On December 13, 2017, the State of Delaware increased the state’s minimum bodily injury insurance policy limits. The prior state minimum limits were $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. The change in the law has increased the minimum limits to $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
The increase in insurance limits helps to account for the increased costs of medical care. Governor John Carney signed the law on June 13, 2017. The bill became effective on December 13, 2017.
The increase in insurance limits also increases Delaware’s uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) limits. Both UM/UIM benefits were increased to $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. The increase in coverage is long overdue for Delaware residents. The prior state minimum requirements were in effect since 1983.
With the rising costs of insurance premiums, medical treatment and employee wages, the minimum bodily injury liability limits needed to be addressed. Delaware was on the lower end of state minimum bodily injury limits prior to the law being changed. The increase in Delaware’s minimum limits to $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident has helped to put Delaware more in line with other states minimum bodily injury limits across the country.
UM/UIM coverage helps to protect Delaware residents when they are involved in a motor vehicle accident where the at-fault driver either does not have any insurance or enough insurance coverage to fully compensate the injured party. It is estimated that 11% of drivers on roadways in Delaware are operating a vehicle without having insurance. Although, drivers are not required to have UM/UIM coverage in Delaware, it is a wise decision to carry this additional form of insurance.
UM coverage allows a person injured in an auto accident to file a claim against his or her insurance company if the person that caused the accident did not carry auto insurance. UIM coverage allows a person injured in an auto accident to file a claim when the person that caused the accident did not have enough coverage to fully compensate the injured party.
If you have questions regarding UM/UIM claims, be sure to reach out to a personal injury lawyer you can trust that has handled many UM/UIM claims before and is very familiar with the recent changes in Delaware law. It is important to check the amount of insurance coverage available prior to settling a claim to avoid waiving a potential UIM claim.
Thanks to our friends from Pratcher Krayer, LLC, for their insight into minimum insurance limits.