Revealed – US states that require uninsured motorist coverage

“Laws in most states have proven ineffective in reducing the number of uninsured drivers,” the Insurance Information Institute (III) explained in a fact sheet on uninsured drivers on its website. “There are many reasons for this. Some drivers cannot afford insurance, and some drivers with additional charges for accidents or serious traffic violations do not want to pay the high premiums that result from a bad driving record.

“With the estimated rate of uninsured drivers in the U.S. approaching 13%, it is expensive to prosecute violators of mandatory insurance laws. State insurance departments and insurance companies are using new techniques to combat the problem of uninsured drivers, including using electronic means to quickly check auto insurance.

Still, the problem persists, and because of that, even if uninsured motorist coverage isn’t mandatory in all states, it may be worth considering for many of the country’s drivers.

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What is uninsured motorist coverage?

Under III, uninsured motorist coverage, also called UM, is designed to provide compensation to policyholders when the at-fault driver does not have liability insurance or illegally leaves the scene of an accident.

The organization added that while this type of policy does not reduce the number of uninsured drivers on the road, it does provide a way for drivers to deal with the financial consequences of hit-and-run or uninsured motorist accidents.

How does uninsured motorist coverage work?

Usually, when an accident occurs and the other driver is at fault, their car insurance should cover the car repairs and medical expenses incurred by the innocent driver and his passengers. However, if the at-fault driver does not have coverage and cannot afford to pay, the other driver may end up footing the bill.

This is where uninsured motorist coverage comes in handy. This type of policy fills the gap between the costs incurred by the insured driver and the at-fault driver’s ability to pay.

UM is usually bundled with underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, which works much the same way. The only difference is that UIM provides financial protection when the at-fault driver has insurance, but its coverage is not enough to pay all the costs.

Read more: 2022 Top and Cheapest Auto Insurance States Revealed

What does uninsured motorist insurance cover?

Uninsured motorist policies provide two types of protection. These are:

  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) coverage: This covers medical bills, expenses incurred due to pain and suffering, lost wages, and funeral expenses as a result of a collision with an uninsured at-fault driver. Some policies also cover accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage (UMPD): This pays for damage to the policyholder’s car or property after an accident with an at-fault driver who has no insurance. However, some policies require the insured to pay a deductible amount.

A few states also allow “stacking,” which benefits those who own more than one insured vehicle. This practice allows drivers to combine UMBI limits for multiple cars, either in one policy or in multiple policies in the name of the insured, increasing the total amount of coverage.

“[To illustrate], in a three-car family where uninsured motorist liability limits are $20,000, in a state that does not prohibit stacking, the amount available to pay a claim in an uninsured motorist accident would be $60,000,” III explained. “[But] because stacking raises the cost of auto insurance, about half of states prohibit stacking.”

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Which states require uninsured motorist coverage?

There are more than 20 states in the US where uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory. In others, insurance companies are required to offer UM policies, but purchasing them is optional. Fewer states require drivers to take out underinsured motorist coverage.

Below is the complete list of states that require coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists, along with the corresponding minimum liability limits.

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Coverage and minimum liability limits are required

Connecticut

UMBI: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident

District of Columbia

UMBI: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident

UMPD: $5,000 per accident

Illinois

UMBI: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident

Kansas

UMBI: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident

Maine

UMBI: $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident

Maryland

UMBI: $30,000 per person, $60,000 per incident

UMPD: $15,000 per accident

Massachusetts

UMBI: $20,000 per person, $40,000 per incident

Minnesota

UMBI: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident

Missouri

UMBI: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident

Nebraska

UMBI: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident

New Hampshire

UMBI: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident

UMPD: $25,000 per incident

new York

UMBI: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident

North Carolina

UMBI: $30,000 per person, $60,000 per incident

UMPD: $25,000 per incident

North Dakota

UMBI: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident

Oregon

UMBI: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident

South Carolina

UMBI: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident

UMPD: $25,000 per incident

South Dakota

UMBI: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident

Vermont

UMBI: $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident

UMPD: $10,000 per incident

Virginia

UMBI: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident

UMPD: $20,000 per incident

West Virginia

UMBI: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident

UMPD: $25,000 per incident

Wyoming

UMBI: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident

Source: Insurance Information Institute, January 2022

In New Hampshire and Virginia, auto insurance is optional, but if purchased, it must include uninsured motorist coverage.

How much does uninsured motorist coverage cost?

Premiums for uninsured motorist coverage are relatively less expensive than other types of auto insurance policies, although prices can be higher in states with a higher percentage of uninsured drivers. On average, UM coverage costs less than standard liability insurance.

Personal finance firm NerdWallet pegs the cost of uninsured motorist coverage at about less than half the cost of a regular liability policy, while financial information website MarketWatch says drivers can get UM coverage for just an extra $5 to $10 in monthly premiums. your premiums.

Read more: Ten ways drivers can save on car insurance premiums

Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage Worth It?

Although it’s not required in most states, there are several reasons drivers should consider getting UM coverage, according to experts.

“Depending on where you live, you may need to purchase uninsured motorist coverage, but even if you don’t, it’s worth considering,” NerdWallet advises. “This type of insurance costs relatively little and can potentially save you tens of thousands of dollars if you are hit by an uninsured driver.”

He added that even for those with health insurance, buying UM policies has its share of benefits.

“Even though your health insurance should pay for medical treatment after an accident, uninsured motorist coverage can still be beneficial because it can cover ongoing expenses like long-term care,” the firm explained. “In addition, there is usually no deductible for UMBI coverage that could offset a high health insurance deductible.”

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