Working through the aftermath of an auto accident can be tough if you sustained injuries caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage will take care of most of – if not all – your medical bills. Yet, it is unlikely to cover any other expenses or economic losses related to the accident. In this case, you will want to make sure your insurance policy includes uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.
Hawaii’s UM/UIM coverage laws
Hawaii residents are not, by law, required to carry UM/UIM coverage on their insurance policy. Yet, your insurance agent must advise you about this coverage, and to reject it, you must do so in writing. The state’s minimum UM and UIM coverage limits are $20,000 each. You have the option of purchasing policies with higher limits, though, if you so choose.
How UM/UIM coverage can protect you
Some people opt out of UM/UIM coverage because they have concerns about its costs. Yet, you will have to pay little extra to add this coverage to your policy, and it will offer you protection that could far exceed your premium. Furthermore, since Hawaii follows a no-fault insurance system, many motorists assume UM/UIM coverage is unnecessary. While your PIP coverage will compensate medical expenses related to your injuries, it will not – unless you have add-ons – cover costs related to pain and suffering or lost wages. Your UM/UIM coverage will take care of both up to your limits, which could save you from losses and out-of-pocket expenses you would have faced without it.
Keep in mind that to receive UM/UIM benefits, you must not have been at fault for your accident. If your insurance company tries to deny your claim based on matters of fault, you must consider your options for moving forward. An attorney can examine your case and help you work to receive proper compensation.