Are Family Members Covered Under a Maryland Insurance Policy?

Those who have been involved in a serious Maryland car accident may have sustained injury, property damage, and missed time away from work. If the other driver who caused the accident has insurance, the accident victim can file a claim under that driver’s policy. However, if the at-fault driver either does not have insurance, or their insurance coverage is insufficient to cover the expenses incurred by the accident victim, the accident victim may have to look elsewhere to obtain full compensation.

Most commonly, in these situations, an injured motorist will look to their own insurance policy. Under Maryland law, all insurance policies must by default contain coverage for accidents involving underinsured or uninsured drivers. It is only if the insurance company obtains a written request by the insured to waive underinsured/uninsured motorist (UIM) protection that an insurance company can issue a policy without this coverage. Needless to say, UIM coverage can be critical to an accident victim obtaining a full and fair settlement. Unfortunately, issues frequently arise when dealing with UIM policies. One issue that comes up often in Maryland UIM insurance claims is whether the person making the claim was covered under the policy.

Maryland insurance policies are contracts, and are enforced through state contract law. In exchange for a monthly premium payable by the insured, an insurance company agrees to provide certain coverage, as outlined in the policy. Among other things, all insurance policies must contain the coverage amounts and state who the coverage applies to. Often, policies will contain “exclusions” which outline specific circumstances in which coverage will not apply.

For example, in a recent car accident case, an accident victim was involved in a collision with another driver. That driver did not have sufficient insurance coverage to fully compensate the accident victim for his injuries. So the accident victim filed a claim with his mother’s insurance company. The victim lived with his mother, and owned his own car. His mother’s insurance contract provided coverage to all relatives who lived within the insured’s home. However, the policy contained an exclusion for a “resident relative who owns a vehicle.” The court held that the insurance company was not required to extend UIM benefits to the accident victim because he was a resident relative who owned his own vehicle. Thus, the court held that the claim fit within an exclusion outlined in the policy.

Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Car Accident?

If you or someone you love was recently involved in a Maryland car accident, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. At the Maryland personal injury law offices of Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, we represent clients in a wide range of motor vehicle claims across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Our team of experienced attorneys will meet with you at your convenience to describe the recovery process and how we can help. To learn more, and to begin the process, call 800-654-1949 to schedule a free consultation today. Calling is free, and you will not be billed for our services unless we can help you obtain compensation for your injuries.

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