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Back August 24, 2019

North Carolina Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Laws

What are the laws in North Carolina regarding Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

If you have ever been involved in an automobile accident, then you know that it is not the most pleasant experience. Starting with the fact that the insurance company, whom you consider to be your best friend, begins to split hairs in an attempt to settle your claim, and cut every possible corner throughout the entire process.

In North Carolina, just like in many other states, all drivers are required to carry minimum liability insurance coverage and uninsured/underinsured coverage:

“ … thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident and, subject to said limit for one person, sixty thousand dollars ($60,000) because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident…”

Though the law requires everyone to drive with at least the minimum personal liability car insurance in North Carolina, unfortunately, not everyone does. On the bright side, when you are injured by another driver who does not have any liability insurance, you are not completely out of luck – provided that you had your own policy. In other words, uninsured motorist coverage will cover you in an accident in which the at-fault driver does not carry any liability insurance. This is a safeguard that was promulgated by North Carolina legislators to ensure that you will at least receive some form of financial compensation. Uninsured motorist coverage will cover both the bodily injuries that you have sustained and the property damage. That said, the amount that your UM/UIM insurance will cover depends on the limits of your own policy. That is why it is a good idea to carry at least 100,000/300,000 limits with at least $5,000 in Medical Payments (MedPay). It may be a bit overwhelming to cope with the accident and deal with other ancillary matters, therefore, please allow Biazzo & Panchenko Law to handle your accident for you and fight for the highest possible recovery! Our knowledgeable car accident lawyers are conveniently located near you in Matthews and Charlotte, North Carolina and serve all your legal needs.

Who, what, and when is covered by my uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage?

As a general rule, uninsured motorist policy always includes bodily injury provision as well as property damage coverage. Next, the good news is that your uninsured motorist coverage will cover the registered owner of the vehicle, any family members that reside in the household, and any other person that drove the vehicle with the permission of the owner, as well as any passengers. Therefore, your uninsured coverage will not provide coverage for someone that steals your car or drives it without your permission, but will most certainly cover a driver, up to the policy limits, whom your permitted to drive your vehicle and who got injured by uninsured driver.

Next, the fact that the coverage is available doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be accessible. Insurance company is a business, and just like any other business they will use anything at their disposal to deny you that coverage. As such, just like the owner would, anyone who was driving the vehicle will have to prove that they are legally entitled to damages from the uninsured, at-fault, driver. Therefore, any defenses that are available to the uninsured driver are also available to the uninsured policy carrier who will use anything in their arsenal to deny the claim. The biggest thing that all carriers are trained to look out for and love to deny policies for – is contributory negligence. In other words, if you or anyone who drove your vehicle is found to have contributed to the accident in any way, however slight, your friendly carrier will deny the policy and leave you without any hope or possibility of recovery.

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Matthews, North Carolina