outweigh the slight financial burden of increased premiums.
What Should I do after a Hit and Run?
After a motor vehicle collision, motorists should always safely exchange insurance and contact information with all the parties involved in addition to contacting local law enforcement and/or emergency medical personnel if someone is injured. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and, occasionally, a motorist will pull off without exchanging the necessary information. Leaving the scene of a motor vehicle collision is a crime. Here is what to do if you are involved in a hit and run.
Call the Police
Tell the police you were involved in a motor vehicle collision and that the other individual involved in the crash left the scene. The police have the resources to investigate and potentially find the other driver. Do not risk further injury or damages by pursuing the hit and run driver.
Remember to Document Evidence
If you can, take a picture of the driver, car, and the license plate. This will help the police identify the responsible driver. The car’s make, model, and color are important details for the police, too. If you can, try to remember which direction the hit and run driver fled.
Speak with Witnesses
A hit and run incident will leave anyone feeling pretty shaken up. Witnesses may have valuable information you missed due to the shock of the situation.
Speak with an Attorney About Underinsured and Uninsured Motorists in Missouri
If you were injured in a hit and run or any other accident, it may be wise to contact a lawyer to discuss underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage in Missouri. This type of insurance policy could prevent you from bearing a large financial burden after an accident with an underinsured driver. Reach out to our office today to learn more.