Revealed: US states that require uninsured motorist coverage

“Most states’ laws 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 site web. “There are many reasons for this. Some drivers cannot afford insurance and some drivers with accident surcharges or serious traffic violations do not want to pay the high premiums that result from poor driving records.

“With the estimated percentage of uninsured drivers in the U.S. approaching 13 percent, it is expensive to track down violators of mandatory insurance laws. State insurance departments and insurance companies are using new techniques to combat the problem of uninsured motorists, including using electronic means to quickly verify auto insurance.”

Still, the problem persists, and so even if uninsured motorist coverage isn’t mandatory in every state, it might be worth considering for many of the nation’s drivers.

Read more: Top US Auto Insurers in 2022: A Region-by-Region Breakdown

What is uninsured motorist coverage?

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

How does uninsured motorist coverage work?

Generally, when an accident occurs and the other driver is at fault, your auto insurance should cover the car repair expenses and medical costs incurred by the non-at-fault 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 almost exactly the same. The only difference is that UIM provides financial protection when the at-fault driver has insurance, but their coverage is not enough to pay all the expenses.

Read more: Revealed: The most and least expensive states for car insurance in 2022

What does uninsured motorist insurance cover?

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

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

Several states also allow “stacking,” which benefits those with more than one insured vehicle. This practice gives drivers the option to combine UMBI limits for multiple cars, either in a single policy or multiple policies in the name of the insured, increasing the total coverage amount.

“[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 accident with an uninsured driver would be $60,000,” explained III. “[But] Because stacking increases the cost of auto insurance, about half of states prohibit stacking.”

Read more: Revealed: The most and least expensive cars to insure in the US

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 their purchase is not mandatory. Fewer states require drivers to purchase underinsured motorist coverage.

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

state

Required coverage and minimum liability limits

Connecticut

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

District of Columbia

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

UMPD: $5,000 per accident

Illinois

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

Kansas

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

Maine

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

Maryland

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

UMPD: $15,000 per accident

Massachusetts

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

Minnesota

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

Missouri

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

Nebraska

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

New Hampshire

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

UMPD: $25,000 per accident

New York

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

North Carolina

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

UMPD: $25,000 per accident

North Dakota

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

Oregon

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

South Carolina

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

UMPD: $25,000 per accident

South Dakota

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

Vermont

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

UMPD: $10,000 per accident

virginia

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

UMPD: $20,000 per accident

West Virginia

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

UMPD: $25,000 per accident

Wyoming

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

Source: Insurance Information Institute, January 2022

In New Hampshire and Virginia, auto insurance is not required, but if purchased, it should 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 could be higher in states with a higher percentage of uninsured drivers. On average, UM coverage costs less than standard liability insurance.

Personal finance company NerdWallet pegs the price of uninsured auto coverage at about less than half the price of a regular liability policy, while financial information website MarketWatch says drivers can get UM coverage for as little as $5 to $10 extra in your monthly premiums.

Read more: Ten ways motorists can save on auto insurance premiums

Is uninsured motorist coverage worth it?

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

“You may be required to purchase uninsured motorist coverage depending on where you live, but even if you’re not, it’s worth considering,” NerdWallet advised. “This type of insurance is relatively inexpensive and could save you tens of thousands of dollars if you find yourself an uninsured driver.”

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

“While your health insurance should pay for medical treatment after a claim, uninsured motorist coverage could still be beneficial because it can cover ongoing expenses like long-term care,” explained the company “Also, there is typically no deductible for UMBI coverage, which could offset a high health insurance deductible.”

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