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Understanding Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage: Are You Truly Protected?

Have you ever been involved in a car accident and found yourself pondering whether your insurance policy provides adequate coverage? Do the terms “underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage” sound unfamiliar? These questions can indeed be perplexing, but they are pivotal when it comes to safeguarding yourself and your loved ones in the aftermath of an accident.

In the realm of Kentucky’s legal landscape, the Kentucky Supreme Court reigns supreme. Annually, they deliberate and issue written opinions on a select number of cases, offering legal clarity to the citizens of the state. For instance, in 2022 alone, the Kentucky Supreme Court addressed and delivered opinions on a total of 167 cases, shaping the legal landscape for Kentucky residents.

Several years ago, one such case made its way to the Kentucky Supreme Court, profoundly impacting how we perceive and utilize UIM coverage. The case in question was Metzger v. Auto-Owners Insurance Company, 607 S.W.3d 695. In this pivotal case, the plaintiff, Metzger, was a member of a limited liability company (LLC) that held a car insurance policy inclusive of UIM coverage. UIM, or underinsured motorist coverage, plays a critical role by stepping in to cover your expenses if you are injured by a driver whose insurance falls short of adequately compensating you for your injuries.

Metzger’s life took an unexpected turn when she was involved in an accident with a driver whose insurance coverage amounted to a mere $25,000. To compound her ordeal, her personal car insurance policy failed to fully cover the extent of her injuries. In her quest for financial relief, Metzger sought recourse through the LLC’s UIM coverage. However, her plea was met with a devastating denial. The reason? The UIM policy only extended coverage to individuals traveling in a vehicle covered by the policy’s liability coverage, a category that did not include her personal car. The policy’s protective umbrella was limited to the LLC itself, recognized as the “named insured.”

The Kentucky Supreme Court’s verdict in the Metzger case underscored the utmost importance of comprehending the nuances of your insurance policy. It serves as a stark reminder that you must scrutinize your policy’s declarations page with unwavering attention to ensure that both you and your family are adequately covered. Without UIM coverage, you may find yourself vulnerable, as Kentucky law mandates that drivers carry only $25,000 in insurance coverage, which might fall short of meeting your financial needs in the event of an accident.

Beyond UIM coverage, there are other critical insurance types that merit your consideration, namely liability coverage and collision coverage. Liability coverage acts as a shield, safeguarding your interests if you are deemed at fault in an accident that results in injury or property damage to others. On the other hand, collision coverage steps in to assist with the costs of repairing your vehicle, regardless of fault.

Understanding insurance policies can be akin to navigating a labyrinth, fraught with complexities and intricacies. If you find yourself grappling with questions about your policy, do not hesitate to reach out to our team of experts at Mory & Colliersmith, PLLC. We are here to provide clarity and ensure that you possess the right protection for yourself and your family.

In summation, Metzger v. Auto-Owners Insurance Company underscores the invaluable importance of comprehending your insurance policy inside out. Take the time to carefully peruse your policy, contemplate the addition of UIM coverage if it’s not already in place, and do not shy away from seeking clarification if any aspect of your coverage remains unclear. In the world of insurance, preparedness and protection are paramount; it’s far better to be well-prepared than caught off-guard in the event of an accident.

Key Takeaways:

  1. UIM Coverage: If you lack underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, it’s essential to be aware that Kentucky law only mandates drivers to carry $25,000 in insurance coverage. This may prove insufficient to cover all your expenses in the event of an accident.

  2. Review Your Policy: Scrutinize the declarations page of your insurance policy meticulously. Ensure that you, your spouse, and your children (if applicable) are comprehensively covered.

Navigating the complex world of insurance can be a daunting task. Let Mory & Colliersmith, PLLC be your guiding light, offering expert guidance and legal support to ensure you have the coverage you need when it matters most.


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