In Arizona, every driver of an automobile is required to carry the state’s minimum liability insurance coverage limits. Drivers are required to insure their vehicles with at least the following amounts of coverage:
$15,000 per person for bodily injury liability,
$30,000 per accident for bodily injury liability when more than one person suffers injury, and
$10,000 for property damage liability.
You travel on the Arizona freeways in bumper-to-bumper traffic. You discover a 5-car accident was moved to the side of the road. Suppose the vehicle in the back caused the 5-car pile up and four people were injured. Now imagine that the driver of that vehicle is insured according to the state’s minimum liability coverage limits. Under these circumstances, the most any one person will receive as compensation for his/her injuries is $15,000, and the most the insurance company will pay for all injuries is $30,000. Since four people sustained injuries it’s unlikely that those injured will be fully compensated for their damages.
As an alternative to this harsh reality, Arizona drivers are offered Underinsured Motorist (“UIM”) insurance through their own insurance policies. UIM insurance protects you, or the passengers in your vehicle, from bodily injury you or your passengers may sustain in an accident involving a driver who has inadequate liability coverage. If you don’t have UIM insurance the road to full recovery becomes much more complicated and much less certain.
Many people involved in car accidents are reluctant to turn to their own policy to bridge the gap left behind by an underinsured at-fault driver. People state their concern is that the insurance company may raise their rates. However, according to A.R.S. § 20-263(A) insurers are not permitted to increase the “premium of an insured as a result of an accident not caused or significantly contributed to by the actions of the insured.”
Next time you review your auto insurance policy, make sure you carry UIM insurance and avoid paying for the mistake of an underinsured driver that causes you harm.
If you have been hurt in a car wreck due to no fault of your own, don’t fight the insurance companies alone. Attorney Robert Poundstone of POUNDSTONE SCOTTEN, PLLC spent nearly two decades working for several large insurance carriers. Much of his time working in the insurance industry was spent as a claims adjuster so he is very familiar with the various insurance coverages and how they affect you. Call POUNDSTONE SCOTTEN, PLLC for a free consultation today.
The information provided in this website is meant only as a general description of the current laws as of the date of the writing. It is not meant to be an exhaustive discussion of all the nuances of the law and is intended to be only an overview. Many issues may appear simpler than they are, and an individual should always contact an attorney to obtain a complete, accurate interpretation of the law given the individual’s particular circumstances. POUNDSTONE SCOTTEN, PLLC makes no representations as to how the law would affect a particular situation and intends only to illustrate areas of concern and give general information.