What You Need To Know About Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Jason Metz | 05/19/19

When you’re reviewing your auto insurance policy, it’s important to understand what uninsured motorist (UM) coverage and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage can provide. Some states require uninsured motorist coverage, so you may not have a choice about paying for it. Both coverage types cover injuries to you and passengers if you’re in a car accident caused by:

  • A driver who doesn’t carry any liability car insurance.
  • A driver who doesn’t have enough liability insurance to cover your medical bills.
  • A driver whose insurance company denies coverage or goes out of business.

Uninsured motorist coverage can pay for:

  • Medical bills.
  • Lost wages if you can’t work because of the car accident.
  • Pain and suffering compensation.
  • Funeral expenses.
  • In some states, car damage.

Breaking Down Uninsured Motorist Coverage Variations

There are four main types of coverage grouped under uninsured motorist coverage:

  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UM or UMBI) — pays when an at-fault driver causes a car accident.
  • Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) — covers damage to your car if it’s hit by someone without insurance. Some states allow you to use UMPD to cover hit-and-run accidents.
  • Underinsured motorist bodily injury (UIM or UIMBI) — pays when another driver causes a car accident but they do not carry enough liability insurance to cover all your medical bills, lost wages, etc.
  • Underinsured motorist property damage (UIMPD) — covers damage to your car if it’s hit by someone who does not carry enough liability insurance.
    Uninsured Motorist Coverage Limits

UM coverage is usually expressed as two numbers, such as 100/300. This translates to:

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

So if you have 100/300 and four passengers are injured, with high medical bills, your maximum UM payout is $300,000. However, you can generally turn to health insurance after your UM coverage is exhausted.

You’ll typically buy UM coverage amounts that match your liability coverage limits.

Here’s a chart with state requirements for uninsured motorist coverage.