In the event of an accident, it’s likely you’ll rely on your insurance to cover damages. However, if someone else is found at fault and doesn’t have insurance, what do you do? It’s highly unlikely the other driver will have the cash to deal with medical bills, car repair bills, and more.
This is where uninsured motorist coverage comes into play, as it can assist you with covering the costs. In this guide, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of this type of uninsured driver coverage.
What is Uninsured Coverage for Motorists?
As mentioned, this type of auto insurance coverage helps to protect you, your vehicle, and your passengers in the event of an accident where the other driver is uninsured. However, it will only kick into effect if the other driver doesn’t have insurance. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, approximately 13% of drivers are uninsured.
It’s also important to note that most basic insurance plans won’t include uninsured coverage. In fact, you’ll have to add it onto your base policy for an added fee. With that being said, it’s usually a minimal extra cost, and it’s well worth the investment. Mostly because you can’t expect everyone you get into an accident with to have insurance.
Things to Know About Uninsured Coverage for Motorists
Here are some of the most important facts to know about uninsured motorist coverage.
What Does This Type of Insurance Cover?
This type of insurance essentially gives you the peace of mind that you need as a driver. It helps to account for any injuries to yourself and your passengers during an accident.
However, it can also be beneficial in terms of damages to property. In the event that your vehicle is damaged from an accident and the other driver is legally responsible, it will cover these costs as well.
Is Uninsured Motorists Insurance a Requirement?
Interestingly enough, not every state requires drivers to have this type of coverage. However, there are states where it’s a requirement. In the vast majority of the United States, it’s optional. The mandatory states include:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- New York
- New Hampshire
- West Virginia
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
How Much Does the Coverage Cost?
There are varying factors that can make this add-on to your existing insurance more or less expensive. You might find that, depending on where you live, the associated costs might be higher.
With that being said, most insurance companies can help you to add it to your plan for a more affordable cost. On average, you can expect it to add an additional $100 to $200 to your annual insurance costs. However, it gives you an ample amount of protection if you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver.
What Is the Difference Between Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
In most cases, you’ll have two different types of insurance add-ons to choose from when protecting yourself from poorly insured drivers. Underinsured motorist coverage is slightly different than uninsured, but can also be quite important. This type of insurance helps to make sure that if the other driver has poor coverage, you’re monetarily covered.
In most cases, underinsured motorist coverage is more affordable than uninsured. This is because it should offset the costs of someone with a poor amount of insurance, rather than no insurance at all.
The Advantages of Uninsured Motorists Coverage
Apart from giving you the comfort you need to drive on a daily basis, there are plenty of advantages to uninsured motorists insurance. From protecting your wallet to making sure your family is taken care of, there are plenty of advantages.
Low Cost for High Reward
No matter how you look at it, adding this type of coverage to your existing insurance plan is incredibly beneficial. Even though it will make your insurance slightly more expensive, it’s well worth this investment.
You never know when you’ll get into an accident, let alone an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance. It’s an incredibly low cost that you’ll have to pay that can give you a high reward. The last thing you’ll want to deal with is paying an absurd amount of money for an accident that isn’t your fault.
Protecting Your Vehicle
Just like any other type of car insurance that you buy, this coverage also helps to protect your personal property. The only difference is that it gives you coverage only if you’re in a collision with someone who doesn’t have insurance. Instead of being responsible for the repairs yourself, you can use your uninsured motorists insurance to handle the costs.
Protecting Your Belongings
Another relatively unknown advantage of this insurance coverage is that it also protects your personal belongings, apart from your vehicle. If you wind up in an accident and there are any qualifying personal items that are also damaged, they will be covered.
It’s important that you read the fine print when developing your insurance policy. Mostly to make sure you won’t have to pay out of pocket for any item damaged in an accident.
Ways to Save on Uninsured Motorists Coverage
If you live in a state where there are a lot of uninsured drivers, you can bet uninsured coverage is going to cost you more. However, there are plenty of ways that you can cut back on your insurance premiums.
Even if you live in a state where this type of coverage isn’t mandatory, you’ll want to consider adding it. The best ways to save on uninsured motorists coverage include:
- Compare multiple insurance options
- Combine multiple insurance policies to receive discounts
- Move to a safer area with less uninsured drivers
- Shorten your daily commutes
- Keep your mileage as minimal as possible
- Avoid tickets for traffic offenses
- Maintain a high and healthy credit score
- Keep your policy information updated
When it comes to finding insurance, there are plenty of add-ons to choose from. You’re going to want to make sure you are sufficiently protected no matter what type of accident you encounter.
As there are increasing numbers of drivers without insurance on the roads, you need to take underinsured and uninsured motorist insurance into account. With these policies, you likely won’t have to pay out of pocket for a car crash that isn’t your fault. Additionally, it gives you the peace of mind that you need while driving on a daily basis.