Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage

Many people purchase additional coverage on their automobile insurance including uninsured motorist bodily injury and under-insured bodily injury coverage. Uninsured Bodily injury coverage replaces the liability coverage of an at fault party who  has no insurance.  Under-Insured provides an injured party with additional liability coverage in situations where the at fault person does not have sufficient liability coverage to compensate the injured person.

At a minimum your insurance company is required to offer the coverage whether you elect to purchase the coverage is left to you. (In my opinion everyone should purchase Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage.)  Arizona law provides that the insurer offer UIM coverage to “named insured.”  If the “named insured” selects the coverage, under Arizona law, The coverage then applies to everyone who is insured under the policy.  Arizona law does not unfortunately define who the insured is, that is left to the language of the insurance contract (the policy).

Recently the Courts have addressed this question.  In Beaver v American Family ,   the Arizona Court of Appeals answered the question as to whether the UMA prohibited American Family Insurance from denying Uninsured Bodily injury coverage to a family member who lived with the insured.  The Court ultimately held that the statute did not prohibit the denial.  The Court held that as long as the coverage and denial was consistent with the policy definition the denial of coverage is not barred by the statute, even if the injured person is a family member of the insured.

The lesson is if you are injured and you may have either a UM or UIM claim, speak with a personal injury attorney, who can be able to advise you of all possible avenues and methods of seeking compensation for you injuries.