What Car Insurance Coverage Do I Need?

Decide how much liability coverage is enough for similar type of drivers.

What is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance?

According to the Insurance Research Council, 1 out of 8 people who drive are completely uninsured. Finding yourself in an accident with a driver who is uninsured can be expensive, as you may find yourself having to manage health costs, hospital bills and vehicle damage costs. Even if the accident was not your fault, if the driver at the time of the accident doesn’t have insurance, you may still be liable for health and car damages. Fortunately, there is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage available that can protect you if that should happen.

Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage Defined

Both uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage are beneficial in the face of at-fault drivers and accidents. However, they are slightly different from each other.

The definition of uninsured motorist coverage is coverage that protects you and helps to pay for your injuries when you are in an accident caused by someone who does not have insurance. There are two different types of uninsured motorist coverage: bodily injury coverage and property damage liability.

  • Bodily injury coverage insures your medical costs, lost wages, and any injury-related expenses.
  • Property damage liability helps with the cost of vehicle damages.

The definition of underinsured motorist coverage is coverage that protects you from drivers who only have the minimum insurance and do not have enough under their insurance plans to cover repairs to your vehicle and personal injuries. There are also two different types of underinsured motorist coverage including: property damage coverage and bodily injury coverage.

  • Property damage covers repairs to your vehicle if a driver isn’t fully covered by their insurance plan to be able to pay fully for the car damages.
  • Bodily injury coverage assists in hospital and health bills if a driver who doesn’t have enough insurance coverage hits you.

States Where UM/UIM Coverage Is Required


State Uninsured Coverage Required? Underinsured Coverage Required?
Alabama No No
Alaska No No
Arizona No No
Arkansas No No
California No No
Colorado No No
Connecticut Yes, Bodily Injury at $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident Yes, Bodily Injury at $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident
Delaware No No
District of Columbia Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident and Property Damage at $5,000, subject to $200 deductible No
Florida No No
Georgia No No
Hawaii No No
Idaho No No
Illinois Yes, Bodily Injury at $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident No
Indiana No No
Iowa No No
Kansas Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
Kentucky No No
Louisiana No No
Maine Yes, Bodily Injury at $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident Yes, Bodily Injury at $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident
Maryland Yes, Bodily Injury at $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident and Property Damage at $15,000 Yes, Bodily Injury at $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident and Property Damage at $15,000
Massachusetts Yes, Bodily Injury at $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident No
Michigan No No
Minnesota Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
Mississippi No No
Missouri Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident No
Montana No No
Nebraska Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
Nevada No No
New Hampshire Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
New Jersey Yes, Bodily Injury at $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident and Property Damage at $5,000 Yes, Bodily Injury at $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident and Property Damage at $5,000
New Mexico No No
New York Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
North Carolina Yes, Bodily Injury at $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident and Property Damage at $25,000 Yes, Bodily Injury at $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident
North Dakota Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
Ohio No No
Oklahoma No No
Oregon Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
Pennsylvania No No
Rhode Island No No
South Carolina Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident and Property Damage at $25,000 with $200 deductible No
South Dakota Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
Tennessee No No
Texas No No
Utah No No
Vermont Yes, Bodily Injury at $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, and Property Damage at $10,000 with $150 deductible Yes, Bodily Injury at $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, and Property Damage at $10,000 with $150 deductible
Virginia Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident and Property Damage at $20,000 with $200 deductible Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident and Property Damage at $20,000 with $200 deductible
Washington No No
West Virginia Yes, Bodily Injury at $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident and Property Damage at $10,000 for property damage No
Wisconsin Yes, Bodily Injury at $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident No
Wyoming No No

Cost of Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage

Uninsured and underinsured coverage costs shifts between states. The reason behind the fluctuation is that the number of uninsured drivers per state differs. Uninsured and Underinsured coverage is cheaper than insurance for property damage and bodily injury insurance.

In some states, it is mandatory to purchase uninsured/underinsured coverage and in other states, it is not necessary. Even if it is not mandatory in the state you live and drive in, it is always important to consider purchasing an uninsured and underinsured coverage package to be sure you are covered for all reasons.


State

Average price of UM coverage

California

$105

Florida

$267

Massachusetts

$18

Maine

$23

Ohio

$46

Texas

$110

Oregon

$49

Filing a Claim with Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Prior to making a claim under the uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage you should be for you collect all the necessary information that the insurance provider may ask you. These items could include:

  • any written records or other kinds of records of what happened;
  • pictures of the scene and any injuries or harm that has happened to you or others;
  • any medical bills;
  • records of medical determinations;
  • doctor notes and health care provider notes and letters;
  • any and all receipts of expenses related;
  • any proof of lost wages due to injuries and a letter from your employer could be useful.

Following the claim, it is always good to keep in mind the following things:

  • You should hear back from the insurance company in a relatively quick manner and get an explanation for any postponement. A liability employee may call you and they may ask you questions about the accident for clarification.
  • There is a possibility a time limit on your rights to acquire funds may be limited. State law determines this.
  • You can accept the offer or refuse it and try to settle it in court.
  • The insurance company may try to get you to sign a release indicating that you will not pursue future payments after the settlement.
  • Take your time when considering signing this and only do so when you are comfortable and ready to do so. Asking an attorney to take a look at the settlement and the paperwork associated with the settlement is a good idea.
  • Always know your rights. Learn if your state allows for stacking. If what you were given in the settlement was not enough to cover the expenses of your injuries, there is a possibility that you may be able to claim a larger amount of funds.
  • Review your policy and make sure you know whether stacking is prohibited in your situation or not.

Unfortunately, filing for an uninsured motorist coverage claim or an underinsured motorist coverage claim can be difficult. You may have to prove your case because basically, your insurer is bypassing the at-fault driver’s insurance. The amount you receive from the accident and the claim may be determined by your state’s negligence law and you may even have to go to court and get a judgment to receive a determination on the extent the driver was at-fault.

Don’t let this limit you from filing a claim. Just be prepared with all the necessary documentation and information needed to make it worth your time and effort.

What are Stacked Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Stacked coverage allows you to possibly collect from more than one policy when an accident occurs caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Stacking works in two different ways. If you were hurt while driving your car and you have multiple cars insured in the same policy, there’s a possibility that you could collect the insured limit multiplied by the number of vehicles under the same policy.

The second way stacking works is if you have multiple policies and you are the primary driver on all of them, you may be able to collect from all of the policies up until the point where your cost of injuries are fully paid. Some states do not allow for stacking while other states do. It’s important to check and be sure you know. The stacked option costs a little bit more than the unstacked option. It will increase your monthly or annual premium but typically not by much and can save you a fortune when it becomes needed for your financial security.

States with the greatest percentages of uninsured drivers

  1. Florida — 27%
  2. Mississippi — 24%
  3. New Mexico — 21%
  4. Michigan — 20%
  5. Tennessee — 20%
  6. Alabama — 18%
  7. Washington — 17%
  8. Indiana — 17%
  9. Arkansas — 17%
  10. District of Columbia — 16%

States with the lowest percentages of uninsured drivers

  1. Maine — 5%
  2. Massachusetts — 4%
  3. New York — 5%
  4. North Dakota — 6%
  5. Utah — 6%

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