The goal of uninsured motorist coverage is to protect insured drivers from other drivers on the road who do not have insurance.
Uninsured motorist coverage (UM coverage) can be broken down into two types:
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI)
- Uninsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD)
There is also a related type of insurance called underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UIMBI), which we’ll discuss later. For now, let’s take a look at UMBI coverage and UMPD coverage.
Understanding UMBI and UMPD Coverage
Uninsured drivers put other drivers like you at risk because they won’t be able to cover your bodily injury or personal damage costs if they cause an accident with you.
To avoid being left in the lurch this way, UMBI and UMPD coverage can save the day. UMBI (uninsured motorist bodily injury) coverage is the more common of the two, and it pays the following injury-related expenses (up to your chosen limits) if you are hurt in an accident with an uninsured driver:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
UMPD (uninsured motorist property damage) coverage is less common. It can pay for the following property damage expenses (up to your chosen limits) if your car is damaged in an accident with an uninsured driver:
- Repairs and replacement costs
When UMPD Isn’t Available in Your State
UMPD coverage is not offered in all states. For instance, it is not available in Arizona. For this reason, you should make sure you’re covered for these damages by taking one of the following actions:
- Have collision coverage as one of the coverages listed under your car insurance plan. Collision coverage takes care of collision-related accidents, including those involving uninsured drivers. Just keep in mind that collision coverage does come with a deductible.
- If you don’t have collision coverage, look into taking the uninsured driver to court. This is your only other option for recouping compensation after property damage caused by an uninsured driver.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage Explained
Underinsured drivers can be a problem for insured motorists as well.
Let’s say a driver who had insurance (but not very good insurance) cause a collision that you were involved in. You and your passengers were injured. Because the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability coverage limits were so low, they barely covered a small percentage of your medical expenses and lost wages needs. In this case, only underinsured motorist bodily injury (UIMBI) coverage would protect you from having to pay the remainder of the expenses out-of-pocket.
Protecting Yourself From Uninsured Motorists
If you look closely at your car insurance, you’ll see that it comprises several components. One of these components may be uninsured motorist coverage.
As you may know, requirements for insurance vary by state. If you live in Mesa, you need to abide by Arizona state car insurance requirements, which dictate that you must have liability insurance (up to specific minimums), but uninsured motorist coverage is not required. In other states, it is mandatory to have UM/UIM coverage in addition to liability coverage.
On the other hand, in Arizona, it’s possible that within whatever insurance plan you choose, uninsured motorist coverage will already be included. This means that if you don’t want this coverage (and remember, it isn’t mandatory), you will need to formally reject it in writing.
With that said, insurance and legal professionals both agree that uninsured motorist coverage is a smart type of vehicle insurance have. If it’s not already included in your policy and you’d like to add it, it’s important to speak to your agent.
Want to learn more about this form of car insurance and how it can better protect you? Speak to an agent at Jarosch Insurance in Mesa to learn more about UM/UIM coverage today.