Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Everything You Should Know

Everything You Need to Know About Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Introduction

If you’re looking for the best auto insurance quotes and coverage, then you have to know a thing or two about the market as well as the various forms of auto insurance on it. Each type of coverage is designed for a specific circumstances, and you don’t want to end up wasting money on car insurance that you won’t even end up using, or the opposite – not having car insurance coverage for a specific situation you are facing.

To that end, we’re going to take a deep look at uninsured motorist coverage. We’ll discuss what is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and when does uninsured motorist coverage apply. We’ll also cover how much uninsured motorist coverage you may need based on the state that you live in with the help of a table that covers the minimum coverage for each of the 20 states in which it’s mandated.

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured motorist coverage, or uninsured motorist clause, is an auto insurance policy extension that covers any injuries caused to you from uninsured drivers.

There are reckless drivers out there. They are all around us. That is why it is even more concerning that more than  1/8 drivers on the road are uninsured, and the uninsured rate continues to rise.  

So if an uninsured driver gets in to an auto accident with you, and the  collision  injures you in any level, he or she may not have any insurance and may not be able to afford your medical costs coverage.

Uninsured motorist insurance coverage, also known as uninsured motorist clause, may be your safest option to protect yourself from the recklessness of others on the road. 

This is particularly important if you live in a state where many people are uninsured, which are usually the ones where accidents are less frequent.

Uninsured motorist insurance is actually two different kinds of car insurance merged into one. It consists of the aforementioned uninsured coverage, but it also comprises underinsured motorist coverage. Since these two are functionally identical, they’re always merged into the same policy.

As you would expect from the name, this kind of car insurance is designed to kick in when the driver at fault for the accident is uninsured or underinsured. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the other driver was in the wrong, as the term “underinsured” also encompasses drivers who have reached their policy limits.

In case the other driver doesn’t have car insurance that can pay out for your bodily injuries or the damage to your vehicle, this form of car insurance will kick in and provide you with the required amount of coverage. This amount will come from your own car insurance company instead of the at-fault driver’s.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage will ensure that you’re never left in dire financial straits because you ended up getting into an accident with someone who was driving uninsured. It is also popular in states where insurance coverage is not mandatory, such as Virginia.

What Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Cover?

There are two forms of uninsured motorist coverage that you can opt for, and some states may require one or both of them, depending on their insurance legislation. The two varieties are uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage and uninsured motorist property damage coverage.

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage (UMBI)

As the name suggests, this form of insurance is designed to cover your medical bills and related expenses if you end up getting injured in a collision with someone who doesn’t have car insurance. In no fault states with PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance plans, UMBI may be required to make up for your PIP insurance.

UMBI is still used in no fault states because it typically offers higher payout limits for a lower price than comparable PIP plans. This is because you’re less likely to need UMBI coverage than PIP coverage in no fault states, so it’s less of a risk for insurers to charge lower rates for this type of coverage.

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage (UMPD)

This is about as self-explanatory as UMBI, as this form of uninsured motorist insurance is used to ensure that you have enough money to repair your vehicle after you get into a crash with an uninsured motorist. Along with your repairs, UMPD can also be used to cover rental car expenses and collision deductibles.

Depending on the state, UMPD may automatically apply to each vehicle on the policy. However, if you’re in a state where UMPD isn’t legally mandated, then you may need to add this kind of coverage individually for each vehicle that you own.

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Uninsured Motorist Coverage vs Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist insurance is designed for more severe situations in which the driver at fault for the accident doesn’t have any form of liability car insurance coverage. While it’s typically illegal to drive without car insurance, certain states don’t have mandatory car insurance, so it is slightly more common than you may think.

On the other hand, underinsured motorist insurance is used when someone doesn’t have enough of a policy limit to cover all of the damages that they caused. In these cases, your underinsured motorist policy will kick in and cover any expenses exceeding the other driver’s limit, up to the limit of the underinsured policy.

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How Much Uninsured Motorist Coverage Do I Need?

If you’re asking yourself how much uninsured motorist coverage you should get, that depends on the state that you’re living in. Since some states mandate uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you’ll need to make sure that you have at least the minimum level of coverage required to legally drive in your state.

If you’re caught without the minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage, then you’re accepting the risk that you may lose your license at any time. This is because driving underinsured can get your license instantly taken away from you and you may even require SR22 insurance to get it back.

To make sure that you always have the right level of uninsured motorist coverage, the following table will contain the minimum coverage levels for each state that mandates uninsured motorist insurance:

State Minimum amount of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage required
Connecticut $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
Illinois $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
Kansas $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
Maine $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
Maryland $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident
Massachusetts $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident
Minnesota $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
Missouri $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
Nebraska $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
New Hampshire $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
New York $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
North Carolina $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident
North Dakota $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
Oregon $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
South Carolina $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
South Dakota $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
Vermont $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident
Virginia $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
West Virginia $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
Wisconsin $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident

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How Much Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Cost?

Here are some example costs of UM coverage:
State  Average UM insurance cost 
California $99
Florida $253
Massachusetts $16
Maine $21
Ohio $42
Texas $108
Oregon $46

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