What Is Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage?

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Do I Need Uninsured Motorist Insurance in Alabama? | Law Blog

Uninsured motorist insurance coverage (UM) protects you if you are ever in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, a driver whose coverage cannot cover your costs or a driver whose insurance company denies their claim. Ultimately, the purpose of UM is to pay for various fees, including medical bills, lost wages and car damage if the accident is not your fault.

There are two types of uninsured motorist insurance coverage. It’s important to know the difference, as they are not always bundled together (although they are in some states, so check with your insurance provider).

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage is protection related to injuries or property damage sustained in an auto accident as a result of the actions of an uninsured driver. An “uninsured driver” is a motorist who does not have insurance, has insurance that does not meet state-mandated liability requirements or whose insurance company denies the claim. Uninsured motorist coverage is broken into two separate categories: uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) and uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD).

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Underinsured motorist coverage protects you in the event of an accident caused by a driver whose insurance does not cover the expenses from the accident. Many drivers opt for the minimum liability coverage required by law, which is often not enough to cover costs.

What Does Uninsured Motorist Cover?

UM covers standard expenses as a result of an accident. UM typically covers costs for you and your passengers. These costs can include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages if you cannot work while recovering from the accident
  • Pain and suffering compensation
  • Funeral expenses
  • Car damage in some states

Remember, every UM package is different. The best way to find out what your insurance provider’s uninsured motorist insurance covers is to ask. You should also research a few different providers to understand what other insurance providers cover under their uninsured motorist policies and how this compared to your current insurance companies.

What Does Uninsured Motorist Insurance Not Cover?

UM will not cover every expense caused by an accident, even if you are not at fault, so it’s crucial to discuss full coverage car insurance details with your provider to understand what your coverage protects. It’s a smart idea that you understand your coverage fully before having to file a claim. UM typically does not cover:

  • Damages to items inside your car
  • Legal fees related to the accident
  • Expenses over your policy amount

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