Understanding coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists


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  • Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage protects you if someone without adequate auto insurance hits you.
  • This coverage falls under third party liability insurance, which also covers damage you cause to other vehicles or drivers.
  • Liability insurance is required by law, but only some states require coverage for uninsured motorists.
  • See Insider’s picks for the best auto insurance companies.

Auto insurance is required by state law, unlike home insurance. But according to Michael Dietry, assistant vice president of personal products and services at Dairy insurance, in 2017, 13% of motorists (i.e. 1 in 7 drivers) were uninsured.

There are four main types of

car insurance
: complete, collision and liability. Full coverage is a combination of all three. To protect you from uninsured drivers, some states require coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists, which is part of auto liability insurance.

What is uninsured and underinsured automobile liability insurance?

Liability insurance covers damage you cause to the other vehicle, the driver and their passengers. It also includes Uninsured Motorists (UM) and Underinsured Motorists (UIM) coverage – to protect you when an at fault driver without coverage or not enough coverage hits you.

Dietry said uninsured and underinsured coverage is required in 22 states, but if you have full coverage auto insurance, you can reject uninsured and underinsured coverage. Minimum coverage requirements for liability insurance vary by state.

What do uninsured and underinsured insurance cover?

Uninsured and underinsured third party liability insurance covers damage caused to you or your vehicle by someone who does not have insurance or has insufficient insurance.

* Most states require some type of liability coverage

Comprehensive auto insurance replaces or repairs your vehicle if it is stolen or damaged. Comprehensive coverage typically covers damage caused by fire, vandalism, or falling objects such as trees or hail.

Collision insurance covers accidents and collisions. If you lease or finance your vehicle, your lender may require both full coverage and collision coverage.

Who needs uninsured and underinsured liability insurance?

Below is a list of states that require coverage for uninsured or underinsured motorists, depending on the Insurance Information Institute (III).

Minimum covers are listed with numbers and slashes. For example, a 50/100/50 policy would cover up to $ 50,000 in injury protection for each person involved in an accident, up to $ 100,000 in injuries per incident, and up to $ 50,000 in property damage. by incident.

How Much Does Uninsured Motorist Insurance Cost?

The cost of liability coverage varies depending on your state, as some states require more coverage than others. Dietry said coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists is more expensive in states with high uninsured rates.

Keep in mind that your average cost will vary depending on the type of vehicle, your location, your mileage, and your driving record. The table below shows the average annual cost of liability insurance by state, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

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