Fausto Bucheli Jr


March 22, 2023

Edited By

John Davey
What Is Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Being involved in a car accident is a terrible experience, whether you are at fault or not.

When it happens that you are not at fault, and you discover that the other driver does not have enough insurance to cover the cost of your injuries or vehicle damages, this makes the experience even worse.

You can protect yourself against the financial impact of such an accident by having an uninsured or underinsured car insurance policy in place.

Ultimately, this insurance will cover the cost of damages to your car if you are involved in an accident with someone who either has no insurance, or not enough insurance.

Defining Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Let’s take a look at exactly what we mean by uninsured and underinsured coverage.

We will also discuss how these two coverages can help protect you financially should you have an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)?

Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is an additional type of insurance that you can add to your standard car insurance policy. In some states, this insurance is a requirement for you to drive legally.

If you are injured in a car crash by a driver with no car insurance, then UM will help you pay for your expenses.

There are two different types of uninsured motorist coverage. These include uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) coverage and uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage.

You can add both these coverages to your car insurance policy.

Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI)

This insurance is designed to protect you financially and cover your medical expenses after an accident with a driver who does not have insurance in place.

If you are injured in an accident by a driver who does not have car insurance, then UMBI will provide you with financial compensation for the following:

  • Medical expenses.
  • Funeral expenses.
  • Loss of income.
  • Pain and suffering.

If you don’t have UMBI coverage in place and you do have a car accident with an uninsured driver, you would need to pay for your medical expenses yourself.

In this instance, if you have enough other insurance coverage in place, you may be able to claim under medical payments, personal injury protection, or even from your own medical insurance.

UMBI will also help cover other nonmedical expenses that you may have, such as pain and suffering or funeral expenses.

UMBI is usually expressed as two numbers, such as 100/300. These numbers translate to:

  • $100,000 bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury coverage per accident.

Uninsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD)

If you have a car accident with an uninsured driver, UMPD will cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle.

If your auto insurance policy doesn’t include UMPD coverage or collision coverage, then you would need to pay for the repairs after an accident yourself, or file a legal claim against the other driver in court.

Key Point: What Is Collision Coverage?

If your vehicle collides with another vehicle, or an object such as a telephone pole, fence or another structure, collision coverage will pay for any repairs to your vehicle.

What Is Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)?

Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is only available in certain states. This coverage helps to protect you financially in the event that you are involved in an accident with another driver who does not have enough liability insurance to pay for your damages or injuries.

UIM is broken down into the same categories as UM—bodily injury and property damage coverage.

Key Point: What Is Liability Insurance?

Liability insurance is the most basic type of insurance that you will need to be able to drive legally, and is required in most U.S. states.

The only states where this insurance is not mandatory are Florida and New Hampshire.

This insurance is intended to cover you financially if you are found to be at-fault in a car accident and are responsible for someone else’s injuries or property damage.

Liability coverage limits are usually represented as three numbers, for example: 25/50/25.

These numbers correspond to how much cover you have in place for:

  • Bodily injury per person – $25,000.
  • Bodily injury per accident – $50,000.
  • Property damage per accident – $25,000.

Bodily injury liability protection covers the medical bills of the other person. In some cases it may even cover lost wages or legal fees.

Property damage liability protection covers any damage to property such as vehicle repairs or replacement costs, or fences and other structures that may have been damaged.

Do I Need Uninsured or Underinsured Coverage in My State?

There are 22 states in which UM is specifically required. In these states, you will have no option but to have UM in place.

If you live in a state where UM and UIM are not required, you could still have the option to purchase it and protect yourself financially.

In the table below, we list all the states and their specific requirements regarding underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage.

StateRequirements for buying UM or being offered UMCan you reject UM in writing?Minimum UM coverage amount

Is UMPD required? 

If so, what is the minimum coverage amount?

