Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Marissa Hayes is a technical editor and contributing writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history, and she was the editor of the literary magazine, The Bluestone Review.

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Reviewed by Marissa Hayes
Insurance Writer & Expert Marissa Hayes

UPDATED: Sep 8, 2021

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Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

The clause in your car insurance policy that provides an extra layer of protection from damages or injuries resulting from an accident of a negligent driver who does not auto insurance coverage, is called the uninsured motorist clause.

If you have this clause added to your policy you are paying a premium to your car insurance company to have it. Whether you bought car insurance online or through your agent it did not come with your policy, rather it was something you had to add.

An example that represents how the UM coverage works is say that you are involved in an accident which you are not at fault and have resulted injuries. Your car insurance carrier pays the difference between what the uninsured driver is able to pay and what you are obligated to pay assuming the negligent driver had the appropriate auto insurance coverage.

These states make it mandatory you carry uninsured motorist coverage:

Being Involved in a Hit and Run Case

If you are involved in an accident and the negligent driver leaves the scene without identifying themselves, then at that point this driver becomes uninsured according to the clause in your car insurance contract. However, most insurance companies will accept a license plate number as appropriate identification.

To calculate UM ratios the insurance research council compared the collision and property damage portions in Uninsured Motorists clauses. The 10 states with the highest frequencies were:

  • Oklahoma: 25.9%
  • Florida: 23.8%
  • Mississippi: 22.9%
  • New Mexico: 21.6%
  • Michigan: 21.0%
  • Tennessee: 20.1%
  • Alabama: 19.6%
  • Rhode Island: 17.0%
  • Colorado: 16.2%
  • Washington: 16.1%

The Car Insurance Cost of Uninsured Drivers

In 2009 there were almost 3 out of 10 drivers on the road were uninsured. Since then this number has decreased yet car insurance premiums have increased by an average of $14 per policy.

Car insurance companies have a couple different opportunities in some states that have a high rate of Uninsured motorists. They can either sell more policies to those uninsured or sell more coverage to those who are insured.

Because of this your UM claim will likely be denied. For property damage uninsured motorists during hit and run collisions these states will not cover:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Ohio

In these states, make sure you understand how your collision coverage works. It may be used to help cover the cost of damages and repairs.

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage

The first portion of your Uninsured motorist clause includes property damage, (UMPD). Most drivers already have collision coverage so why is this included? But if you do not have collision coverage uninsured property damage is a way to protect yourself without your premium increasing. eductibles for uninsured motorists property damage is less costly with a comparable deductible.

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury

What is Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI)? If you are driving, riding a bike, or walking as a pedestrian, this coverage may pay for your medical bills, and wages lost as a result of the accident injury.

Why is this important? Your health insurance and medical payments do not typically pay for any lost wages in this example. If the company you work for offers disability coverage it will help you, however it will not cover the passengers in your car. If you travel with friends and family frequently this could be additional protection because it will also cover all parties while the other insurance coverage’s will not.

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