Insurance

Insurance Necessities: Uninsured Motorist

One of the questions that many people ask when they are looking for insurance coverage is whether or not they need coverage for protection against uninsured drivers. Because many drivers are uninsured — in spite of laws that require car insurance — it can help in some cases to make sure that you get uninsured motorist coverage.

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

This is coverage that helps pay for injuries you sustain if an uninsured motorist is involved in an accident with you. The definition of the coverage varies from state to state, so you will want to clarify with your insurance agent regarding what, exactly, is covered. In some cases, only your injuries are covered, while in other states uninsured motorist coverage also covers damage to your car/property. If uninsured motorist coverage doesn’t cover damage to your car in your state, you might consider getting collision coverage (or get comprehensive) as well. In many states, collision coverage will protect your car against damage inflicted by an uninsured motorist or a hit and run driver.

Shopping Around

The good news about uninsured motorist coverage is that it usually isn’t terribly expensive. Because you are still less likely to be hit by an uninsured driver, the coverage isn’t too costly. However, just because you are less likely to be hit by an uninsured driver doesn’t mean that it won’t happen. (I know; I was once broadsided by an uninsured driver running a stop sign.) If you are hit by an uninsured driver, and you don’t have the proper coverage, you will likely have to pay for repairs, or injuries sustained, on your own. This is because, normally, the at-fault driver’s insurance company takes care of these expenses. But, if the driver doesn’t have insurance, you don’t have many options — especially since many uninsured motorists are unlikely to have the type of income that would make suing them for payment for damages effective.

Check your insurance policy to see if you have this coverage, and then find out what it would cost to add it. If you shopping around for a new policy, make sure that you include uninsured motorist coverage in your calculations. You want to get an adequate amount of coverage for a good price.

Bottom Line

You never know who is going to cause an accident. Even though getting hit by an uninsured motorist isn’t very likely, you want to be prepared in the event that it happens.

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