What Is Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage?
Uninsured/Underinsured motorist property damage coverage is designed to help give you financial protection and peace of mind if your car is hit by someone who doesn’t have car insurance or is underinsured.
An uninsured or underinsured motorist property damage policy can help pay for repairs to your vehicle if it is damaged when it is struck by an uninsured driver, a hit-and-run driver, or an insured driver whose property damage liability limit is not enough to cover the full amount of property damage losses incurred. The availability of this type of car insurance coverage varies by state.
In addition to your car, uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage may also cover damages to your house or other personal property if they are damaged in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
When Do You Need Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage?
To help determine your uninsured motorist property damage coverage needs, consider a limit that will be sufficient to cover your vehicle in the event that you are in an accident with a hit-and-run driver, a driver with no auto insurance coverage, or an underinsured driver who has some car insurance coverage, but not enough to cover the damage to your vehicle.
What's Different Between Uninsured Motorist and Uninsured Motorist Property Damage?
Let’s say you’re out running your typical Saturday errands when suddenly, the car in the next lane swerves out of control and sideswipes your vehicle. Or you’re driving in traffic and then get rear-ended by another driver.
Although you and your passengers come out without a scratch, your car isn’t as fortunate. There is significant body damage. And as it turns out, the driver that hit you doesn’t have insurance.
Luckily, you have enough uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage to pick up the tab. Uninsured motorist property damage coverage can be especially valuable if you do not have collision coverage on your vehicle. If you didn’t have either coverage plan, you might be stuck paying the repair bill yourself as an out of pocket expense.
What if the driver that hit you had insurance, but their property damage liability limit doesn’t cover the full cost of the damage to your vehicle? Underinsured motorist property damage coverage can help pay for repair bills over and above the under-insured’s policy limits. If you didn’t have coverage, you might have to pay the remaining repair bills for your car.
Because uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage policy only covers the costs of accident damage to your car caused by an uninsured driver, consider looking into uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance (UMBI) to be prepared in case you or your passengers are the ones that are injured. Uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance can help cover the costs of medical bills or other medical care expenses related to injuries sustained in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver.
What States Require Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Insurance?
Depending on where you live, uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage may be required by law, offered as an optional coverage, or not available. Currently, seven states, as well as the District of Columbia, have laws that require this particular insurance. Those states are Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, the District of Columbia, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Some states have varying requirements for uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage. They may have a minimum requirement for how much damage the policy must cover or how much a policy’s deductible is for different kinds of accidents. Certain states may also not provide coverage if the other driver is unidentifiable, such as in hit-and-run accidents.
Drivers in most states are legally required to carry liability car insurance coverage. Unfortunately, many drivers on the roads in the U.S. remain uninsured. In 2015, 1 in 8 drivers in the U.S. were uninsured, according to the Insurance Information Institute; in some states, as many as 1 in 4 drivers were uninsured. This is why it is a good idea to consider uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage; even if it is optional in the state you live in. If your car is damaged in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist, it is very likely that driver will not be able to pay the costs to repair your car.
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