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Overview of uninsured and under-insured motorist protections

On Behalf of | Oct 20, 2021 | UM/UIM Coverage |

Most states require drivers to have a minimum amount of liability insurance to drive legally. Liability covers the other driver and passengers when the insured is at fault. However, drivers in St. Paul, Minnesota, must also buy uninsured and under-insured motorist protection.

How underinsured/uninsured motorist protection works

Some states require uninsured and under-insured motorist coverage while other states do not. These coverages help cover lost wages for drivers who can’t work after an accident, funeral expenses, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Uninsured motorist protection, or UM, activates when the at-fault driver does not have any coverage to pay for damages.

Under-insured motorist protection, or UIM, covers the remaining damages when the at-fault driver’s policy lacks enough coverage. A driver can file a claim up to policy limits, and the provider will commonly seek the remainder from the other driver’s insurance.

If a driver is uninsured, the driver not at fault will need to file a claim with their provider. However, most providers have time limits on filing a claim, which is commonly 30 days or less.

Minimum insurance requirements in Minnesota

Minnesota requires drivers to buy at least 30/60/10, or $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident, and $10,000 in property damage. Minimum no-fault coverage is $40,000 for PIP, or personal injury protection, which pays medical expenses for drivers and passengers regardless of fault. When the driver’s PIP policy limit gets exhausted, they can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s policy.

Drivers must purchase at least 25/50 for uninsured and under-insured motorist protection, but they can increase it. Liability doesn’t pay for the driver’s vehicle repairs, so they may consider adding comprehensive insurance for newer vehicles.

Sometimes, it is wise to buy coverage beyond the policy limits since 13% of drivers are uninsured. An injured driver might also seek damages against at-fault parties and attempt to settle out of court.