As of July 2018, Maryland auto insurers issuing new policies are required to offer “enhanced” underinsured motorist (EUIM) coverage. EUIM coverage takes the place of the uninsured motorist coverage required under § 19.509. Md. Code Ins. § 19-501.1(d). Learn more about EUIM coverage, how it differs from previous coverage, and how it can ultimately help the Maryland driver.
EUIM coverage is intended to help protect accident victims injured by a liable third party who is uninsured or underinsured. With EUIM coverage, an accident victim can “stack” insurance coverage to better compensate their losses before EUIM coverage was enacted. EUIM coverage allows victims to recover the full value of the liable third party’s liability bodily injury coverage and the total amount, if applicable, of the victim’s EUIM coverage.
Let’s look at an example. Say that you are involved, as the result of a third party’s negligence, in a serious car accident resulting in considerable injuries, medical expenses, and conscious pain and suffering. Before EUIM’s enactment, a victim’s Underinsured Motorist’s coverage would only pay for the difference between the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage and the victim’s Underinsured Motorist coverage. If the liable third party carried a $30,000 policy and the victim carried a $100,000 policy, one’s maximum coverage totaled $100,000 ($30,000 from the tortfeasor and $70,000 from one’s own Underinsured Motorists coverage. However, EUIM allows accident victims to “stack” the totality of their Underinsured Motorists coverage onto the tortfeasor’s bodily injury limits, for a total of $130,000 in potential coverage.
EUIM is not Automatic
Maryland insurance companies must offer drivers EUIM coverage when they sell an insurance policy, but the driver must elect and opt into the new coverage in writing to be eligible. EUIM must be elected when a new policy is issued and is not available when renewing existing policies. For more information on EUIM specifically and the rights of accident victims and their recovery of insurance benefits, contact Levin & Gann, P.A. Principal, Lee J. Eidelberg, at 410-321-4668.
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