In Rhode Island, all motorists are required by law to maintain a certain amount of auto insurance on their vehicles. Under Rhode Island General Laws section 31-31-7, motorists must obtain liability insurance of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. In addition, motorists must obtain $25,000 worth of insurance per accident for property damage. Liability and property damage insurance protects the policyholder in the event that they cause a Rhode Island car accident by covering the costs incurred by victims of the accident. However, it is estimated that 17% of Rhode Island drivers do not maintain sufficient insurance on their vehicles.
If someone is involved in an accident that was caused by another motorist’s negligence, the at-fault motorist will be responsible for any injuries suffered by the accident victims. However, if the at-fault motorist does not have insurance, the accident victim will only be able to pursue a claim against the driver, who may not have the assets to compensate the injury victim adequately. This is where uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) protection comes into play.
Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Protection in Rhode Island
Under a UIM policy, a policyholder is protected from accidents caused by an at-fault motorist who either has no insurance or does not have sufficient insurance to fully compensate the policyholder for the damages caused by the accident.
In many cases, UIM insurance is mandatory for Rhode Island motorists. For example, under Rhode Island General Laws section 27-7-2.1, all insurance companies must offer UIM insurance whenever they write an auto insurance policy. The amount of UIM coverage should equal the amount of liability insurance. Motorists can opt to purchase less UIM coverage; however, only motorists who opt to purchase the bare-minimum amount of required insurance can completely opt out of UIM coverage. Thus, anyone who purchases insurance above the bare-minimum requirement can only reduce UIM coverage to $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident unless they have collision coverage in their vehicle, in which case they can entirely opt out of UIM coverage.
Importantly, UIM coverage applies in more than just cases where the at-fault motorist is underinsured or uninsured. In fact, UIM coverage applies in Rhode Island hit-and-run accidents where the at-fault driver cannot be located.
As the discussion above illustrates, Rhode Island insurance is critical to an accident victim’s ability to recover for their injuries. At the same time, the laws governing insurance coverage are complex. Anyone who has been injured in a Rhode Island accident should consult with a dedicated Rhode Island injury attorney today.
Have You Been Injured in a Rhode Island Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Rhode Island car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. At the Rhode Island personal injury law firm of Bilodeau Capalbo, we represent injury victims across Rhode Island in all types of personal injury claims, including those arising out of serious Rhode Island auto accidents. We are also well-versed in all aspects of Rhode Island insurance law, and provide clients with in-depth advice on a variety of other insurance-related matters. To learn more, call 401-300-4055 to schedule a free consultation today.
See Related Posts:
Common Law Marriage in Rhode Island, Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer Blog, December 12, 2018.
Rhode Island Intestate Laws and the Importance of Drafting a Will, Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer Blog, December 28, 2018.