What is enhanced uninsured motorist insurance coverage in Maryland?
Enhanced Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage (Enhanced UM Insurance)
In 2018, a law went into effect in Maryland, which could change the way your car insurance works. This law requires auto insurance companies to offer a new form of uninsured motorist coverage called “enhanced uninsured motorist insurance.”
This additional offering will come into play for insurance policies dated July 1, 2018, and after. You may have noticed a notification with your policy renewal.
Uninsured motorist insurance coverage in Maryland is designed to pay for the damage to your vehicle and injuries to you and other passengers of your vehicle for the following reasons:
- The negligent party did not have any auto insurance
- The negligent party had limits lower than your uninsured motorist limits
The way the unininsured/underinsured motorist insurance worked prior to the law change was as follows:
Say you are involved in a car accident and the other party is found to be at fault for the accident.
What happens is that you could collect the limits from their policy. So let’s say that they had the Maryland state minimum auto insurance limits of $30,000 per person and your injuries were $100,000.
The way it typically worked is as follows: you would collect the $30,000 from their policy first. Then you could collect the difference from your policy ($100,000-$30,000=$70,000) under the uninsured motorist insurance coverage.
If the negligent party carried the same limits as you, for example you both have $100,000, the maximum you were able to collect is $100,000 from their policy. Since the limits were the same as yours, you would not be able to collect any money from your auto insurance policy.
So if you suffered damages of more than $100,000, you would have to file a lawsuit against the negligent party on your own.
This scenario changes with the enhanced uninsured motorist insurance coverage option
In the example above, you would be eligible to collect $100,000 from the negligent party’s insurance carrier and then have up to $100,000 in coverage from your policy.
Therefore, you could be eligible to receive up to $200,000 instead of the $100,000 in the above example.
With enhanced uninsured motorist insurance, you can stack your limits of coverage on top of the negligent party’s coverage. Which may be none, worse or better than yours.
Of course, the amount that you would be eligible for would be determined by the extent of the injuries.
Enhanced Uninsured Motorist coverage is not automatic. You must request it in writing by signing an updated Uninsured Motorist election form.
If you do not elect the enhanced coverage you will be left with the regular uninsured motorist that was previously the only option available.
Insurance carriers are not consistent with the cost for this additional protection. So reach out to the insurance professionals at Huff Insurance at 410-647-1111 to discuss the options that your carrier allows.
In addition, if you have an umbrella policy, some carriers are allowing for uninsured motorist coverage to be added to that policy as well.
Give us a call to discuss the best option for you and your family.
Remember, uninsured motorist is protecting you and your family. You would be surprised to know how many drivers are driving either with no insurance or state minimum insurance.