In South Carolina, uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is mandatory when purchasing an automobile insurance liability policy. UM coverage protects you by providing coverage when an at-fault motorist does not have any liability insurance to pay for your damages. It may also protect you in the event of a “hit and run” collision. Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), on the other hand, is voluntary and it is up to the insured to elect whether to purchase UIM coverage when purchasing his or her liability policy. UIM coverage protects you in an accident when the at-fault driver’s liability coverage isn’t enough to compensate for all of your damages. As an added benefit, if you have multiple vehicles which carry UIM, in certain situations, you may be able to access more than just one UIM policy.
Purchasing the Wrong Insurance Coverage Can End in Devastating Results For You and Your Family
Today, the South Carolina Supreme Court issued an opinion addressing the benefits of purchasing UIM coverage. In Nationwide Mutual v. Rhoden, Op. No. 27131, Rhoden and her two daughters were involved in a car accident in which they were riding in a car owned and operated by one of Rhoden’s daughters. The daughter’s vehicle was covered under her own policy which did not include UIM coverage. All three lived in the same household. Rhoden owned a policy with Nationwide that did include UIM coverage. As part of its ruling, the Court held that Rhoden and the daughter who did not own the vehicle could take advantage of the UIM coverage that Rhoden had on her vehicles not involved in the car accident to compensate for their damages. However, because UIM coverage is personal and portable, the daughter who owned and operated the vehicle involved in the accident was not afforded UIM coverage from Rhoden’s policy because she had the option to elect UIM coverage when purchasing her own automobile insurance policy. Thus, in so holding, the SC Supreme Court once again emphasized the importance of purchasing UIM coverage insurance.
If you or a family member was seriously injured in a South Carolina car crash and the at-fault driver was uninsured or your damages exceed the limits of the at-fault driver’s policy, you can trust the experienced lawyers at Joye Law Firm to seek out any additional coverage that might be available to you. To schedule a free consultation with the Joye Law Firm, please call us at (888)324-3100 or fill out the claim form on this website. For more details about previous results obtained on behalf of those involved in automobile accidents by our law firm, please visit www.joyelawfirm.com and click on “our results.”