You rely on your auto insurance policy to provide you with protection and peace of mind every time you get behind the wheel. If you're in an accident, you can count on your collision coverage to pay for repairs to your car. If your vehicle is damaged by falling hail, you can rely on your comprehensive coverage to cover the repairs as well. And if you're injured in an accident, the other driver's liability coverage (plus your medical insurance, where applicable) should help to pay for your hospital bills.
But what if you're in an accident with one of the 13% of drivers in the United States who is uninsured? Then, you'd better hope you have underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage as part of your auto insurance policy.
What Is Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Specifically, underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage is a type of protection that can be added to your standard auto insurance policy. It is designed to pay for your medical bills and related expenses in the event that you're in an accident with somebody who either doesn't carry insurance or doesn't carry enough to cover your expenses.
For example, if you're in an accident and rack up $150,000 in medical bills, but the driver who hit you only has liability coverage for up to $100,000, your underinsured/uninsured motorist protection will kick in and pay the remaining $50,000. This saves you from having to sue the other driver or their insurance company in order to get the compensation you deserve.
Are You Required to Carry This Coverage?
Most states don't require drivers to carry underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage, but some do. It is most commonly required in no-fault states, and some examples of states where this coverage is required include:
Even if this coverage isn't required in your state, it may be worth adding to your existing auto insurance policy for peace of mind. Generally, adding underinsured/uninsured motorist protection doesn't significantly increase your premium. However, you'll be happy you have this coverage if you are involved in any accident with somebody who doesn't carry insurance or who is underinsured.
Reach out to your auto insurance agent today to find out more about underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage and what it can do for you. And if you live in a state where this coverage is required, be sure to check your policy and make sure you have it.
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