Understanding Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Hawaii

Examining Your Claim in a UM/UIM Crash

If you have been in a car crash that involves an uninsured driver, make sure you file an accident claim with your insurance company as soon as possible - regardless of the coverage you have. The next thing to do is to let a car accident lawyer examine your insurance policy and the circumstances of your accident. Our firm, for instance, can advise you right away about the compensation you may expect to receive.

All car insurance in Hawaii has personal injury protection (PIP) benefits up to $10,000 to pay for medical expenses caused by car crash injuries. You are eligible for these benefits regardless of who was at fault in your crash. This is known as a "no-fault" claim. In cases where you could file a claim in addition to your PIP claim, the other driver's liability insurance would cover your losses. If that driver lacks insurance, however, then your UM/UIM coverage should be considered.

Insurance agents and companies in Hawaii must advise policyholders about UM/UIM coverage options and must allow the policyholders to decline this coverage in writing. The minimum amount that can be purchased is $20,000 worth of coverage per person for personal injuries - although policyholders can (and should) purchase more. This coverage can pay for the losses that the other driver's liability insurance would have paid (if they had insurance).

For legal guidance, call (808) 518-2120 to request an initial consultation, at no additional cost to you.

Talk with Our Honolulu Personal Injury Attorneys About Your Uninsured Motorist Claim

Hawaii's no-fault system and your UM/UIM protection should ensure you are paid a proper settlement after being hit by a driver who lacks liability insurance coverage. However, as we have seen at Leavitt Yamane & Soldner, car insurance companies have many ways to avoid paying what accident victims are due. Our job is to stop insurers from shortchanging you after a car accident and to find other sources of compensation for you when they exist.

We can help you in the following ways:

  • We'll closely examine your insurance plan and make sure your insurer pays you all of the money you deserve under the terms of your policy.
  • We will work to prepare a solid case on your behalf and negotiate strongly for a proper settlement.
  • If we have to go to court for you, we'll be ready.

Even when the driver who has caused your car accident has no car insurance or too little car insurance, you deserve compensation for your injuries. We'll make sure your rights are fully protected.

Common Questions About UM & UIM

Over the years, many of our clients have come to us with questions about accidents involving drivers without uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. For your convenience, below we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about uninsured motorists in Honolulu and how this insurance coverage affects you if you've been in an auto accident. If you have any other questions or simply need more clarification on uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, our Honolulu personal injury lawyers would be glad to review your case and offer you more solutions.

Do I Really Need Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Yes. There are statistics that show one in four drivers is a Hawaii uninsured motorist, and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage protects you from the injuries they cause. Underinsured motorist coverage protects you in the event that a driver does not have enough insurance to compensate you for your injuries. The minimum insurance coverage in Hawaii is $20,000, which is often not enough to cover medical expenses, not to mention wage loss, disability or worse.

What Is "Stacked" Hawaii Uninsured Motorist Coverage & How Does it Work?

You can get more insurance protection for a few more dollars every year by stacking together your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Another benefit to stacked coverage is that any family member in your household is also included in your available benefits. In the event of an accident, you would have access to two or more policies with uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

Do I Need to Be in My Car at the Time of Accident to Get Hawaii Uninsured Motorist Benefits?

No. It doesn't matter if you've been injured as a pedestrian, bicyclist, or passenger in someone else's car- uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is "personal and portable." That means your protection coverage is available to you, and your family members who reside with you, whenever you are injured in a traffic accident.

How Much Hawaii Uninsured Motorist Coverage Should I Get?

Your insurance company is required to offer you uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in an amount equal to that of your bodily injury liability coverage (the insurance that covers you in the event that you injure someone else). Higher limits of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage are usually inexpensive, so we recommend purchasing the maximum amount of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage available.

How Do I Find Out if I Have Hawaii Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Your insurance company is required to offer this coverage to you, and it is in your best interest to obtain such a policy. We've seen firsthand what can happen to individuals who don't have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, so we urge you to call you insurance agent to confirm that you have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

Will My Rates Increase if I Make a Claim for Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage Benefits?

No. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is considered "optional additional coverage." Under Hawaii law, an insurer may not raise insurance rates if an insured makes a claim against "optional additional coverage."

If I Have "Full Coverage," Does that Mean I Also Have Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

"Full coverage" is a very vague term. In our experience, many people who believe that they have "full coverage" do NOT have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. We recommend calling your insurance agent to find out if you have this coverage. If you don't, tell your insurance company or agent that you want the maximum stacked uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage available.

Have more questions? Please give us a call today.

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If you have sustained an injury and want to know if you are eligible to pursue legal action, it is important to obtain help right away. Call our firm at (808) 518-2120 or fill out the quick form below.

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