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Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Explanation of Coverages

Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist benefits are optional motorist coverages that may be purchased by you from your insurance company to protect you, your family, and the passengers in your vehicle if you are involved in an auto accident and the at fault driver has no liability insurance coverage (uninsured motorist benefits will cover you) or when the at fault driver does not have sufficient liability insurance to cover you, your family, and your passengers for the injuries and damages you may sustain in an auto accident.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage (“UM”) is for the protection of persons injured and legally entitled to recover damages from owners and operators of uninsured motor vehicles. Hawaii Revised Statutes § 431:10C-301(b)(3). An “uninsured motor vehicle” can be either a vehicle with no insurance at the time of the accident or a hit and run vehicle that causes an accident resulting in injury provided that the accident is reported to the police.  Hawaii Revised Statutes § 431:10C-103.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Underinsured motorist coverage (“UIM”) is for loss resulting from bodily injury or death suffered by any person legally entitled to recover damages from the owners or operators of underinsured motor vehicles.  Hawaii Revised Statutes § 431:10C-301(b)(4). An “underinsured motor vehicle” is a motor vehicle for which the policy limits of all bodily injury liability insurance available to the at fault driver at the time of the loss is less than amount of damages you, your family, and your passengers sustained as a result of the accident.

Insurance Companies Required by Law to Offer Insureds Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverages

When you purchase automobile insurance, insurers are required by law to offer you the opportunity to purchase uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage with policy limits for bodily injury or death of not less than $20,000 per person and an aggregate limit of not less than $40,000 per accident. These optional coverages will not be available if you reject these coverages in writing. In addition, the offers by your insurance company must be made only when the insurance policy is first issued. Once you have been provided the opportunity to purchase these optional coverages, no further offer is required to be included in any renewal or replacement policy.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

No matter what your situation is, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney.  Louis P. Mendonca, Attorney at Law will fight to protect you and your family’s rights and explain to you in plain English language the insurance coverage available to protect you and your family.

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