When you purchase or renew your car insurance you may notice references to Underinsured Motorist Protection, commonly referred to as UMP. You may also be asked whether you are interested in doubling your UMP coverage, from $1M to $2M, for a nominal annual fee. This blog entry aims to explain what UMP is and how it can be an important part of your insurance portfolio.
UMP is first party insurance that is available in claims where an at-fault motorist has insufficient or no liability insurance or other assets with which to satisfy the full amount of a claim or judgment. In the province of British Columbia, UMP coverage is mandatory and is attached to every owner’s and driver’s certificate issued.
UMP coverage applies where the injury or death of an insured person takes place as a result of a motor vehicle accident that involves the use or operation of a motor vehicle by an underinsured motorist where the accident occurs in Canada or the United States of America or on a vessel traveling between Canada and the United States of America. It also applies to situations involving hit and run accidents where the accident occurs on a highway in the Yukon, Northwest Territories or United States of America where there is actual physical contact between the person insured or the vehicle occupied by the insured and the unidentified vehicle.
When there is UMP coverage by way of an owner’s certificate, it covers all occupants being carried in the vehicle for which the certificate is issued. UMP coverage provided by way of a driver’s certificate extends to all members of the household of the holder of the driver’s certificate.
The coverage provided is $1M per person, per incident, less applicable deductible amounts. In situations where there is more than one certificate available to an injured person, a person is only compensated under one of them. When UMP coverage available to a person through both an owner’s and a driver’s certificate, the compensation is provided under the owner’s certificate.
As noted at the outset, you can purchase excess Underinsured Motorist Protection coverage and by doing so you increase your coverage to $2M less applicable deductible amounts. You should speak with your insurance broker to increase your coverage.
The law relating to UMP coverage, including the situations where it is unavailable and the amount and nature of deductible amounts, is complex. Further, any dispute as to whether or not a person is entitled to such compensation, or regarding the amount of the compensation, is determined by way of arbitration.
The lawyers at DuMoulin Boskovich LLP have many years of combined experience in dealing with UMP claims and the technically challenging rules and legislation underlying them. We can help ensure that you receive the appropriate advice in this area and that any claim is handled professionally.
Contact Jon Walsh of DuMoulin Boskovich LLP for your legal needs.