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Old 05-27-08, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by WalterMitty View Post
Follow the advice given above to the letter.

Having said that, several and sundry insurance agents (and office help) presented (or let/led me to believe) UIM as providing coverage to me over the years that it did not. Just the name is misleading.

I would ask very specifically (in your individual home states) just what UIM covers. We have *serious* uninsured motorist problems here in OK, as well as mandatory insurance laws, but UIM covers none of the scenarios described. That is, not without lawsuits and other flaming hoops all on your dime.

As for the sales point of "protecting yourself from others", UIM is so narrow in scope and conditions that other insurance products give better coverage. Caveat Emptor.
What the law says, really doesn't matter, it's what your POLICY says, your policy should spell this out completely, about what is and isn't covered, in regards to an uninsured or under insured person being at fault, or anything else. In many cases you have different levels of coverage, where if the person at fault has no coverage, your own coverage kicks in. You need to read the policy, if it contains things you do not understand then schedule a visit with your agent or broker to go through it. Often UM or UIM type deals are legal minimums, and often the insurance companies have enhanced coverage if you don't like the legal minimum, of course the more you buy, the more you pay. You need to also compare the policy year over year, insurance companies like to change policy terms without pointing it out to you, that they changed it, but the wording in the policy will be different.

Now here in Ontario we have no fault (really all fault) insurance, if someone hits your car, you claim with your insurance company, which then deals with their insurance company. The real issue is that for most policies, you get one "free" claim, but on a second claim your rates go up, even if neither collision was technically your fault. This is why you see so many older cars with bashed in fenders and doors, the damage wasn't extensive, so the driver didn't bother putting it through the insurance, they either did nothing or had a shop deal with the internal damage, which they paid for out of pocket. It's a great scam, you sell someone a mandatory product, and then threaten them with sky high rates if they use that product, so they don't dare use it.
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