A: It works this way. Remember our fictional young woman who was disfigured by a drunk driver while waiting for the red light to change? Instead of the drunk driver having no insurance at all, let's assume that the drunk driver has only the mandatory minimum coverage of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. With fractures, permanent scarring and permanent impairment, Jane's case would have a value far in excess of $15,000. But because the drunk driver has only $15,000 in coverage, that is all the drunk driver's insurance company would pay her.
If Jane had Underinsured Motorist Coverage, then her own insurance company could pay the difference between what she was entitled to receive and what the drunk driver's insurance company can pay her. So, Underinsurance Motorist Coverage applies when the at-fault driver has some insurance, but not enough to make things right.
How much your case is worth is often a subject of dispute between injured people and their insurance companies. Sometimes injured people don't know how much their injuries are worth and they're not sure if they should trust their insurance company (They're right to be skeptical of their insurance company. See, for example, our real life stories about the insurance company that claimed not to know its own coverage and the insurance company whose evaluation increased by over 600%). Moreover, injured people often don't know how to make the insurance company pay when the insurance company refuses to be fair on its own.
In our free book, "The Ultimate Guide to Car Accident Cases in Pennsylvania: A Roadmap to Justice" we discuss Pennsylvania Underinsured Motorist coverage in detail and offer you advice about how much insurance to buy. For a free, no obligation copy of our book, click HERE.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Pennsylvania car accident with a driver who doesn't have enough insurance, you may have questions about your insurance, you may want to get advice from an Erie insurance lawyer to ensure you're being treated fairly by the insurance company. You may want to speak with an experienced northwest Pennsylvania insurance lawyer. Most Erie injury lawyers offer free consults so it shouldn't cost you anything just to speak with someone.