Global Guard Insurance

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Protecting Yourself on the Road

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Sharing the road comes with inherent risks. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) helps mitigate financial burdens if you’re involved in an accident caused by a driver who lacks proper insurance.

Here's a breakdown of everything you need to know:

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Understanding Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage

 Protects you and your passengers from medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering if the at-fault driver has no liability insurance or is a hit-and-run driver.

Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage

Kicks in when the at-fault driver has insurance, but their coverage limits aren’t enough to cover your damages.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage Costs

Adding UM/UIM coverage typically increases your car insurance premium by a small percentage. The exact cost depends on your location, driving record, and chosen coverage limits.

Uninsured Motorist vs. Underinsured Motorist Coverage

  • Think of UM coverage as a safety net: It catches you if there’s no other insurance to fall back on.
  • UIM coverage is your backup plan: It helps cover the gap if the at-fault driver’s insurance isn’t sufficient.

State Laws for Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Laws regarding UM/UIM coverage vary by state. You can find details about your state’s requirements by visiting your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website.

Determining Whether Uninsured Motorist Coverage Is Necessary

Here are some factors to consider:

  • Number of uninsured drivers: States with high rates of uninsured drivers make UM/UIM more attractive.
  • Your financial situation: If you lack savings to cover accident-related costs, UM/UIM provides peace of mind.
  • Value of your car: UIM protects your car’s value if the at-fault driver’s insurance isn’t enough for repairs.

Hit-And-Run Accidents May Not Be Covered by Uninsured Motorist Insurance

Some UM policies exclude hit-and-run accidents if you cannot identify the at-fault driver.

Understanding the Payout from an Uninsured Motorist Claim

  • Limits apply: Your UM/UIM coverage has its own limits, independent of your liability coverage limits.
  • Payout depends on the accident: The payout is determined based on the severity of your injuries and the policy limits you chose.

How to File an Uninsured Motorist Coverage Claim

  • Contact your insurance company: Report the accident immediately and follow their instructions for filing a claim.
  • Gather evidence: Collect police reports, medical records, and repair estimates to support your claim.

Understanding Underinsured Motorist Coverage

UIM coverage works similarly to UM coverage, but it applies when the at-fault driver has some insurance, but not enough to cover your losses.

How to File an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Claim

The process for filing a UIM claim is similar to filing a UM claim. Provide your insurance company with details of the accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance information, and documentation of your damages.

Alternative Coverage Options to Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance

  • Collision coverage: Pays to repair your car if you’re at fault in an accident (not a substitute for UM/UIM).
  • Medical payments coverage: Covers medical expenses for you and your passengers, regardless of fault (typically has lower limits than UM/UIM).

The Bottom Line

The best UM/UIM coverage depends on your individual needs and state requirements. Consider your risk tolerance, financial situation, and local statistics on uninsured drivers. Consult with your insurance agent to determine the right amount of UM/UIM coverage for you.