As you may know, Uninsured (UM) and Underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage provides you additional personal injury protection when you are involved in a car crash where the at-fault driver has no bodily injury insurance or insufficient insurance policy limits (READ MORE HERE). There is no question that these types of first-party insurance policies can be critical in providing you the compensation you deserve for your personal injury claim. However, what may shock you is that UM/UIM policies apply not only to you, but also your family members that live at your residence! This resident relative protections can help you and your loved ones maximize your personal injury settlement. So, here is how it works:
Let’s say that three family members live in one home. Specifically, Paula lives with her dad, Peter, and Paula’s daughter, Pamela lives at the home during the summer months when she is not living in her college dorm. Each of the family members own a car and pay separate premiums on their automobile insurance. Fortunately, the three of them listened to their Arizona Injury Lawyers and added UM/UIM coverage to their policies.
One day, an uninsured driver causes a motor vehicle crash with Peter. His UM policy is limited to $25,000, but his medical bills were $30,000. Although his insurance tendered the $25,000 policy limits, the offer did not fully compensate him for his medical bills or his pain and suffering. HOWEVER, since Peter lived with his daughter and granddaughter, he would be able to seek additional UM coverage compensation under their policies!!
As another example, let’s say Pamela was involved in a crash in her car with an underinsured driver. In addition, the collision happened out-of-state in her college town. Pamela incurred $300,000 in crash-related medical expenses, but the negligent driver only had a $100,000 liability policy, and Pamela’s UIM limits were also $100,000. Since Pamela spends the majority of her time living out-of-state away from her mother’s home, one might believe that her recovery is limited to $200,000. YOU WOULD BE WRONG! Even though Pamela only spends about three months per year in her family’s home, insurance companies would likely still consider her a relative of the household. Accordingly, both Paula’s ($100,000) and Peter’s ($100,000) UIM policies would provide additional UIM coverage for Pamela’s injuries.
Questions regarding applicable insurance policies can be complex and may be subject to some restrictions. At Torgenson Law, we have years of experience tackling these issues, and we are happy to review your potential claim and answer these questions for you.
If you or a loved one is injured, do not hesitate to call Torgenson Law at (602) 726-0747. We would be happy to look over your automobile insurance policy to determine whether you have a valid UM/UIM claim.