What to Do When You’re in an Accident with an Uninsured Driver

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage protects you when you've been in an accident with a driver who doesn't have insurance. There is a property damage component and a bodily damage component, meaning uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can help reimburse you for repairs on your car and any medical bills.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

Full Bio →

Written by

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jul 5, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from top car companies please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Here's what you need to know...

  • If you live in a no-fault state, your own insurance company will pay your claim up to your policy limit without the need to determine which driver was at fault
  • If you lack collision coverage, an uninsured motorist policy will pay for damage to your vehicle
  • Underinsured motorist coverage covers the other driver’s policy limit and your claim for damages after an accident

What should you do if you get into a car wreck and the other person involved in the accident does not have auto insurance?

The likelihood of being involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver is higher than you may realize. In some parts of the United States, the percentage of drivers operating a motor vehicle without insurance coverage may be as high as 25%.

If you’re worried about the cost of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage, have no fear — there are many ways to save on car insurance. The easiest and quickest way is to compare car insurance rates from different companies.

Enter your ZIP code into our free online quote comparison tool today to do just that and save money while finding car insurance coverages that suit your personal needs.

We are going to look at three types of car insurance coverage in this article: no-fault car insurance coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, and underinsured motorist coverage. Let’s get started.

No-Fault Car Insurance Coverage

If you happen to live in a no-fault state for car insurance purposes, your own insurance company will pay out on your claim up to your policy limit without the need to determine which driver was at fault.

Keep in mind that you are still responsible for paying your car insurance policy deductible, which is the amount you need to pay before any reimbursement kicks in. If you raised your insurance deductible to lower your premium, this may sting a little more.

For this reason, it’s important to be sure that you have not set the deductible rate too high to save money on your premium costs.

You want to be sure that the amount you choose is something that won’t have a huge financial impact if you need to make a claim on your car insurance coverage.

If having to pay a lot of money out of pocket after an accident would be difficult, a better choice may be to set a deductible rate that you feel more comfortable with, even though the premium rate will be higher.

If you live in a tort state where the fault is determined before the insurance company pays out on a claim, the situation is a little different.

If another driver is at fault and he or she doesn’t have insurance, you have the right to sue to collect damages. Keep in mind that if another driver is uninsured because of financial reasons, it may be difficult for you to collect any damages awarded.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

To guard against the possibility of being involved in an accident where the other driver doesn’t have car insurance, you can buy uninsured motorist coverage.

It provides protection in situations where the other driver doesn’t have insurance coverage or has a policy limit lower than the minimum level of coverage mandated by the state.

If his or her insurance company has denied the claim for damages, then the driver is considered uninsured. In the case of a hit and run driver, the uninsured motorist coverage pays benefits on claims for bodily injury, including pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages.

In most states, drivers are not required to buy uninsured motorist coverage as part of their car insurance. But it can still be very helpful.

Our study covering facts about uninsured motorists showed that 14% of all drivers in the United States don’t have insurance. If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, you could face major financial damage if you’re in an accident with a driver that doesn’t have coverage.

The deductible for uninsured motorist coverage is often lower than for other, more popular types of insurance coverages, and the rates are frequently more affordable. Now, let’s take a look at underinsured motorist coverage.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

You may also want to consider adding underinsured motorist coverage to your existing policy. This coverage is designed to make up the difference between the other driver’s policy limit and your claim for damages after an accident.

When economic times are difficult, people may choose to buy a policy with a lower limit to save money.

If a person is insured for only the minimum level of coverage mandated by the state, they may not have enough protection in place to pay the full amount owing if your injuries require a stay in the hospital, surgery, or rehabilitation services.

You will still be required to pay a deductible on the underinsured motorist policy before the insurance company pays out on the policy.

The time to consider what would happen if you were involved in an accident where another driver has no insurance is before it occurs. Insurance coverage can’t protect you after the fact.

Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverages are almost always bundled together as uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM).

Adding UM/UIM coverage to your insurance policy is a relatively inexpensive way to provide you and your family valuable financial protection.

Plug your ZIP code into our free quote tool to find the best rates for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in your area personalized for your financial situation.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption