Maryland And Virginia Change Laws to Enhance Underinsured Motorist Coverage

by | Jun 28, 2022

Maryland and Virginia have recently changed their laws to improve insurance coverage for auto policies issued in these states. If your car is insured in either state, you should be aware of these changes.
An underinsured motorist (“UIM”) insurance policy is a type of insurance that can provide you additional insurance coverage in the event that you are injured by a driver who does not have enough insurance to compensate you for your injuries. Every UIM policy has a coverage “limit” which provides the maximum that it will pay out. Until recently, all UIM policies issued in Maryland and Virginia calculated coverage in the same way: you would only get UIM coverage to the extent the limit of your own UIM policy exceeded the limit of the wrongdoer’s liability insurance policy (e.g., if your UIM limit was $100,000 and the wrongdoer’s liability limit was $30,000, you would get $70,000 of UIM coverage in addition to the wrongdoer’s liability policy of $30,000).
However, in 2018, Maryland passed a new law that created “enhanced” UIM coverage. This enhanced coverage is now optional to you if you have a Maryland policy. With enhanced UIM, that amount of your UIM coverage is added to any liability coverage the wrongdoer had (so in the example above, you would get all $100,000 in UIM coverage in addition to the wrongdoer’s liability policy). This is called “stacking.” This provides a huge benefit to people injured in car crashes, by providing more available insurance coverage for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. However, most insurance agents and companies do not voluntarily advise customers of this new benefit, so you have to know to specifically ask that “Enhanced UIM” be added to your policy.
Similarly, Virginia has passed a law to change all UIM policies so that their coverage is “stacked” in the same way. This will take effect in all policies issued or renewed after July 2023.
Please call us for a free insurance evaluation to make sure that you have the best insurance coverage you can afford. It can make a big difference in the amount you can recover in the event that you are injured.

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