What is uninsured motorist’s coverage?

Did you know that approximately 1 in 7 drivers on the road is currently uninsured? This, according to the latest study done by the Insurance Research Council (IRC), shows that roughly 14 percent of all drivers are uninsured.  The study broke down the findings by state and showed that almost 28 percent of drivers are uninsured in some states!

This brings to light a few questions we are often asked as agents:

  • What is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage?
  • Why do I need it?
  • How much does this coverage cost?

We hope the following report will help shed some light on those questions.  If you have any further questions or concerns, would like to add this coverage, or simply verify this coverage is on your current policy, please feel free to contact our office.

What is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage can pay for your injuries, injuries to your passengers, and, in some cases, damage to your property when there is an accident with a driver who is uninsured or underinsured and is legally responsible for the accident.

Uninsured Drivers, by definition, mean a driver who does not have any insurance, does not carry insurance that would meet the state minimum requirements, or whose insurance company denies the claim.  Hit-and-run drivers are also considered “uninsured.”

An Underinsured Driver is someone who carries enough insurance to meet minimum state requirements but whose limits are not high enough to pay for the damage they caused.  (In many states, the minimum insurance liability requirement is as low as $15,000!)

Why Do I Need Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Insurance?

While many states do not mandate Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage, it is still highly recommended that you purchase it.  If you do not carry this coverage and are hit by an uninsured driver, the financial toll it could take on you and your family could be devastating.

According to Carolyn Gorman, Vice President of The Insurance Information Institute:
“You absolutely need this coverage because if you get into an accident with someone who is driving without insurance or doesn’t have enough of it, you want to be made financially whole again.  You have to protect yourself fiscally and physically, and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection can help you in this regard.”

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost to add Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage is fairly cheap.  In many cases, it costs less than $100 per year to add the coverage.

This is an incredible value when you consider the protection this coverage provides.  Typically, the coverage will not only pay for any physical injuries sustained by you and your passengers but will often include coverage for lost wages and pain suffering caused by accident.

* Disclaimer. The above information is to be used as guidance only and should not be considered definite in any particular case.   Every policy is different, and you need to read through your policy and consult with your agent to determine how your coverage will respond.  We simply cannot analyze every possible loss exposure within this article and exception to the general guidelines above.