Most states require some form of auto insurance in order for drivers to hit the road. However, not all states require liability insurance, which pays for damages or medical expenses to the other driver if they cause an accident.
If you’re injured in an auto accident caused by another driver who has no insurance or not enough insurance, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage will kick in to help cover medical or damage expenses. Otherwise, your wallet might take a hit.
While auto insurance is a requirement in nearly every state, not everyone has it or they don’t have enough of it. Coverage like uninsured or underinsured motorist liability coverage can help protect you from paying more out of pocket for an accident that wasn’t your fault.
Uninsured motorist coverage: Used to cover injuries that you and your passengers sustain when an uninsured (or a hit-and-run) driver is at fault.
Underinsuredmotorist coverage: Used when the at-fault driver has minimal auto insurance and not enough insurance tocover the bodily damage to you or your passengers.
The main difference between uninsured and underinsured coverage is whether the driver who caused the accident has some insurance or no insurance at all. Other than that, these two coverages pay for most medical expenses for you and your passenger(s), including:
Similar to how uninsured and underinsured motorist liability coverage helps to pay for medical expenses, uninsured and underinsured motorist property damage coverage will pay for damage to your vehicle. For example, if an uninsured or underinsured driver rear-ends you, damaging your bumper and taillight, this coverage protects you from paying for your own vehicle’s damage out of pocket.
Some states require a minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage, while others may not require any. However, even if you live in a no-fault state, it’s recommended to have uninsured and underinsured coverage. Your insurance agent will help you determine how much coverage is necessary in your state.
This coverage requirement also varies by state and may have a minimal coverage amount. Check with your insurance agent to learn your state’s requirements.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage shouldn’t replace your health insurance but work alongside it. You might have great health insurance, but uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can help with copays, high deductibles and covers things your health insurance might not, such as lost wages if the accident was serious enough to make you miss time at work.If you pay for collision insurance, in most cases, that will cover damage if you’re hit by another vehicle. However, your collision coverage limit often depreciates with the value of your car, so if you total your vehicle, you may not be able to replace it with the newest model.