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Is Enhanced Underinsured Motorist Insurance Coverage Offered in Maryland?

Maryland, a few years ago, enacted statutory provisions requiring insurance companies writing automobile business in this state to offer a form of uninsured coverage called “enhanced underinsured” coverage. The additional offering came into play for policies dated July 1, 2018 and after. The significant difference, other than the increased premiums, is that with the enhanced coverage:

There is no set-off or reduction for amounts paid by the at-fault party's liability insurance

Under the former “straight” uninsured scheme, one had to have more uninsured coverage than the at-fault party’s liability coverage in order to get uninsured benefits. As the amount of the uninsured coverage available was reduced by the amount paid to exhaust the at-fault liability policy, if the two policies had the same limit, it was a wash. Not so with the new enhanced converge. Here, there is no reduction for the amount paid by the at-fault party’s insurance. So, a person with an enhanced underinsured policy limit identical to that of the at-fault party would still be able to recover from their own “enhanced” coverage with the same limits in addition to the amount they recover from at-fault driver’s policy. Now, to be sure, the motorist pays for this additional coverage. I would offer this observation. Over the course of 25 years I've seen countless individuals injured through no fault of their, own, and indeed,  through the fault an negligence of another. The at-fault party has minima insurance [ in Maryland $30,000] and the injured person has uninsured motorist coverage in that same amount. Under straight coverage, that insured person cannot recover uninsured motorist benefits. With enhanced uninsured motorist coverage, they could recover up to an additional $30,000. For all the obvious reason, my standard advice is to purchase the additional coverage. 

     -This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 11/10/20.

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