How Does Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Work?

Updated: January 2022

Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage (UM) is coverage that kicks in when you are in an accident with a driver who is at fault and is either uninsured or underinsured, meaning they do not have the coverage necessary to cover your costs. There is both bodily injury and property damage UM coverage.

Uninsured or underinsured drivers are more common than most of us think -- over 12 percent of drivers in the U.S. fall into this category. Drivers with UM coverage can have more peace of mind on the road, as it covers any gaps in coverage that other drivers might have.

Keep in mind that UM coverage only works when you are not the at-fault driver in an accident.

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Is UM Coverage Worth It?

In some states, UM is a state minimum requirement, so you’ll have to purchase it no matter what. These states include: Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire*, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

*New Hampshire does not require drivers to purchase insurance, but drivers that do choose to get insured have to follow the state’s minimum requirements, which includes UM coverage.

In other cases, when it is simply an option, we understand the temptation to not purchase it. After all, opting for more coverage does mean an increase in monthly premiums. However, consider that even drivers with the state minimum insurance are liable to be considered underinsured, especially when it comes to a serious accident in which costs are particularly high – and, unfortunately, many drivers purchase only the minimum. Although it will mean higher costs month-to-month, UM offers protection that can be invaluable if you do end up in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Compare auto insurance options with uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage by enter your zip code now. You could save $744* per year!

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