Every day, Missouri motorists and their passengers are injured and even killed by negligent drivers who lack sufficient insurance coverage. Unlike uninsured motorist coverage, which is required, underinsured motorist coverage is optional but just as important.
Every automobile insurance policy in Missouri must provide bodily injury liability coverage of at least $25,000. To maximize their profits and minimize their risk of exposure, insurance companies often write policies with a $25,000 minimum coverage to high-risk motorists. What this means is that these drivers don’t carry enough coverage for the damages that they cause.
What is an Underinsured Motorist?
Generally speaking, an underinsured motorist is one who causes bodily injury damages that exceed his or her liability insurance limits.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Missouri
Having underinsured motorist coverage allows you, your family, and those in your vehicle to receive additional bodily injury protection in the event that an at-fault party did not have enough insurance to cover your injuries or their coverage was less than the limits of your underinsured motorist policy.
In Missouri, underinsured motorist coverage is optional. A premium is required to maintain that coverage. All Missouri insurance policies provide coverage for uninsured motorists, but only those policies with optional underinsured motorist coverage will protect the holder from the financial impact of an accident with an underinsured motorist.
What Do Underinsured Motorist Policies Cover?
According to Missouri law, underinsured motorist coverage must cover bodily injuries. In a bodily injury claim, you are entitled to compensation for your past and future medical bills, your lost income, as well as your pain and suffering. Some underinsured motorist policies will cover property damage if an additional premium is paid, but most policies do not.
Stacking Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Stacking means that when you have underinsured motorist insurance on more than one vehicle, you may be entitled to the benefits on each one. Whether stacking is permissible is largely dependent on the language of the policy. A Missouri car accident attorney can advise whether an argument can be made that policies can be stacked based on each policy’s language.
Speak to a Missouri Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you were involved in a collision with an underinsured motorist, contact Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC to discuss your legal options. We have been protecting the rights of injured clients for over 20 years, and work on a contingency basis- this means that there are no fees up front and you only pay us if we win your case. To learn more or schedule an initial consultation, call 636-946-6886.