In Washington, motorists are required to obtain car accident liability coverage. However, a significant share of drivers fail to comply with the state regulations. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that nearly 1 in 5 drivers in Washington lack the minimum mandated auto insurance coverage.
You can go a long way towards protecting yourself against the financial risks posed by uninsured drivers by obtaining an uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) policy. In this blog post, our Spokane insurance lawyers highlight the most important things to know about uninsured motorist claims in Washington.
Know the Law: Minimum Insurance Requirement in Washington
Washington is a fault-based motor vehicle accident jurisdiction. The driver (or other party) at fault for a crash is responsible for the damages. As noted by the Washington State Office of Insurance Commissioner, all drivers are required to carry the following minimum mandatory liability coverage:
- $25,000 for injury/death per person;
- $50,000 for injury/death per accident; and
- $10,000 in property damage.
Drivers should carry their insurance card with them at all times. A motorist who lacks adequate insurance coverage is subject to financial penalties. They could also be held personally liable in the event of a collision.
What is Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage?
Unfortunately, not all drivers actually obtain and maintain liability insurance. This raises an important question: What happens if your accident in Spokane is caused by a driver who does not have insurance? One answer is that you can protect yourself by purchasing an uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) policy. Simply put, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is a type of insurance policy that pays out if you are hit by another driver who lacks sufficient liability insurance to cover all of your damages.
Washington Law: Insurance Carriers Must Offer Optional Uninsured Motorist Coverage
In Washington, all drivers must purchase and maintain minimum mandatory liability coverage. You are not required to get UM/UIM insurance coverage. That being said, all auto insurance companies that offer policies in Washington State must give drivers the option to purchase uninsured motorist coverage. You are allowed to opt out if you wish to do so.
Still, with so many uninsured drivers on the road in Washington, it is recommended that most people get a UM/UIM policy. If you are involved in a crash with an uninsured driver or you are involved in a hit and run accident, your UM/UIM coverage will make it far easier to get full and fair financial compensation to pay your bills.
Was Your Uninsured Motorist Claim Denied in Spokane?
Our legal team is here to help. At Albrecht Law PLLC, our Washington insurance denial attorneys are skilled, results-driven advocates for clients. If you have any questions or concerns about uninsured motorist claims, we can help. Call us now or use our online contact form for a free, no obligation review of your case. With a legal office in Spokane, we handle uninsured motorist claims throughout all of Eastern Washington.