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What is Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Monopoly car game piece on the "Change" squareAn unfortunate fact of life in New Mexico is that many drivers do not carry the legally required insurance. Because of this, the law requires automobile insurance companies to offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, also called UM/UIM coverage. UM/UIM coverage exists for both bodily injuries and property damage.

If you have UM/UIM coverage, you may be covered when you are injured or your property is damaged by an uninsured, underinsured, or unknown motorist. An uninsured motorist is one who does not have any liability coverage. An underinsured motorist is one who has liability coverage in an amount less than the damages and available UM/UIM coverage. An unknown motorist is an at-fault driver who has not been identified, which often occurs when the driver flees the scene of an accident in a hit-and-run.

If you have been injured in an automobile accident, you should also ask your insurance company to open a claim under your UM/UIM coverage. Even if it appears that the at-fault driver has insurance, they may turn out to be underinsured, or coverage may be denied later. Therefore, it is important to have your UM/UIM claim open early.

An insurance attorney can help you determine if UM/UIM benefits may be available.