The laws in nearly every U.S. state require drivers to carry valid car insurance but some motorists still break the law and drive without it. When another driver causes an accident resulting in damage to your property or injury or death to you and/or your family, you might need help paying for the costs.
Similar to liability coverage, uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) consists of sub-categories. Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) insurance helps you pay for expenses you and/or your passengers sustain when another at-fault driver does not have any insurance. UMBI also potentially covers expenses related to:
- Hit-and-run accidents.
- Lost wages.
- An uninsured driver hitting you while you are riding a bicycle or walking.
- Physical rehabilitation.
- Funeral expenses when applicable.
Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) covers expenses related to damages to your car or other property. This type of coverage replaces the liability insurance an at-fault driver was supposed to have active while operating a vehicle. UMPD does not cover expenses related to the injury or death of you or your passengers.
UIM coverage helps you pay for damages caused by an at-fault driver whose liability insurance is not able to fully cover your expenses.
UM/UIM coverage is optional in the majority of U.S. states. New York, Connecticut and Virginia require minimum coverage amounts, however. South Carolina, Maryland, Nevada, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Oregon and other states also require a minimum amount of UM/UIM coverage.
How much UM/UIM coverage do you really need?
Beyond your state’s minimum requirements as applicable it is important to consider both the value of your vehicle and the property regularly transported within your vehicle. How often do you drive your automobile? Do you travel state to state on a regular basis or drive short distances only? Most importantly, do you frequently travel with your spouse and/or family? The amount of UM/UIM coverage you really need above minimum state requirements is a reflection of what, and who, you are protecting against damages caused by an uninsured or underinsured at-fault motorist.