Understanding Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is a coverage that not everyone has but everyone needs. You may think tacking on another coverage is pointless, especially if you have never gotten in a wreck, but this coverage can save you big money if you were to get in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, which happens more often than you would think.
What is uninsured motorist coverage?
Uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM) coverage is an optional coverage that protects you when someone with no insurance or not enough liability insurance hits you. UM coverage can help pay for your car repairs, medical bills and property damage depending on the state you live in and the type of coverage you have on your vehicle.
Why you need uninsured motorist coverage
Picture this – you’re at a stop sign checking left and right to make sure it’s safe to go. Suddenly, you are rear-ended and your arm smashes into the steering wheel. You get out of your car to see your whole bumper has fallen off as well. You call the police and while they are running the report you find out the person who hit you has no insurance. Luckily, you are covered by the uninsured motorist coverage.
Your next question might be, does uninsured motorist coverage cover a hit-and-run? The answer is yes! If that same person that rear ended you were to drive off from the scene, you are still covered under the uninsured motorist coverage for your injuries in Alabama , but it will cover injuries and property damage in Mississippi and Georgia.
In a perfect world, everyone would carry an appropriate amount of insurance to protect themselves and others should there be an accident, but that is not the reality. According to the Insurance Research Council, more than 12% of United States drivers were uninsured in 2019. And in some states, it’s a much higher percentage (in Mississippi, over 29% of drivers are uninsured).
That means, for every 100 cars you pass in the US, 12 of those are uninsured, despite states legally requiring a minimum of liability coverage. And the percentage of people with the minimum coverage amount is even higher, which means they are underinsured and may not have enough coverage to cover a claim. If one of these cars hits you, they wouldn’t have the insurance needed to cover your car’s repairs or your medical costs, if needed.
Think about how often you travel to Florida. Maybe just once a year or maybe multiple times a year. Well, what if I told you that one in four drivers in Florida have no car insurance. That fun vacation you planned could be ruined by an uninsured motorist.
Uninsured motorist coverage is not included in most policies. It’s purchased as an add-on to your car insurance policy. You may be surprised at how little your premium goes up when this important coverage is added. Give your agent a call today to get a quote on adding UM coverage!