UM and UIM are shorthand ways of referring what Kentucky law calls uninsured motorists coverage and underinsured motorists coverage.

While people don’t have to buy these coverages when they purchase automobile insurance, many if not most people choose to do so, and for good reasons.

While people in Kentucky are supposed to carry liability insurance to pay compensation should they cause an accident, many choose to ignore the law and do not.

In recent years, for instance, one organization estimated that over 1 out of 10 drivers in Kentucky are operating without automobile liability insurance.

Since many of these people have no means to pay compensation out of their own assets, this means that a victim of an accident could have no practical way of covering their losses financially.

Many more Kentucky drivers are underinsured. This means that while they are carrying enough insurance to drive legally, it is not nearly enough to pay a person compensation after a serious accident.

After all, the most serious accidents can lead to millions of dollars in damage. Again, though, without insurance, many negligent drivers simply have no means of making good on the compensation they are legally responsible to pay.

As their names imply, UM and UIM coverages are meant to protect people from being in this terrible situation.

Basically, these coverages entitle an accident victim to demand that their own insurance company make up the difference if they are left short of compensation by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

The way these coverages apply to a specific situation can be complicated. Furthermore, a victim will still have to go through a claim process, and possibly litigation, in order to get his or her insurance company to pay the victim’s damages.