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AUTO ACCIDENTS OVERVIEW
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This page refers to Uninsured Motorist/ Underinsured Motorist law in North Carolina.

Since laws differ between states, if you are located in South Carolina, please click here.

Injured By Uninsured Motorists or Underinsured Motorists in North Carolina

It’s bad enough that you’ve been injured by another driver’s negligence. Then it goes from bad to worse: They don’t have insurance, or don’t have enough insurance. It couldn’t get worse, could it?

There’s good news and bad news here. The good news is that every North Carolina car insurance policy has Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage. The bad news is that you’re still going to have to deal with an insurance company, and they may not be as eager to help as they may have you believe.

What Does Uninsured Motorist (UM) Insurance Cover?

Uninsured Motorist coverage is a part of your car insurance policy designed to protect you and your passengers if you’re injured by an uninsured at-fault driver.

So what does uninsured motorist cover? North Carolina General Statute 20-279.21(b)(3) lays out the requirements and function of uninsured motorist insurance as follows:

“The provisions shall include coverage for the protection of persons insured under the policy who are legally entitled to recover damages from owners or operators of uninsured motor vehicles because of injury to or destruction of the property of such insured.”

In other words, uninsured motorist insurance is designed to cover the victim of a car accident where the other driver isn’t insured.

How Much Will My Uninsured Motorist Insurance Pay?

This is also explained in the statute, and language should be in your policy documents as well. According to the North Carolina Law cited above:

“The limits of such underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage shall be equal to the highest limits of bodily injury liability coverage for any one vehicle insured under the policy…”

In other words, the limits of your policy are the limits for your uninsured motorist coverage. The law goes on to limit the coverage to the policy’s limit to a maximum of $1,000,000 per accident, regardless of whether the policy’s limit was higher, though you may purchase a policy with lower limits.

When Does My Uninsured Motorist Coverage Kick In?

The most obvious example is when you’re struck by an at-fault driver who does not have insurance, but not every state requires insurance. Drivers in Virginia and New Hampshire, for example, are not usually required to have insurance. UM/UIM can also come into play in cases of hit-and-run drivers who flee the scene and are not caught.

What Does Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage Do?

Underinsured Motorist coverage is the part of your car insurance policy that is designed to fill the gap between the policy limits of the at-fault driver who injured you and whatever amount is necessary to make you whole.

This is optional coverage in North Carolina.

How Much Will My Underinsured Motorist Coverage Pay in North Carolina?

Whatever your policy’s coverage is, up to $1 million, just as with Uninsured Motorists. This is also explained by North Carolina law:

“The limits of such underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage shall be equal to the highest limits of bodily injury liability coverage for any one vehicle insured under the policy…”

Essentially, the most a policy can pay is set by the limits of the coverage purchased as long as the amount does not exceed $1 million.

When Does My Underinsured Motorist Coverage Kick In?

You can seek compensation through your policy if the damages caused by the at-fault driver exceed that driver’s policy limits, leaving you with a shortfall. It’s unlikely the insurance company will be eager to pay – you may want the skill of an attorney in your corner.

Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin

If harms and losses from another driver’s negligence aren’t being covered, the uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverages in your policy should kick in. You may benefit from the help of an experienced car accident attorney like the ones at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin. Call us now at 1-866-900-7078 or contact us online for a free case evaluation. You don’t have to fight the insurance company alone – we can do it for you. They may tell you they’re not going to help you. Tell them you mean business.