Everything you need to know about insurance basics, like coverage types, limits, cost and more.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
When you hit the road, you do what you can to stay safe — like proactively staying protected with auto insurance. Good for you!
But what happens if you’re in an accident with an at-fault driver who has low coverage limits? You might have to pay for some of the damages and medical expenses, even though it wasn’t your fault. That’s why getting underinsured motorist coverage is a smart move.
What Is Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Underinsured motorist coverage protects you financially in the event you’re in an accident with an at-fault driver who has some auto insurance but their limits aren’t enough to cover all of your bills after an accident.
What Does Underinsured Motorist Protection Cover?
Underinsured motorist coverage works similarly to your liability bodily injury, but you’re buying insurance to protect yourself from injuries caused by other drivers, instead of buying insurance for injuries you cause to others.
Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage
Helps cover medical expenses for injuries sustained in an accident, loss of income and funeral costs. It also helps cover the costs of treating emotional and mental issues resulting from accidents. This includes coverage for the insured members of your household, as well as the passengers in your vehicle. It’s all about helping restore your physical, emotional and mental well-being.
Do You Need Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Whether you need to legally have underinsured motorist coverage or not depends on state requirements. But even if your state doesn’t require underinsured motorist bodily injury liability coverage, it’s still a great coverage to have on your policy to protect you from accidents caused by drivers with an insufficient amount of auto bodily injury liability insurance.
Which states require underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage? There are 14:
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
How Much Underinsured Motorist Coverage Do I Need?
The amount of coverage you need depends on a few things, but mostly it comes down to your state’s requirement, how much risk you’re willing to take and how much insurance you can afford to buy. Here are some things to consider:
- Since coverage limits for underinsured motorist coverage vary by state, you’ll want to purchase at least the minimum amount required by your state. But, to err on the safe side, it’s recommended to purchase more than the state’s minimum limits.
- At least match your bodily injury liability coverage limits. So if you have a policy with $50,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person and $100,000 per accident, you’d have the same amount of protection from your underinsured motorist coverage.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage vs Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If you’re in an accident with an at-fault driver who has some liability insurance, but not enough to cover all of your bills after an accident, you’ll be glad you had underinsured motorist coverage . It’s similar to uninsured coverage, but in this case, the at-fault driver’s insurance typically pays for the damages up to their policy limit, and your underinsured coverage kicks in to help pay the rest. If you’re in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, and you don’t have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you’ll be responsible for paying out-of-pocket for damages and medical expenses. However, if you’re in an accident where the other driver was at fault and you do have these coverages, you’ll rest easy knowing your finances are protected.
Want to Know More About Coverage Options?
For more protection on the road, check out these coverages:
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Similar to underinsured coverage, uninsured motorist coverage protects you financially if you’re in an accident caused by a driver with no car insurance.
Collision insurance helps pay to repair or replace your vehicle. Collisions can involve another vehicle or an object, like a tree.
Loan or lease assistance insurance.
Loan or lease assistance insurance is an optional coverage than can be added to your collision policy in order to help pay the difference between what your car is worth and what you owe. This add-on helps pay the difference if you have a total loss.
Medical Expense Coverage
Medical payments coverage helps pay for medical care for you and your passengers, regardless of who is at fault.
Connect with your American Family Insurance agent about customizing your auto insurance coverage, because when you have the right auto insurance, you can keep your dream in drive with peace of mind knowing you’re protecting what matters most.