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Uninsured/Underinsured Insurance Coverage in Bridgeport: What Is It Anyway?

In Bridgeport, CT, where bustling roads often lead to unexpected auto accidents, having the right insurance coverage is not just a necessity—it’s a crucial safety net. Attorney Mark DellaValle provides this comprehensive guide to understanding uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, essential protections that can make a significant difference in the event of an accident with inadequately insured drivers.

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is a component of an auto insurance policy that provides you protection when you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not carry any auto insurance. In Bridgeport, as in the rest of Connecticut, this coverage is not just optional but a mandatory part of your auto insurance policy, reflecting the state’s commitment to responsible driving and consumer protection.

The Legal Requirement

Connecticut law requires every motorist to carry a minimum amount of UM coverage. This coverage must be at least equal to the state’s minimum liability limits. Currently, these limits are set at $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. This law ensures that, even if the at-fault driver has no coverage, you have a safety net for receiving compensation.

How Does UM Coverage Work?

If you are hit by an uninsured driver, your UM coverage steps in to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other associated costs. The coverage extends to you and also to passengers in your vehicle, providing a layer of financial security in the wake of an accident. It’s a form of financial protection that acts as the insurance that the at-fault driver should have carried.

What is Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is similar to UM coverage but applies in situations where the at-fault driver has insurance, but it’s insufficient to cover all the damages and medical expenses incurred. This type of coverage is particularly important in severe accidents where the expenses exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits.

The Importance of UIM Coverage in Bridgeport

In Bridgeport, where the risk of accidents involving underinsured drivers is significant, UIM coverage provides an essential financial safeguard. It ensures that you are not left covering high medical bills or significant repair costs out of pocket, even after the other party’s insurance has been exhausted.

Scenario Application

Imagine you are involved in a car accident where the other driver is at fault but only has the minimum liability coverage of $25,000. However, your medical treatments cost $40,000. If you have UIM coverage, your insurance would cover the remaining $15,000 that exceeds the at-fault driver’s insurance limits.

Coverage Limits and Options

When selecting UM and UIM coverage, you have options regarding limits that can exceed the state-required minimums. Attorney Mark DellaValle advises considering higher limits to ensure comprehensive coverage, especially given the potential for serious accidents that can result in substantial medical and repair costs.

Filing a Claim Under UM/UIM Coverage

Filing a claim under your UM or UIM policy involves notifying your insurance company about the accident and providing documentation of your injuries and other losses. The process may include negotiations with your insurance company, for which having a knowledgeable attorney like Mark DellaValle can be invaluable. He can help ensure that the claim is handled efficiently and that you receive the full compensation entitled under your policy.

The Role of Your Personal Injury Attorney

In cases involving uninsured or underinsured drivers, having a skilled personal injury attorney becomes crucial. Attorney Mark DellaValle can help you navigate these complex claims; ensuring that all legal avenues for compensation are explored and that your rights under Connecticut law are vigorously defended.