Underinsured motorist conversion coverage is insurance coverage offered in Connecticut but is not always available in other states. Underinsured motorist conversion coverage ensures that whatever uninsured/underinsured coverage you carry is added to the at-fault driver’s coverage after an accident – which means more money to cover your medical or legal bills.
How does underinsured motorist conversion coverage work?
Underinsured motorist conversion coverage in Connecticut is optional. This coverage provides reimbursement in case an underinsured driver injures you, and your damages exceed their coverage.
If your damages exceed the at-fault driver’s insurance, your underinsured motorist conversion coverage will cover any unpaid damages up to your coverage limits.
The main benefit of this coverage is that the payout is not reduced by payments from any other source, including the at-fault driver’s liability insurance, which makes it a bit different from traditional uninsured motorist coverage.
For example, imagine you are carrying $300,000 in uninsured/underinsured coverage. You are seriously injured when another driver hits you. Your medical bills total $400,000, but the at-fault driver only carries $200,000 in bodily injury liability. You may assume that since you are carrying $300,000 in coverage and the at-fault driver is carrying $200,000 in liability coverage, there is more than enough money ($500,000 in total) to cover your medical bills.
Unfortunately, most standard uninsured/underinsured policies consider any amounts collected from other sources toward your coverage total. That means that since you are getting $200,000 from the at-fault driver’s policy, you can only collect $100,000 from your uninsured/underinsured coverage for $300,000, leaving you on the hook for $100,000 in medical bills.
This is where underinsured motorist conversion coverage steps up to cover this financial gap. Adding this endorsement to your policy ensures that the total of whatever uninsured/underinsured coverage you carry is added to the at-fault driver’s coverage. So in our previous example, you would now have $500,000 (your $300,000 + $200,000 at-fault driver) to cover your medical expenses.
Connecticut conversion coverage is an optional coverage or endorsement that, in effect, “stacks” your policy onto that of the at-fault party. In other words, if someone at fault in an accident has insurance coverage that is inadequate to pay damages for injuries you sustain, conversion coverage allows you to place your underinsured motorist coverage on top of the responsible party’s coverage regardless of your underinsured motorist coverage limits.
– Michelle Megna contributed to this story.
Resources & Methodology
State of Connecticut Insurance Department. “Automobile Coverage Information.” Accessed October 2022.