Uninsured Motorist Coverage

April 22, 2024

Uninsured motorist coverage is a crucial component of auto insurance that protects you in case of an accident caused by a driver who lacks liability insurance.

  1. What Is Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage?
    • Uninsured motorist coverage, also known as UM or UMBI, pays for medical expenses if you or your passengers are injured in an auto accident caused by:
      • A driver who doesn’t have any liability car insurance.
      • A hit-and-run driver.
      • A driver whose insurance company denies coverage or goes out of business.
    • UM coverage does not pay anything to the uninsured driver; it pays you.
    • Some states also offer uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD), which covers your car’s damages if an uninsured driver hits you. Note that collision coverage can also cover your vehicle damage, whether the person who hit you is insured or not.
  2. Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Protection:
    • UIM insurance is separate but sometimes packaged with UM.
    • It pays for medical bills and other expenses if you’re in an accident caused by a driver who doesn’t have enough liability insurance to cover your medical bills.
  3. How Much Uninsured Motorist Coverage Do You Need?
    • If your state requires uninsured motorist coverage, you must buy at least the state’s minimum.
    • Typically, the minimum UM coverage amounts match your liability coverage amounts. For example, if you have liability limits of $100,000 for injury to one person and $300,000 for injuries in one accident (known as 100/300), you would buy 100/300 in UM coverage.
    • Some insurance companies can add excess Uninsurance Motorist/Underinsured Motorist coverage to your Umbrella policy, if you have one.

According to the Insurance Research Council, in 2022 14% of motorists, 1 out of 7 driver, were uninsured.  Below are the top 10 highest and lowest states by estimated percentage of Uninsured Motorists in 2022. How is your state doing?

 Highest Lowest
Rank (2)StatePercent uninsuredRank (2)StatePercent uninsured
2New Mexico24.92Maine6.2
5Michigan19.65New Hampshire7.8
7Georgia18.17North Dakota7.9
9Colorado17.59South Dakota8.0