What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
As the number of uninsured motorists on the roads continues to increase, so does the number of accidents. In 2023, it is estimated that there are more than 28 million uninsured drivers on the roads, making it more difficult for those involved in an accident to receive compensation. This has created a growing problem as more and more drivers are unable to pay for damages caused by uninsured motorists. It is important for drivers to be aware of their responsibility when it comes to driving safely and having adequate insurance coverage to protect themselves from potential financial losses.
Uninsured motorist coverage is a type of insurance policy that provides protection for drivers who are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. It can also provide protection for drivers who are hit by an underinsured driver, meaning the driver has some but not enough liability insurance to cover the costs associated with the accident. Uninsured motorist coverage can help protect you financially in the event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver and can help pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
So, What Exactly Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage, and Why Do I Need It?
Uninsured motorist coverage is also called UM by insurance companies, and there are two types — uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) and uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD). UMBI is a type of auto insurance that can help you or your family pay for expenses due to medical needs if you or passengers are injured in a car accident caused by any of these:
- A hit-and-run driver
- A driver who does not carry liability car insurance
- A driver whose insurance company goes out of business or denies their coverage
When these crises occur, people with uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance can receive payment for:
- Lost wages due to the accident
- Medical bills
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Expenses related to a funeral
Having access to financial means to take care of expenses during a trying time, such as in the wake of an accident, is important not only for fiscal security but also for mental well-being.
While UMBI focuses on assisting with injuries to persons, while UMPD can assist you in paying for damages to your property or vehicle after an accident in which the at-fault driver has no auto insurance. In addition to both of these coverages, you can also opt for underinsured motorist insurance (UMI), which can help pay for the above mentioned expenses if the driver who caused the accident has some, but not enough, insurance to cover your medical bills and related expenses.
Which State Are You In?
You should be aware that there are 20 states plus the District of Columbia that require resident drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage at specified levels. These states are:
- New Hampshire
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
If you reside in one of these states, you should speak to an insurance professional to determine how much uninsured motorist insurance you are required to carry. However, no matter which state you live in, getting uninsured motorist coverage is a smart idea. In most areas, this type of coverage is relatively inexpensive. However, it may cost more in areas with a larger population of uninsured motorists. For example, in New Jersey the number of uninsured motorists is approximately 3.1% of the driving population, while Mississippi clocks in at a rate of 29.4%. That means that the cost of UM coverage for drivers in Mississippi may be higher than for those living in New Jersey.
Trust Schuetz to Keep You Protected on the Road
At Schuetz Insurance, we want to keep our customers as safe as possible. So, whether you have assets that your standard insurance just doesn’t cover, or you simply want the peace of mind that the highest level of coverage can bring, we can help. Our team of insurance experts can help you decide whether uninsured motorist coverage is right for you and help you make a smart choice among coverage types so that the things you care about most are safer — on the road and off. Contact us today and learn more about how easy it is to keep your automobile, property, drivers, and passengers covered in the event of an accident.
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