While no one expects to get into a car accident, Texans who find themselves in just such a quandary may feel relieved that they have the necessary auto insurance coverage, and, they assume, so does the other driver. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes a motorist is struck by another motorist who has insufficient insurance coverage to cover all the victim’s damages.

Fortunately, if you carry underinsured motorist coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, and you are in a crash with an at-fault driver whose insurance is insufficient to cover your damages, financial relief may still be available. The following is an overview of the process for obtaining compensation through underinsured motorist coverage.

First, following a car crash, you will file a claim with your auto insurance company. The insurer will then contact the other motorist’s insurer and ask that the appropriate damages be paid. If the other driver does not have enough insurance coverage to pay these damages, the victim’s insurer will pay for the balance, although there may be a limit to such compensation as indicated in your insurance policy. Also, underinsured motorist coverage will generally not pay more than the actual costs incurred directly as a result of the crash, and there may be a specified window of time in which you may file an underinsured motorist claim.

Keep in mind that underinsured motorist is different from uninsured coverage. Also, state law varies on underinsured motorist policies and processes. Thus, it is important to consult a professional if you have questions about underinsured motorist claims, as this post is for educational purposes and does not provide legal advice.