In addition to an increase in minimum liability insurance coverage requirements, Senate Bill 452 will also change how Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) insurance coverage applies after a vehicle collision.
All indications are that the bill will be effective January 1, 2025.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage Increases with Liability Insurance Change
North Carolina’s mandatory insurance laws require all policies to cover property damage, bodily injury liability, and for Uninsured Motorists. Individuals can elect to purchase Underinsured Motorists.
Uninsured Motorist coverage pays benefits in crashes caused by those not carrying vehicle insurance and hit and hit-and-run drivers who are never identified.
The new increase in Liability Insurance from $30,000 to $50,000 for bodily injury for each person, $60,000 to $100,000 for total bodily injury for all persons in an accident, and $25,000 to $50,000 total property damage will also apply to Uninsured Motorist coverage.
Underinsured Motorist coverage is a type of auto insurance that protects policyholders when they are involved in an accident with a driver whose insurance coverage is insufficient to cover the damages incurred by the insured party.
The current law states that if the liable driver has $50,000 in per-person bodily injury coverage, and the injured party has Underinsured Motorist coverage with a policy limit of $100,000, the Underinsured Motorist coverage will only pay the difference between the liability coverage limit and the Underinsured Motorist coverage limit.
If the at-fault driver’s policy pays $50,000, the Underinsured Motorist policy will pay an additional $50,000, bringing the total available benefits to $100,000 (the Underinsured Motorist coverage limit).
This is what is currently called a liability setoff.
Once Senate Bill 452 is signed into law, those who carry Underinsured Motorist coverage maybe eligible to collect the total face value of both the liable party’s policy and their Underinsured Motorist coverage. This is a massive benefit for North Carolina crash victims who suffer significant injuries.
- Senate Bill 452 clarifies a murky area of the law regarding service on the Underinsured Motorist coverage carrier, stipulating that the complaint and summons must only be filed before the three-year statute of limitations has expired and can be served later by Rule 4 of the N.C. Rules of Civil Procedure, like all other civil matters in the state.
This article will be updated accordingly if additional changes are made to the Bill before the Governor signs it.
Contact Our Personal Injury Accident Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a vehicle collision in North Carolina and are unsure how the liable driver or your insurance coverage applies to your damages, contact our dedicated Mecklenburg County auto accident attorney today to schedule a free consultation by calling 704-376-1616 or contacting us online.
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