Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) is defined as: “A clause in an automobile insurance policy that provides that if the owner or a passenger suffers any injury because of the actions of a driver of another vehicle who does not have liability insurance, the insurance company will pay its insured’s actual damages” (Nolo’s Dictionary)

Coverage available under your personal automobile insurance policy for an accident with a vehicle that does not have insurance or an accident with an unidentified hit-and-run vehicle.

Example Sentence

Jenny was grateful she had Uninsured Motorist Coverage after getting into an accident with a college student who had absolutely no insurance on his car and no way to pay for the damages.

Case Study

Once Tom got out his truck, he realized that it would need some serious repairs because of the accident. However, the other driver had taken off. He later discovered that it was because the other driver had no insurance on his car that caused him to flee the scene, and thereby, avoid paying for the accident. The damages to Tom’s truck totaled $1,000. If it were not for Tom’s Uninsured Motorist Coverage of $2,500, he would have had to pay for all of the expenses himself.

Other Important Information

Uninsured motorist coverage provides coverage for “bodily injury, sickness, disease, or death” for those who are “legally entitled to recover damages” (31A-22-305 (3)). Drivers can opt out of Uninsured Motorist Coverage, but we strongly recommend carrying this on your policy. Utah does keep track of which registered cars have insurance. Those without will need to show proof of insurance or have their registration revoked (Utah DMV).

There are 2 ways to seek payment from an uninsured motorist: binding arbitration or litigation (31A-22-305 (9)a). Some insurance policies mandate that UM claims go to arbitration (Utah Auto Law). You would not necessarily need a lawyer for binding arbitration, but you will also agree to share the costs of using an arbitrator with the person who hit you. With Christensen & Hymas, you will not have to pay a dime until we win your case and ensure that you get a fair settlement.

Utah defines an uninsured motor vehicles as one of 5 things:
1) a vehicle not covered under a liability policy at the time of the accident;
2) a  vehicle covered with lower liability limits than required by Utah Law (31A-22-304) (it is uninsured to the extent of the deficiency);
3) an unidentified  vehicle that left the scene of an accident proximately caused by the driver;
4) a  vehicle covered by a liability policy, but coverage for an accident is disputed by the liability insurer for more than 60 days or continues to be disputed for more than 60 days;
5) a vehicle where the liability insurer  is declared insolvent by a court of competent jurisdiction (the vehicle is uninsured only to the extent that the claim is not paid by a guaranty association or fund) (31A-22-305 (2)a-d).

For more information on the laws specific to Utah, please see the the Utah State Code and Utah’s Uninsured Motorist Provisions.

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