Change in Auto Insurance Benefits Delaware
There has been a change in the auto insurance law that will benefit Delaware insured drivers.
Up until now, Delaware law restricted the ability to use UIM (underinsured motorist insurance) in accident cases in under certain circumstances. For example, let’s say you were involved in a motor vehicle accident that was not your fault and suffered substantial injuries. The at-fault driver, unfortunately, only had the minimum $15,000.00 of liability coverage, which was not enough to cover your medical bills, lost wages, pain or suffering. Luckily, you carried $15,000.00 of UIM benefits on your own insurance policy that you can potentially secure. After all, you pay the premiums for these benefits to use them in situations just like this. Right? Not so fast. Under the previous law, because your UIM policy limits were equal to the $15,000.00 of liability coverage that the at-fault driver carried, you would not have been able to pursue these benefits. And it didn’t just apply to minimum coverage. Say your injuries were catastrophic. The same at-fault driver had $100,000.00 in liability coverage, and you had $25,000, $50,000 or even $100,000.00 in UIM. Because your policy was less than or matched that of the at-fault drivers liability coverage, you would be unable to pursue the UIM benefits from your policy. This because your UIM benefits would only be “triggered” if they were for more than the liability coverage limits. You, in fact, have been paying premiums for insurance coverage that you may not have been able to use!
The good news is that law is changing. As of January 3, 2014, the new law removes the comparison of the UIM coverage to the liability coverage of the at-fault party and allows those injured in accidents to pursue their UIM benefits up to the extent of their damages (capped at the UIM limits). Under the new law, using the same accident as outlined above, you would be able to pursue the UIM benefits on your policy. The new law applies to all insurance policies that are renewed after January 3, 2014.
UIM coverage is a voluntary, elective insurance that Delaware drivers can purchase that protects them in the event they are injured in an accident and the at-fault party does not have enough insurance to pay for their damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering.
It is very difficult to obtain UIM benefits on your own. You will need competent legal counsel. The Law Offices of Doroshow, Pasquale, Krawitz & Bhaya offers a free consultation for all injury matters. We will also review your auto policy at no charge and explain what your coverage means, explain any terms you do not understand, and review what coverage you have in place so that you can be sure you are fully protected, even if you have not been in an accident. Call us today at 1-888-734-6800.