Since Colorado is a fault-based car insurance state, drivers who cause accidents must pay for the damages that other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians experience. All motorists must carry minimum amounts of liability coverage to uphold this financial responsibility, but many drivers do not adhere to these laws.
In these situations, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) can provide compensation for injured Colorado drivers. While Colorado does not require motorists to purchase UM/UIM insurance, this optional coverage can help protect your finances following an unexpected collision.
What Is Uninsured Motorist/Under Insured Motorist Coverage?
UM/UIM coverage is an optional form of car insurance that provides compensation if you are in an accident with a driver who does not have car insurance or does not have enough insurance to pay for your damages. UM/UIM also provides funds in cases involving hit-and-run drivers.
All Colorado drivers must carry the following minimum amounts of liability coverage, although you can purchase higher amounts if you wish. Colorado insurers must offer UM/UIM coverage to their policyholders with policy limits equal to their current liability insurance amounts.
- $25,000 for bodily injury liability per person per accident
- $50,000 in total bodily injury liability per accident
- $15,000 in property damage coverage per accident
UM/UIM coverage provides funding for medical expenses and pain and suffering, but it does not protect any damage to your vehicle. Comprehensive and collision coverage, another optional form of insurance, provides compensation for vehicle repairs.
For example, if you sustain $10,000 worth of medical expenses in an accident and you have UM/UIM coverage up to $25,000, you will receive the full $10,000 to pay for your treatment. You will need to file additional claims for your vehicle repairs.
Why Is UM/UIM Coverage Important?
When you are in an accident with another driver who does carry Colorado’s minimum insurance, you will file a claim with his or her insurance company to pay for your damages. These damages may include your medical expenses, vehicle repairs, lost wages, and even your physical and emotional pain and suffering.
If a driver does not have insurance, you cannot pursue this compensation pathway. You have two options at this point: file a claim with your own insurance company, or file a personal injury lawsuit. A driver who cannot afford to pay for car insurance will likely not be able to pay for your damages out-of-pocket, and if you file a lawsuit against him or her, you may not see compensation.
With UM/UIM coverage, you can receive compensation to pay for certain expenses following the accident, protecting your personal finances and bridging the gap between other types of insurance coverage and the actual cost of your damages. All in all, UM/UIM insurance is a valuable investment to protect your peace of mind.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Your Insurance Claim?
If you are struggling with the aftermath of an accident with an uninsured driver, you need an attorney on your side. Navigating the insurance process can be difficult in normal situations, and an uninsured at-fault driver or hit-and-run situation can complicate your claim.
Your car accident lawyer will have significant experience helping Colorado residents file claims with their insurance companies, allowing you to focus on your recovery. Your attorney can also handle all negotiations on your behalf, calculate your damages, and gather sufficient evidence to prove your need for damages. If you haven’t contacted your attorney already, schedule your consultation as soon as possible.
Click to learn more about Uninsured and Under Insured Motorists.