Nicolet Law Office, S.C.

Auto Insurance 101 - Know What's In Your Policy

<< Uninsured / Underinsured Coverage >>

It's important to know how much uninsured ("UM") and underinsured ("UIM") coverage you have in your auto insurance policy. When somebody causes an accident and injures another person, it is usually the at-fault driver's liability or bodily injury ("BI") coverage that compensates the injured victim.

However, what happens if the at-fault driver did not have an active insurance policy at the time of the accident? The victim then needs to look to the uninsured coverage that the victim carries in his or her own auto policy.

Similarly, what happens if the at-fault driver has auto insurance, but the liability limits are insufficient to compensate the victim for the injuries the victim sustained? This is where underinsured coverage comes into effect.

In Wisconsin, the current minimum for bodily injury coverage is $25,000 / $50,000 (per person / per accident). This means that the most one person can recover from an accident against the at-fault driver's auto insurance is $25,000 if the at-fault driver is carrying the minimum BI coverage.

In Minnesota, the current minimum for bodily injury coverage is $30,000 / $60,000 (per person / per accident); which means the most one person can recover from an accident against the at-fault driver's auto insurance is $30,000 if the at-fault driver is carrying the minimum BI coverage.

In either situation, a serious auto accident can easily exceed these minimums. That's why it is important to review your auto insurance policy and make sure you are carrying enough underinsured coverage to protect yourself in the event you are hit by somebody carrying the minimum coverage.

Don't place your future in the hands of other drivers on the road, make sure you carry adequate UM / UIM coverage to protect yourself and your family. Insurance coverage can be confusing, but it's good to know what type of coverage you have before an accident occurs. If you're concerned about your insurance coverage, you should talk to your insurance agent or request a copy of your declarations page from your insurance company. Finally, if you have been involved in an auto accident through no fault of your own, you should seek an attorney to assist you in protecting your rights.

For more information about other types of coverage in auto insurance policies, check out Ben's other posts:

(1) Medical Payment Coverage in Your Auto Insurance Policy - What is it and do you need it?

(2) Purchasing a New Vehicle? Why You Should Consider Gap Insurance.

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