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What is underinsured motorist coverage?

In West Virginia, it is mandatory to carry certain types of car insurance.  By law, every driver in West Virginia must carry liability insurance in the amount of $20,000 per person; $40,000 per collision; as well as $10,000 for property damage.  One type of insurance coverage that many drivers are unaware of, and that is not required in West Virginia, is underinsured motorist coverage. 

Underinsured motorist coverage is designed to cover the difference between the at-fault driver's maximum pay-out and the actual claim value incurred by the injuried party. 

In West Virginia, only liability and uninsured motorist coverage is required.  Underinsured coverage is optional.  However, at the time an individual purchases auto insurance, insurance companies are required to explain that an individual can obtain underinsured coverage and that it is not required in West Virginia.  Additionally, at the time an individual purchases insurance, the insurance company, after explaining underinsurance coverage, must provide the individual with a waiver and the purchasing individual must indicate that they have opted to reject the underinsured coverage.  If the rejection form is not offered to the individual, the individual may have a claim for underinsured coverage, regardless of whether or not the individual opted to pay for the coverage. It is important to understand your insurance policy and know your rights and obligations regarding insurance coverage.

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Manchin Injury Law Group 1543 Fairmont Avenue Suite 203 Fairmont, WV 26554 Toll Free: 800-557-4LAW Phone: 304-367-1862 Fax: 304-367-1867 Fairmont Law Office Map