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Law Change for UM and UIM Insurance

March 31, 2016

In February of 2016 the law in Wisconsin pertaining to uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage was changed. The statute of limitations for an injured person to bring a claim under UM or UIM coverage was reduced from 6 years to 3 years. The statute of limitations is now the same in UM and UIM claims as in liability claims.

For anyone who is not aware of the difference in coverages, here is a quick explanation. When a motor vehicle collision occurs there is almost always an at-fault (negligent) driver. If someone was injured by that at-fault driver the injured individual may have a liability claim against that driver and his or her insurance company. If the at-fault driver did not have any liability insurance (which is currently mandatory in Wisconsin with a minimum of $25,000 coverage), the injured individual would likely have a claim against his or her own uninsured motorist coverage. If the at-fault driver did have liability insurance but the insurance was insufficient to cover the full cost of the injured individual’s damages, then the injured individual may have a claim against his or her underinsured motorist coverage depending on policy limits available.

Liability coverage protects you if you cause a crash. UM and UIM coverage protect you in case the at-fault driver did not have liability coverage or did not have sufficient liability coverage. It is important in order to protect yourself and others that you carry a sufficient amount of liability, UM, and UIM coverage. It does not take long for medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other damages to amount to tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the severity of a crash and the injuries involved. Only obtaining minimum liability coverage could leave you exposed to a judgment should you be the cause of a crash. Only purchasing minimum UM and UIM coverage could leave you on the hook for many of your own health care expenses and provide no compensation for lost earnings and other damages should the at-fault driver not have insurance or have insufficient coverage.

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In February of 2016 the law in Wisconsin pertaining to uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage was changed. The statute of limitations for an injured person to bring a claim under UM or UIM coverage was reduced from 6 years to 3 years. The statute of limitations is now the same in UM and UIM claims as in liability claims.

For anyone who is not aware of the difference in coverages, here is a quick explanation. When a motor vehicle collision occurs there is almost always an at-fault (negligent) driver. If someone was injured by that at-fault driver the injured individual may have a liability claim against that driver and his or her insurance company. If the at-fault driver did not have any liability insurance (which is currently mandatory in Wisconsin with a minimum of $25,000 coverage), the injured individual would likely have a claim against his or her own uninsured motorist coverage. If the at-fault driver did have liability insurance but the insurance was insufficient to cover the full cost of the injured individual’s damages, then the injured individual may have a claim against his or her underinsured motorist coverage depending on policy limits available.

Liability coverage protects you if you cause a crash. UM and UIM coverage protect you in case the at-fault driver did not have liability coverage or did not have sufficient liability coverage. It is important in order to protect yourself and others that you carry a sufficient amount of liability, UM, and UIM coverage. It does not take long for medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other damages to amount to tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the severity of a crash and the injuries involved. Only obtaining minimum liability coverage could leave you exposed to a judgment should you be the cause of a crash. Only purchasing minimum UM and UIM coverage could leave you on the hook for many of your own health care expenses and provide no compensation for lost earnings and other damages should the at-fault driver not have insurance or have insufficient coverage.

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