Why You Should Have UIM
and UM Insurance Coverage
Why You Should Have UIM and UM Insurance Coverage In Hawaii
First of all, what is UM and UIM Insurance Coverage? UM stands for Uninsured Motorist and UIM stands for Underinsured Motorist. UM coverage covers you when you have been injured by another driver who does not have car insurance. UIM coverage covers you when you have been injured by another driver who does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries and damages.
You may ask, “Doesn’t everyone have to have car insurance? Isn’t it required by law?” Yes, everyone who drives a vehicle in Hawaii is supposed to have car insurance and, yes, it is illegal to drive without car insurance in Hawaii. Unfortunately, many people drive without insurance even though it is against the law. As Hawaii auto injury lawyers, we can tell you that many of our clients were injured by someone who was driving without insurance. Also, it seems that those who are driving without insurance tend to drive more dangerously than people who have insurance. Many people who are driving without insurance also have suspended driver’s licenses.
This situation with people in Hawaii driving without insurance is a serious problem and it is probably such a big problem because the laws in Hawaii have very little consequences for those who violate them. Many people who are in accidents and don’t have a license or insurance are simply allowed to drive away after the police complete their report. This is ridiculous. In many states, the police are required to impound the vehicle involved if the driver did not have a license or insurance.
Sadly, we have many clients who are injured by people who don’t have insurance and even have a long list of citations on their records for driving without a valid license or insurance.
Until the legislature in Hawaii decides to enact laws with serious consequences for driving without insurance, it is essential that all drivers have adequate UIM coverage. We recommend that you have at least $100,000 in UM and UIM insurance coverage. You will probably be pleasantly surprised that adding this coverage does not increase your insurance premiums by very much. If you are ever injured in an auto accident in Hawaii, you will be very glad that you have UM and UIM coverage to compensate you for your injuries and damages.
Oahu uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist insurance coverages are two different types of car insurance coverage. If you are hit in your car by someone that does not have bodily injury liability insurance coverage then that person is uninsured and the uninsured motorist insurance coverage may apply. Furthermore, when that person that hit you in your vehicle does not have enough car insurance coverage than he is considered underinsured and the underinsured motorist insurance may be applicable.
Revised Statute Section 431:10C-301(b)(3) defines uninsured motorist insurance coverage, it states, “for the protection of persons insured thereunder who are legally entitled to recover damages from owners or operators of uninsured motor vehicles because of bodily injury, sickness, or disease, including death, resulting therefrom.”
The motor vehicle insurance laws provide that an uninsured motor vehicle is a vehicle that does not have bodily injury liability insurance or self-insurance in place at the time of the motor vehicle accident. Also, the car insurance laws state that an unidentified motor vehicle that is the cause of a car accident in Hawaii which results in personal injury and the collision is reported to the Honolulu Police Department or another proper government agency and the injured person informs his car insurance company within 30 days after the car accident that there may be a legal cause of action due to the motor vehicle collision.
The Oahu uninsured motorist laws are a remedy for those who are injured in Hawaii due to the negligence of another driver who did not have proper bodily injury insurance. These laws also cover hit and run drivers or other negligent drivers who don’t have the money to compensate the injured person.
Many UM and UIM Insurance Policies in Hawaii provide that “uninsured motor vehicle” and “underinsured motor vehicle” may be substituted for each other. An example of a standard Hawaii insuring agreement is: “We will pay damages which a covered person is legally entitled to recover from the owner or operator of an uninsured motor vehicle (or underinsured motor vehicle) because of bodily injury: sustained by a covered person, and caused by the accident.” “Covered person” in uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist insurance policy is usually defined as “covered person as used in this endorsement means: you or any family member, any other person occupying your covered auto, any person for damages that person is entitled to recover because of bodily injury to which this coverage applies sustained by a person described above.”
The Supreme Court of Hawaii provided that the definition creates a “two class paradigm” or “covered persons” that are usually involved in a uninsured motorist or Hawaii underinsured motorist motor vehicle insurance policy.” Therefore, a person injured in a car accident may be defined as a “covered person” because he or she is a person who is named on the motor vehicle insurance policy or who is a family member of someone who is named in the car insurance policy; or someone else who is “occupying” a “covered automobile”.
Under Hawaii law, uninsured motor vehicle is a vehicle in which there is no liability insurance or self-insurance applicable at the time of the collision. An uninsured motor vehicle in Oahu is also one in which an unidentified motor vehicle causes a collision which causes injuries and the collision is reported to the police. Also, the injured person must report the collision to their insurance company within 30 days after the accident.
A driver in Hawaii is considered uninsured if he does not have bodily injury insurance or is not self-insured. However, if the driver does have Hawaii insurance but the insurance is not enough to compensate the people he injured in the accident, he not uninsured. In order for uninsured motorist insurance to apply, the injuries must actually be the result of someone driving an uninsured motor vehicle, not simply an underinsured vehicle.