Many motorists in the country today have insurance because it is legally required in some States. Even if you’re not in a state that legally requires you to have insurance, it is always advised best to have one policy to cover you.
If you get into an accident and are badly hurt, the insurance policy could cover for your medical bills as well as provide damage repair to your vehicle. But what if you get into an accident with an uninsured driver or an underinsured driver whose coverage doesn’t protect the damage as such?
If that’s the situation, you should have uninsured motorist coverage to get you out of this significant expense. Let’s see what it is and how it works.
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What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
If you’re hit by a driver who doesn’t have insurance or liability coverage isn’t enough to cover you, you could be stuck with paying for the expense yourself. To avoid that, the best way is to have uninsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage will provide two types of coverages:
Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI): Any injury that you face as a result of the accident caused by an uninsured driver will be covered under this insurance policy. This will include your medical bills, hospital visits, treatments, or surgeries, and even the wages you will miss due to the accident. This coverage option includes not only you, but also your family member who is driving your vehicle.
Uninsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD): This coverage type protects your vehicle or your property if it gets damaged in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. For instance, a car accident ruins your side fence, or your garage light will be compensated under this policy. This policy will cover any repair or maintenance needed for your car, and even the loss of personal belongings in the vehicle can also be claimed.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage Limits
The usual, most common figure of uninsured motorist coverage is $100,000 bodily injury per person and $300,000 bodily injury per accident.
You can also have a deductible amount set, which means that you will pay that amount first for the expenses, and later on, the insurance company will jump in to pay the remainder.
It would be best if you opted for the amount of motorist coverage depending on several factors. If you’re a reckless driver with a high chance of getting into an accident, you should probably go for a more top coverage option. But if you hardly ever use your vehicle and use mass transit options for transportation, you can get away with a low coverage bundle.
As appealing as it sounds to have insurance coverage covering all your costs without you having to pay anything, it isn’t always a good idea. High coverage options will cost you more premiums! So, if you want to pay affordable premiums throughout the policy’s life, you will need to evaluate how much coverage you need.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage State Laws
The different States have different motorists’ requirements and what laws they need to be mindful of while applying for uninsured motorist coverage. These will also tell you how much coverage is possible and how much you need.
Here is a breakdown of the laws varying in each State.
|State||Requirements for buying UM or being offered UM||Can you reject UM in writing?||Minimum UM coverage amount||Is UMPD required? If so, minimum coverage amount||UMPD deductible|
|Alabama||Must be offered||Yes||25/50||No||N/A|
|Alaska||Must be offered||Yes||50/100||You can reject UMPD in writing; $25,000 minimum if you buy it||$250|
|Arizona||Must be offered||Yes, on a state-approved form||UM 15/30||No||n/a|
|Arkansas||UM must be offered. UIM must be offered if you buy UM.||Yes||UM – 25/50||You can reject UMPD in writing; $25,000 minimum if you buy it||$200|
|California||Must be offered||Yes||15/30||You can reject UMPD coverage||If you have collision coverage, UMPD only pays the deductible not covered by collision insurance, up to $3,500.|
|Colorado||Must be offered||Yes||25/50||May be offered at your request||N/A|
|Connecticut||Must be offered||Yes||20/40||No||N/A|
|Delaware||Must be offered||Yes||15/30||Acceptance of UM includes UMPD; $5,000||$250 (unless otherwise agreed in writing)|
|District of Columbia||UM is required||You can reject only UIM||UM – 25/50||Yes; $5,000||$200|
|Florida||Must be offered||Yes||10/20||N/A||N/A|
|Georgia||Must be offered||Yes||25/50||Yes; $25,000||$250|
|Hawaii||Must be offered||Yes||UM – 20/40||Yes; $10,000||N/A|
|Idaho||Must be offered||Yes||UM – 25/50||N/A||N/A|
|Illinois||Required||No||UM – 25/50||UMPD must be offered if you do not have collision insurance (you can reject in writing); $15,000||$250|
|Indiana||Must be offered||Yes||UM – 25/50
UIM – $50,000
|You can reject UMPD; $10,000||Choose no deductible or a max of $300; deductible waived if your car was hit while legally parked and unoccupied|
|Iowa||Must be offered||Yes||UM – 20/40||N/A||N/A|
|Kansas||Required||You can only reject coverage that exceeds 25/50||25/50||N/A||N/A|
|Kentucky||UM must be offered; UIM is available upon request||Yes||25/50 or a $60,000 single limit for both UM and UMPD||N/A||N/A|
|Louisiana||Must be offered||Yes||15/30||UMPD available but not required||$250|
|Maryland||Required||N/A||30/60||UMPD is required; $15,000||$50 – $250 (options in $50 increments)|
|Minnesota||Required||N/A||UM – 25/50||N/A||N/A|
|Mississippi||Must be offered||Yes||25/50||UMPD can be rejected; $25,000 minimum if you buy it||$200|
|Montana||Must be offered||Yes||25/50||N/A||N/A|
|Nebraska||Required||N/A||UM – 25/50||N/A||N/A|
|Nevada||Must be offered||Yes||25/30||N/A||N/A|
|New Hampshire||Must be offered||You can reject UM in excess/umbrella policies only||25/50||Yes; $25,000||N/A|
|New Jersey||Required on standard policies||N/A||UM – 15/30||Yes; $5,000||N/A|
|New Mexico||Must be offered||Yes||25/50||Yes; $10,000||$250 maximum|
|New York||UM required, UIM is optional||N/A||25/50 for injury, 50/100 for death||N/A||N/A|
|North Carolina||UM required. UIM required if UM coverage exceeds 30/60||N/A||UM – 30/60||Yes; $25,000||$100|
|Ohio||An insurer decides whether to offer it||N/A||25/50||Available upon your request, not to exceed $7,500||$250|
|Oklahoma||Must be offered||Yes||25/50||N/A||N/A|
|Oregon||UM is required. UIM is required if UM coverage is more than 25/50||N/A||25/50||Yes; $20,000||$200; $300 in hit-and-run claims|
|Pennsylvania||Must be offered||Yes||15/30||N/A||N/A|
|Rhode Island||Must be offered||Yes||25/50||Not required but $25,000 minimum coverage if you buy it||$200|
|South Carolina||UM is required||You can reject UIM||25/50||Yes; $25,000||$200|
|Tennessee||Must be offered||Yes||25/50 or a $60,000 single limit||Yes; 15||$200|
|Texas||Must be offered||Yes||30/60||Yes; $25,000||$250|
|Utah||Must be offered||Yes||25/65 for UM; 10/20 for UIM||Required if you do not have collision coverage||$250|
|Washington||Must be offered||Yes||25/50||Required if you don’t have collision coverage, minimum of $10,000 in coverage||$100; $300 for hit-and-run claims|
|West Virginia||UM is required; UIM is optional||N/A||20/40||Yes; $10,000||$300|
|Wisconsin||UM is mandatory||UIM can be rejected||25/50 for UM;
50/100 for UIM
|Wyoming||Must be offered||Yes||25/50||N/A||N/A|
Note: Sample rates have been extracted online, courtesy of Forbes.
Accidents on the road are inevitable, nobody can stop those. But, what can be done is applying a maximum layer of protection through uninsured motorist coverage. Protect yourself, your loved ones and your vehicle financially by getting insured!