If your car is hit in an accident and it’s the other driver’s fault, it’s easy to assume that person’s car insurance will pay for the damage. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple. Although it’s illegal in most states, some people drive without insurance.

Why is uninsured motorist coverage important?

If you are in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, this coverage protects you and your passengers by paying for medical expenses, loss of income (if you can’t work) and other covered damages owed to you.

Uninsured motorist coverage is often paired with underinsured motorist coverage. Underinsured coverage is for situations where the other driver has some, but not all, of the necessary insurance to cover the damages.

Two components of uninsured motorist coverage

  • Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD): Pays for covered damages to your car or other property
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI): Pays for covered medical expenses, lost wages and other damages experienced by you or your passengers

Outside of your car

You may also be covered even when not in your car. The bodily injury portion of your coverage may protect you if you’re hit while crossing street or riding your bike, for example.

Uninsured motorist coverage may apply to some unusual situations, too. If a thief driving a stolen car damages your vehicle in an accident, the company that insures the stolen car wouldn’t compensate you because the car was taken without consent. If the thief lacks auto insurance, you could be out of luck. With uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company may pay the costs if coverage applies.

Understand your state’s laws

Each state has its own uninsured motorist laws. Talk to your agent if you have questions.

Find an agent

Insurance terms, definitions and explanations are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance contracts, policies or declaration pages, which control coverage determinations. Such terms may vary by state, and exclusions may apply.