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the legal corner * UnderinsUred and UninsUred Motorist Coverage Methods of transferring or distributing risk were practiced by Chinese and Babylonian traders in the third and second millennia B.C. Chinese merchants would place wares on multiple vessels to limit losses in case of a wreck. A Babylonian system recorded in the Code of Hammurabi and practiced by early Mediterranean sailing merchants who’d received shipping loans involved paying a lender an additional sum in exchange for the lender’s promise to cancel the loan if a shipment was stolen or lost at sea. Travelers Insurance Company is said to have provided the world’s first automobile insurance policy, in 1897, to car builder Gilbert J. Loomis. The $1,000 liability insurance policy, bought for $7.50, protected Loomis if his car were to kill or injure another or damage their property. In Wyoming, the minimum limit for automobile insurance is $25,000. Imagine driver “A” is in an automobile accident, where he is struck by driver “B,” who has run a stop sign. The accident is driver “B’s” fault. Driver “A” is injured to the degree that “A” is required to have a $100,000 surgery. Driver “B’s” insurance carrier will pay out to “A” $25,000 and no more monies will be owing from the carrier for the accident. If “A” wants more than that amount “A” will have to collect that from “B,” who more likely than not does not have such coverage. The situation is even direr if “B” has no insurance at all. In the first situation “B” is an underinsured motorist. In the second situation “B” is an uninsured motorist. Coverage can be purchased at reasonable premiums to cover for this situation. “A” could have purchased underinsured motorist coverage or uninsured motorist coverage. These two coverages provided insurance coverage when “B” is either underinsured or uninsured. These coverages are well worth talking to your insurance carrier about, if you have not already. P. Craig Silva - Attorney 159 N Wolcott St., Suite 400, Casper, WY (307) 265-0700 • * This material is not intended to be legal advice. Individuals should discuss any questions regarding this material with an attorney. P. Craig Silva is an attorney with the law firm of Williams, Porter, Day & Neville, P.C.

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