Colorado roads are full of drivers with no insurance. Colorado has even more drivers who are insured for bodily injury limits of only $25,000 person, $50,000 per occurrence. When the Colorado Auto No-Fault law expired on July 1, 2003 the minimum was $25,000/50,000 and the medicals did not then have to be paid from that amount. The minimum is clearly not adequate for most auto accidents, yet it remains the law. The Colorado Legislature and the Governor agreed that when someone buys Underinsured Motorist coverage it should be useful to the full amount of the policy.
A simple scenario will point this out. A person is injured in a car accident causing $125,000 in bodily injury damage. The Underinsured Motorist policy will pay $100,000, since that is the remaining amount of uninsured damages that the insured person has. Before this change in the law the insurance company for the injured person would have gotten credit for the $25,000 and would have had to pay only $75,000. This won’t hurt the insurance companies, as they will be able to adjust their premiums to cover this additional exposure.
An additional change in the law was to require the insurance company to offer coverage for Underinsured Motorist bodily injury in an amount equal to the person’s own bodily injury insurance coverage. In other words, if a person has a $500,000 bodily injury policy, the insurance company must offer Underinsured Motorist Coverage of at least that amount. Before the change, insurance companies were required to offer only up to $100,000, although many companies would offer more.
This law can be found at Colorado Revised Statutes Section 10-4-609(1)(c). This law is a step in the right direction to making Colorado auto injury laws fairer to the injured person.
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