UMPD deductible
AlabamaMust be offeredYes*25/50NoN/A
AlaskaMust be offeredYes50/100You can reject UMPD in writing; $25,000 minimum if you buy it$250
ArizonaMust be offeredYes, on a state-approved form**UM 25/50NoN/A
ArkansasUM must be offered. UIM must be offered if you buy UM.YesUM 25/50You can reject UMPD in writing; $25,000 minimum if you buy it$200
CaliforniaMust be offeredYes15/30You can reject UMPD coverageIf you have collision coverage, UMPD only pays the deductible not covered by collision insurance, up to $3,500.
ColoradoMust be offeredYe25/50May be offered at your requestN/A
ConnecticutMust be offeredYes25/50NoN/A
DelawareMust be offeredYes25/50Acceptance of UM includes UMPD; $5,000$250 (unless otherwise agreed in writing)
District of ColumbiaUM is requiredYou can reject only UIMUM 25/50Yes; $5,000$200
FloridaMust be offeredYes10/20N/AN/A
GeorgiaMust be offeredYes25/50Yes; $25,000$250, $500, or $1,000
HawaiiMust be offeredYesUM 20/40N/AN/A
IdahoMust be offeredYesUM 25/50N/AN/A
IllinoisRequiredNoUM 25/50UMPD must be offered if you do not have collision insurance (you can reject in writing); $15,000$250
IndianaMust be offeredYesUM – 25/50 UIM – $50,000You can reject UMPD; $10,000Choose no deductible or a max of $300; deductible waived if your car was hit while legally parked and unoccupied
IowaMust be offeredYesUM 20/40N/AN/A
KansasRequiredYou can only reject coverage that exceeds 25/5025/50N/AN/A
KentuckyUM must be offered; UIM is available upon requestYes25/50 or a $60,000 single limit for both UM and UMPDN/AN/A
LouisianaMust be offeredYes15/30UMPD available but not required$250
MarylandRequiredN/A30/60UMPD is required; $15,000UMPD is required; $15,000
MichiganNo requirementN/AN/AN/AN/A
MinnesotaRequiredN/AUM 25/50N/AN/A
MississippiMust be offeredYes25/50UMPD can be rejected; $25,000 minimum if you buy it$200
MissouriUM requiredN/A25/50N/AN/A
MontanaMust be offeredYes25/50N/AN/A
NebraskaRequiredN/AUM 35/50N/AN/A
NevadaMust be offeredYes25/50N/AN/A
New HampshireMust be offeredYou can reject UM in excess/umbrella policies only25/50Yes; $25,000N/A
New JerseyRequired on standard policiesN/AUM 15/30Yes; $5,000N/A
New MexicoMust be offeredYes25/50Yes; $10,000$250 maximum
New YorkUM required, UIM is optionalN/A25/50 for injury, 50/100 for deathN/AN/A
North CarolinaUM required. UIM required if UM coverage exceeds 30/60N/AUM 30/60Yes; $25,000$100
North DakotaRequiredN/A25/50N/AN/A
OhioAn insurer decides whether to offer itN/A25/50Available upon your request, not to exceed $7,500$250
OklahomaMust be offeredYes25/50N/AN/A
OregonUM is required. UIM is required if UM coverage is more than 25/50N/A25/50Yes; $20,000$200; $300 in hit-and-run claims
PennsylvaniaMust be offeredYes15/30N/AN/A
Rhode IslandMust be offeredYes25/50Not required but $25,000 minimum coverage if you buy it$200
South CarolinaUM is requiredYou can reject UIM25/50Yes; $25,000$200
South DakotaRequiredN/A25/50N/AN/A
TennesseeMust be offeredYes25/50 or a $60,000 single limitYes; $15,000$200
TexasMust be offeredYes30/60Yes; $25,000$250
UtahMust be offeredYes25/65 for UM; 10/20 for UIMRequired if you do not have collision coverage$250
VermontRequiredN/A50/100Yes; $10,000$150
VirginiaRequiredN/A30/60Yes; $20,000$200
WashingtonMust be offeredYes25/50Required if you don’t have collision coverage, minimum of $10,000 in coverage$100; $300 for hit-and-run claims
West VirginiaUM is required; UIM is optionalN/A25/50Yes; $10,000$300
WisconsinUM is mandatoryUIM can be rejected25/50 for UM; 50/100 for UIMN/AN/A
WyomingMust be offeredYes25/50N/AN/A

* When 25/50, or a similar number for each state is mentioned in this table, we are referring to:

  • Bodily injury coverage of at least $25,000 per person
  • Bodily injury coverage of at least $50,000 per accident

** When UM 25/50 or a similar number for a state is mentioned in this table, we are referring only to uninsured motorist coverage for that state. This covers:

  • Bodily injury coverage of at least $25,000 per person
  • Bodily injury coverage of at least $50,000 per accident

How Do You File an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Claim?

Filing a claim for UM and UIM can be complicated. The reason for this is that your insurer is essentially taking the place of the other driver’s insurance company, and proving your case may be tricky.

Your insurer may also only be willing to pay if the other driver is largely responsible for your injuries. A court judgment may be required to determine the extent of your fault in the incident.

In addition to all of this, your claim payout may be governed by the negligence law in your state.

Prepare the following information to help motivate your case:

  • A full written explanation of the event.
  • Photos of the scene, damage to cars, and injuries.
  • Records of medical examinations and bills.
  • Proof of lost wages if your injuries caused you to miss work.

Once you have made a claim, the following will take place:

  • You will hear back from your insurer within the timeframe that is set in your policy schedule.
  • You may need to discuss the incident with a liability claims adjuster.
  • Your insurer will request that you waive all future rights to pursue the other driver for any further payments once a settlement has been reached. You will need to ask an attorney to review the settlement and release agreement on your behalf and only sign it when you are ready.

Get Cheap Uninsured and Underinsured Insurance Today with

If you would like to protect yourself financially in the event of an accident where the other driver does not have sufficient insurance, or if you need UM and UIM in your state, it will be worthwhile to shop around for the best rate on this car insurance.

While you are reviewing the cost of UM and UIM, you will be in a good position to price-check all the car insurance that you have in place to find a better deal.

This is where we come in and make the process easier for you.

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