What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage & How Does It Work?

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  • What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage & How Does It Work?

For every responsible driver, enrolling in a personal auto insurance policy goes hand-in-hand with your first experience behind the wheel.

A legal requirement for all drivers, auto coverage is designed to help protect you (and the people around you) every time you head out on the road. 

Unfortunately, you can’t always count on the drivers you’re sharing that road with to be as responsible. It’s a worst-case scenario, but you could find yourself involved in a collision that isn’t your fault with someone who doesn’t have liability coverage or simply isn’t insured at all.

So how do you protect yourself (and your car), and do you need additional coverage to avoid having to pay out-of-pocket for an uninsured motorist? Learn more about uninsured motorist coverage below.

What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Simply put, uninsured motorist insurance is a type of auto coverage that steps in to pay for your medical bills or damage to your vehicle if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have liability coverage.

How Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Work?

Imagine you’re involved in an accident, and the other driver is at fault. This is where liability coverage comes in. If the other driver is considered liable for the accident, their insurance is expected to pay for the damages to your vehicle and any subsequent medical expenses.

Your uninsured motorist coverage can help bridge the gap between an accident that isn’t your fault and a driver without insurance.

What Is an Uninsured Motorist?

What classifies as an uninsured motorist depends on where you live. Many states require some form of uninsured motorist bodily injury or property damage coverage for all drivers. The law also fluctuates from state to state on what the definition of an uninsured motorist actually is

A person driving without any insurance at all is classified as an uninsured motorist, in addition to someone without liability coverage, or insufficient liability coverage to pay for the total amount of damages to your vehicle or injuries.

If you have uninsured motorist insurance, a driver can be considered “uninsured” if your policy coverage exceeds their liability coverage limits. 

Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim 

If you have uninsured motorist coverage and you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may have to file an uninsured motorist claim.

The claims process is similar to other auto coverage claims, where you’ll be required to pay your deductible before coverage kicks in to help cover the cost of damages. 

As with any claim, you may want to weigh the total amount of damage (both to your property and person) against the cost of your coverage deductible and the possibility that the cost of your insurance could increase after filing a claim. 

Finding the Best Uninsured Motorist Insurance 

Depending on where you live, uninsured motorist coverage could be legally required, optional, or not available at all.

If the coverage is optional, we recommend inquiring with your auto insurance provider to understand your options and ensure that you’re fully protected from the threats of the road.

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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.