Explaining Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Your auto insurance protects you in the event you cause an accident and if someone hits you on the road then it’s assumed that their insurance will cover the damages. While it’s the law in every state to either have insurance or provide proof of financial responsibility, that doesn’t mean that all drivers on the road are insured. In fact, as many as 13% (or 1 in 8) drivers are uninsured. Also, if a driver has the bare minimum liability coverage then it’s possible their insurance won’t be enough to cover the damages in all cases.
So what do you do if you get hit by an uninsured or under-insured driver? Since the accident wasn’t your fault, your own auto insurance might not cover it, leaving you to pay out of pocket. You can try to sue the other driver for damages but if they are driving uninsured then there is a good chance they have no assets to pay you with even if you win. This is where having uninsured motorist coverage could step in and rescue you.
Types of Uninsured Motorist Coverage
For a small extra fee per month, you can add uninsured motorist coverage to your insurance. A few states even make this a legal necessity. Even if you don’t have to take out it by law, it could be a good idea, especially if you don’t have the funds in savings to protect you if you get hit by an uninsured driver. Most of the time, this is also the coverage you will use if you are involved in a hit and run, where you don’t get the other person’s information.
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage - This will help pay your medical bills for yourself or anyone in your car during the accident that was not your fault but caused by an uninsured driver. It might also protect you from underinsured drivers, although sometimes that is a separate add-on.
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage - This will help pay for damages to your car after a hit and run or uninsured driver accident. To avoid having to pay out of pocket, you’ll want this insurance. It’s especially important if you live in an area with a higher than average percentage of uninsured drivers on the road. These can be large urban areas or low-income areas.
Check with your insurance provider to see what the laws are in your area and how much it would cost to obtain uninsured motorist protection for you and your vehicle.