Protecting Yourself against Uninsured Motorists
How Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Work?
All states except New Hampshire have mandatory car insurance regulations. In most cases, this means drivers need to carry at least their states’ minimum required insurance. This is typically some form of liability insurance, which covers personal injury and property damage if you’re at fault in a collision.
If you’re financing a vehicle, no matter what state you live in, comprehensive and collision insurance as well as liability is required. But, did you know that there’s even more insurance coverage available? Depending on where you live, some of it may even be required.
This additional coverage is called uninsured motorist coverage. It generally comes in two forms: uninsured motorist bodily damage, and uninsured motorist property damage. These policies typically cover you against both uninsured drivers and hit-and-run drivers. If you’re in a collision with an uninsured driver, it’s up to you to carry enough insurance to guard against the possibility of personal injury.
Most uninsured motorist coverage and/or uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance covers injuries to yourself, passengers in your vehicle at the time of a collision, and others who are covered by your policy. This includes family members, even if they’re in another vehicle, as long as they’re covered under your policy.
Why Coverage Matters
Some states require drivers to have uninsured motorist coverage as part of their policy, while others don’t. Despite the laws that are in place, many drivers still don’t carry insurance. In fact, The Insurance Research Council compiled a list of states and their percentage of uninsured drivers, and found that one in eight drivers remain uninsured throughout the country.
Some states, such as Oklahoma and New Mexico, managed to lower the percentage of uninsured drivers in their states as of 2015, the last year data was available. Others, however, remained at the top of the list for the most uninsured drivers, proving that it’s important to have this provision in your car insurance policy. The top five states on the list – Florida, Mississippi, New Mexico, Michigan, and Tennessee – all have 20 percent or more of their motorists driving uninsured.
As always, seeking advice from your independent insurance agent is your best option. They can explain all of the many ways to protect you & your family.