What Are Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage?
Uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury insurance (UMBI & UIMBI) are designed to help protect you and your auto passengers from the financial costs of injuries if you are hit by someone who does not have insurance or who does not have enough insurance. The availability of uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury insurance varies by state.
Both uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage help pay bodily injury or death expenses for you and any passengers in your vehicle. It helps pay these expenses up to your policy limits if you’re struck by a driver who has no insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance and those expenses exceed their liability limits. It also helps protect you and your passengers if you’re struck by a “hit-and-run” driver who cannot be identified.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury insurance policy may also help cover expenses related to pain and suffering resulting from an auto accident It also will cover you if you are injured by an auto as a pedestrian.
Limits for Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage
To determine how much uninsured motorist insurance and underinsured motorist coverage you need, consider the amount of bodily injury liability insurance coverage you currently have. As a good rule of thumb, generally it makes sense to start with that figure and get an equal amount of underinsured or uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage, so that you have the same level of coverage for yourself and your passengers if you’re injured.
What Happens If You Get Into an Accident With an Uninsured Driver?
If you get into an accident with an uninsured driver and you have uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) insurance coverage, it can help cover your expenses related to the accident.
For example 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 may be driving and another driver rear-ends your car. You are hurt in the accident, and while your injuries aren’t severe, the medical bills still add up quickly. You might be thinking about filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. But as it turns out, the driver that hit you doesn’t have insurance.
Luckily, you have enough uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) insurance to cover your expenses. If you didn’t have enough coverage, you could be stuck paying those medical bills out of pocket or through your health insurer. You may also lose income if you have to take time off of work for medical treatment or to recover from your injuries.
What happens if the driver that hit you did have insurance coverage, but their policy couldn’t cover all of the costs related to the injuries you sustained in the accident? Uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage can also help cover your remaining medical bills or any other expenses related to your injury from the accident. If you didn’t have this coverage, you might have to pay the difference as an out of pocket expense or through your health insurer.
In situations when it is your vehicle and not you that is damaged in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD or UIMPD for underinsured motorist) coverage can be valuable especially if you do not have collision coverage on your vehicle. If you weren’t covered, you might have to pay the costs yourself to get your car repaired. UMPD and UIMPD are not available in all states. Some states sell UMPD and UIMPD together as a bundled solution, and in some states they are sold separately.
What States Require Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) Insurance?
Depending on where you live, uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage may be required by law. Currently, 21 states, as well as the District of Columbia, have laws which require this particular insurance. They are Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, the District of Columbia, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Drivers in most states are legally required to carry liability car insurance coverage. Yet, 1 in 8 drivers in the U.S. were uninsured in 2015, 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 motorist bodily injury coverage; even if it’s optional in the state where you live If you or your passengers are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist, it’s very likely the other driver won’t have the means to pay for any medical bills or expenses incurred as a result of the accident.
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