If you were hit by a vehicle without adequate insurance, you may have an Underinsured Motorist Claim. If you were in an accident with an automobile without insurance, you may have an Uninsured Motorist Claim. This will depend on whether and at what monetary limits you have these insurance coverages under your own motor vehicle insurance policy or the policy covering the vehicle in which you were struck. Idaho has several statutes on underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage. For example:
41-2502. Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage for automobile insurance— exceptions. (1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2) of this section, no owner’s or operator’s policy of motor vehicle liability insurance that is subject to the requirements of section 49-1212(1) or (2), Idaho Code, shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this state with respect to any motor vehicle registered or principally garaged in this state unless coverage is provided therein or supplemental thereto, in limits for bodily injury or death as set forth in section 49-117, Idaho Code, as amended from time to time, under provisions approved by the director of the department of insurance, for the protection of persons insured thereunder who are legally entitled to recover damages from owners or operators of uninsured and underinsured motor vehicles because of bodily injury, sickness or disease, including death, resulting therefrom.
(2) A named insured shall have the right to reject either or both uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage, which rejection must be in writing or in an electronic record as authorized by the uniform electronic transactions act, chapter 50, title 28, Idaho Code, and such rejection shall be effective as to all other insureds and named insureds; and after which such rejected coverage need not be provided in or supplemental to a renewal or replacement policy issued by the same insurer or an affiliate of that insurer.
(3) Prior to the issuance of any new policy or the first renewal or replacement of any existing policy of motor vehicle liability insurance with an effective date on or after January 1, 2009, a named insured shall be provided a standard statement approved by the director of the department of insurance, explaining in summary form, both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, and the different forms of underinsured motorist coverage that might be available from insurers in Idaho.
(4) The provisions of this section shall not apply to policies of motor vehicle liability insurance for coverage on all-terrain vehicles, utility type vehicles, specialty off-highway vehicles or motorbikes as those terms are defined in section 67-7101, Idaho Code.
41-2503. Definitionsand application. (1) For the purposes of uninsured motorist coverage, the term "uninsured motor vehicle" shall, subject to the terms and conditions of such coverage, be deemed to include an insured motor vehicle where the liability insurer thereof is unable to make payment with respect to the legal liability of its insured within the limits specified therein because of insolvency.
(2) For purposes of underinsured motorist coverage, subject to the further definitions, terms and conditions of such coverage, the term "underinsured motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle that is a self-insured motor vehicle, or a motor vehicle that is covered by a policy of motor vehicle liability insurance or an indemnity bond, with limits for bodily injury or death at least equal to those limits set forth in section 49-117, Idaho Code.
(3) Except as provided in subsections (1) and (2) of this section, the terms and conditions of any policy of motor vehicle liability insurance providing uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage are not altered or amended.
Idaho also has rules on when an insurance company may be required to pay attorney fees if and when a claim that is justly due is not paid in a timely manner:
41-1839. Allowance of attorney’s fees in suits against or in arbitration with insurers. (1) Any insurer issuing any policy, certificate or contract of insurance, surety, guaranty or indemnity of any kind or nature whatsoever that fails to pay a person entitled thereto within thirty (30) days after proof of loss has been furnished as provided in such policy, certificate or contract, or to pay to the person entitled thereto within sixty (60) days if the proof of loss pertains to uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage benefits, the amount that person is justly due under such policy, certificate or contract shall in any action thereafter commenced against the insurer in any court in this state, or in any arbitration for recovery under the terms of the policy, certificate or contract, pay such further amount as the court shall adjudge reasonable as attorney’s fees in such action or arbitration.
(2) In any such action or arbitration, if it is alleged that before the commencement thereof, a tender of the full amount justly due was made to the person entitled thereto, and such amount is thereupon deposited in the court, and if the allegation is found to be true, or if it is determined in such action or arbitration that no amount is justly due, then no such attorney’s fees may be recovered.
(3) This section shall not apply as to actions under the worker’s compensation law, title 72, Idaho Code. This section shall not apply to actions or arbitrations against surety insurers by creditors of or claimants against a principal and arising out of a surety or guaranty contract issued by the insurer as to such principal, unless such creditors or claimants shall have notified the surety of their claim, in writing, at least sixty (60) days prior to such action or arbitration against the surety. The surety shall be authorized to determine what portion or amount of such claim is justly due the creditor or claimant and payment or tender of the amount so determined by the surety shall not be deemed a volunteer payment and shall not prejudice any right of the surety to indemnification and/or subrogation so long as such determination and payment by the surety be made in good faith. Nor shall this section apply to actions or arbitrations against fidelity insurers by claimants against a principal and arising out of a fidelity contract or policy issued by the insurer as to such principal unless the liability of the principal has been acknowledged by him in writing or otherwise established by judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of statute to the contrary, this section and section 12-123, Idaho Code, shall provide the exclusive remedy for the award of statutory attorney’s fees in all actions or arbitrations between insureds and insurers involving disputes arising under policies of insurance. Provided, attorney’s fees may be awarded by the court when it finds, from the facts presented to it that a case was brought, pursued or defended frivolously, unreasonably or without foundation. Section 12-120, Idaho Code, shall not apply to any actions or arbitrations between insureds and insurers involving disputes arising under any policy of insurance.
These are just several of the statues and rules that come into play when evaluating a uninsured motorist claim or an underinsured motorist claim. Mahoney Law PLLC of Idaho provides lawyer, attorney, law firm, and legal counsel services for such matters involving personal injuries in the underinsured and uninsured motorist insurance claim context. We provide injury victims help with collecting on underinsured and uninsured motorist claims. We will evaluate your insurance situation to determine if you might be eligible to file a pesonal injury claim for underinsurd motorist coverage or uninsured motorist insurance benefits. Call now for a free, no obligation, confidential review. (208) 345-6364