Skip to main content

Why Every Driver Needs Uninsured Motorist Coverage 

Woman takes picture of her bumper after being hit by an uninsured driver - cheap uninsured motorist coverage.

Most states legally require drivers to carry insurance, but that doesn’t mean everyone follows through. As a result, there are plenty of uninsured drivers out on the road who could potentially cause an accident, making uninsured motorist coverage a must for any responsible driver. Not all policies cover damages from uninsured drivers, so you may have to pay out of pocket if a driver without a policy causes an accident — even if you already have auto insurance

Having a policy to protect against underinsured and uninsured drivers can provide you with valuable financial support if you get into an accident with someone who doesn’t have a sufficient policy to pay for your damages or medical expenses. You’re on the right track if you ask yourself, “Should I have uninsured motorist coverage?” By exploring the ins and outs of uninsured motorist policies, including how they work and how they can protect you financially, you can effectively protect yourself from other drivers on the road, regardless of their auto coverage levels. 

Clearing Up the Confusion: What Are UM and UIM? 

Before you start shopping for a new plan, it’s important to know the basics of auto insurance, including what coverage options can protect you from uninsured drivers. Two types of coverage can help you out if a driver who doesn’t have insurance causes a collision: uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) policies. If an uninsured driver is found at fault for an accident, both options can help you pay for your medical expenses or damages to your vehicle. Some insurers bundle these together into one plan, while others offer them as separate add-ons for your insurance plan. 

Although these policies are similar, they do have some differences. Understanding both UM and UIM plans is critical to setting up a policy that works for you. 

Defining Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage 

So what is uninsured motorist coverage, and why does it matter? Uninsured motorist coverage kicks in if another driver causes a collision and they don’t have a policy. When another party is found at fault for an accident, their insurance typically covers your expenses. However, if they aren’t insured, they may simply not be able to pay for the damages they caused. In that case, you could file a claim with your UM policy to cover the costs. 

UM insurance typically covers claims for both bodily injury and property damage. If you were injured in a collision, your UM plan may pay for accident-related expenses like medical bills, reimbursement for lost wages, and even compensation for pain and suffering. It can also cover repairs to your car, rental car costs, and compensation if your vehicle is totaled. 

Since you can’t exchange information if the at-fault driver flees the scene of the accident, UM coverage also applies to hit-and-run situations. That way, you don’t have to stress if someone keeps driving after hitting your car or you discover that someone hit your parked car without leaving a note. 

Understanding Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage 

So, what happens if the other driver does have insurance, but their policy limit is too low to cover all your accident-related expenses? UIM plans are designed to help bridge the gap between your expenses and the at-fault party’s coverage limits. 

For example, California minimum car insurance requirements are only $5,000 in property damage liability insurance per incident, meaning their policy will only pay up to $5,000 for car repairs, even if the driver caused damages exceeding that amount. A UIM policy can cover the difference between the payment from the at-fault driver’s insurance and the actual costs you incurred. 

UIM policies are especially helpful if you get seriously injured in an accident. Due to the high costs of health care, bodily injury expenses can quickly add up and exceed standard policy limits. So, even if the at-fault person has great coverage, you may still need extra support from your underinsured motorist policy. 

Back end of a black car that has been hit by an uninsured driver - cheap uninsured motorist coverage.

How Much Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Cost? 

Depending on your specific statistics, such as driving history, age and gender, the average amount for UM/UIM is between $50 to $75 per year. Adding it to an already existing policy is the cheapest way to go. Your total cost will be calculated based on how much coverage you choose. 

Navigating the Need for Enhanced Protection on the Road 

Is uninsured motorist coverage required? The answer can vary. Minimum insurance requirements vary by state. Some states require you to get a UM policy as part of your plan, while others make it optional. But regardless of your local requirements, expanding your policy is the best way to stay protected behind the wheel. 

Why Opting for Uninsured Motorist Coverage Is a Smart Move 

When you go out driving, you must deal with many unpredictable factors. You don’t have any control over the way other drivers behave on the road or whether they have protection. However, you do have control over your own insurance plan. Investing in a bit of extra protection now can provide you with major protection and savings later. 

No one gets on the road expecting to get into an accident with an uninsured driver, but it still happens all the time. By getting enhanced protection with a UM policy, you prepare for the unexpected and take control of your needs as a driver. Instead of simply hoping that the at-fault driver has adequate protection, you can drive confidently, knowing your insurer will help you in an accident regardless of who hits your car. UM coverage is an affordable add-on to your existing insurance, so you can cover all your bases without breaking the bank. 

Determining the Right Amount of Coverage for You 

Have you ever wondered, “Do I need uninsured motorist coverage?” It’s important to consider the amount of risk you’re willing to take each time you go for a drive. Figuring out the type of insurance plan you need is all about weighing costs against the possibility of a potential accident.  

Anyone can benefit from extra UM and UIM protection, but it might be more urgent for some drivers. For example, a UIM plan could be highly beneficial if you have an expensive vehicle worth more than the minimum property damage liability requirement in your state. Assessing your specific circumstances is essential to ensure adequate protection against unforeseen events. 

Maximizing Your Protection: Tips for Filing Uninsured Motorist Claims 

If you’re not sure what to expect, navigating the claims process can be one of the most stressful parts of getting in a car accident. It can be even more confusing if you don’t have the other driver’s details.  

Luckily, a quality insurance provider will walk you through the process and help you gather all the relevant information for your claim. From explaining the steps involved to assisting in collecting documentation, they ensure you’re well-supported throughout the process, offering peace of mind during a challenging time. 

What To Do If You’re Hit by an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver 

One of the first things you’re supposed to do after an accident is exchange insurance information with the other party. So, what do you do if you get hit by an uninsured driver

First, call the police to file a report. Even if the collision was minor, having an official report on file can be helpful during the claims process. The police can help determine who was at fault, making it easier to file a successful claim with your insurer. 

At the scene, take photos of the damaged area. Detailed photos of your vehicle and the surrounding area can help claims adjusters determine fault. Even if the other driver doesn’t have coverage, taking down their contact information and license plate is still important. In the event of a hit and run, simply document as much of the scene as possible. 

Then, file a claim by reaching out to your insurer. They’ll ask questions about the situation and assess your vehicle to assess the validity of your claim. They’ll also determine how much compensation to provide based on your UM plan and the damages you incurred. 

In the event of an accident with an underinsured motorist, you’ll still want to provide their insurance information to your insurer. If your damages exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits, your provider can offer extra compensation from your UIM plan. 

Navigating the Claims Process with Ease 

It’s important to communicate with your insurance company to speed up the claims process and receive your payout faster. If you make any repairs to your vehicle, keep any receipts so your insurer can reimburse you. It’s also important to keep track of any medical expenses if you were injured in the accident. If any new expenses arise, proactively communicate with your insurer to ensure you get the payout you deserve. 

Purchasing Peace of Mind: How to Buy UM/UIM Coverage 

By getting UM and UIM insurance through Freeway, you can protect yourself from the unexpected financial hardship of getting hit by an uninsured motorist. Whether you’re looking for a completely new plan or want to upgrade your liability plan to something more comprehensive, we have you covered. You can sign up for extra uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage by talking to an agent at your local Freeway Insurance office, visiting the Freeway website for an online quote, or calling us at 800-777-5620

Ready to Get a Quick Quote?