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Katherine Brown HolmenUnderstanding Your Underinsured Motorist Benefits (UIM)

Motor vehicle accidents leave many people in physical and emotional pain, without a vehicle, and under stress in an attempt to navigate their multitude of medical appointments and interpreting their insurance coverage. Generally, the liability insurance company—the at-fault driver’s insurance—covers damages to an injured party. But, what if the at-fault driver’s insurance limits are not sufficient to cover your expenses and damages?


Minnesota law requires every owner of a motor vehicle “registered or principally garaged” in Minnesota to maintain underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. Minn. Stat. 65B.49. The UIM coverage is intended to “bridge the gap” between an injured party’s recovery from the at-fault party’s insurance, and the medical bills, vehicle damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering incurred in excess of that recovery.


For example, if the person who ran into you had maximum policy limits of $30,000 for each person injured in the accident, but your losses and expenses are $80,000. If you carry UIM coverage, you are entitled to recover the full $30,000 policy limit from the at-fault party’s insurance, and then seek the remainder from your own UIM coverage, in accordance with your specific policy limits. Your individual automobile insurance policy will define the UIM limits available per individual and per accident.


A claim against UIM coverage is a claim against your insurance carrier. When the at-fault driver’s insurance has paid the maximum amount available, you now turn to your own automobile insurer. Keep in mind, there are steps that need to be taken before you resolve a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company in order to preserve your right to file a UIM claim with your insurance company. If your injuries and damages escalate to an amount necessary requiring you to seek UIM recovery, it is strongly recommended you consult with an attorney to help you manage the claim.


This post was created by Katherine A. Brown Holmen, an auto accident and personal injury attorney at Dudley and Smith, P.A. If you have questions about a car accident or other issues involving injuries, please contact me at 651-291-1717 or by email at I have practiced personal injury law for over 20 years and would be happy to discuss the intricacies of a cause of action with you. Dudley and Smith, P.A. is a full service law firm with offices in St. Paul, Bloomington, Burnsville, Blaine, ChanhassenWoodbury, and White Bear Lake.


The law is continually evolving and Dudley and Smith, P.A.’s blog posts should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship. Postings are for informational purposes and are not solicitations, legal advice, or tax advice. A viewer of Dudley and Smith, P.A.’s blog should not rely upon any information in the blog without seeking legal counsel.