Calculating Underinsurance Benefits
Every driver in North Carolina is required to have a certain minimum amount of auto insurance coverage. However, some people ignore this legal requirement and do not have any insurance at all. Other drivers have only the minimum amount of coverage, but it may not be enough to address all of the damages and injuries that may occur in a serious accident.
When drivers have some liability coverage but not enough to address your losses after an accident, they are “underinsured.”
In those situations, you often need to turn to your own underinsured or uninsured coverage. These coverages are designed to pay you from your insurance company to address losses that another driver caused but cannot pay for.
Calculating underinsurance benefits is sometimes not as straightforward as you might think. The actual dollar amount of coverage on your policy might not be the same amount as what you can get from your insurance company.
How to Calculate Underinsurance Benefits in North Carolina
The amount of underinsurance coverage you can have is limited to the amount on your policy in North Carolina. In general, that limit applies no matter the source of the funds.
Consider an example. Imagine that you are hurt in a car accident, and you have $300,000 in damages because of medical bills, lost time away from work, and pain and suffering. The driver that hit you only has the state minimum in liability insurance of $30,000. You also have $250,000 in underinsurance benefits.
In that case, you would collect $30,000 from the other driver, and you then collect $220,000 from your insurance company. In total, then, you get the full value of your underinsurance coverage of $250,000. However, it is still less than your full damages of $300,000.
Additional Source of Insurance to Consider
In situations where you will not have insurance coverage for all of your damages, you and your attorney should do a thorough search of other additional options to get paid. For example, the car that was involved (if the driver did not own it) might also have some UIM coverage that you can use. Passengers might also have coverage that may be triggered.
An experienced car accident attorney like those at The McAllister Law Firm will be able to help you find all potential sources of money to address your losses. Call today to speak with a member of our team.