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
For legal guidance, call
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
No. It doesn't matter if you've been injured as a
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
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.