Is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage necessary?

Uninsured motorist coverage will pay when the driver is uninsured, but filing a lawsuit could be an option. One in eight drivers in the U.S. is uninsured.

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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...

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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...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: May 12, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Underinsured/uninsured motorists coverage protects you if you are involved in an accident caused by another driver
  • It is illegal in all 50 states to operate a vehicle without adequate car insurance
  • Liability car insurance policy only covers your state’s minimum insurance requirement

Uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage is protection for YOU against drivers who do not have adequate insurance coverage to compensate you in the event of an accident for which they are at fault.

Uninsured/underinsured motorists insurance covers bodily injuries to you and/or your passengers when the person who caused the accident has no insurance or insufficient insurance.

Read on to learn about underinsured/uninsured motorists coverage and then enter your ZIP code above to start comparing car insurance for FREE!

What are Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists?

Anyone who operates a vehicle without car insurance is considered an uninsured motorist.  Underinsured drivers are those who cause accidents that exceed their level of insurance coverage.

When you purchase underinsured motorist insurance, your insurance company pays the difference between the accident damages and the amount of the at-fault driver’s insurance.

The following list demonstrates the incidence from highest to lowest of uninsured motorists in each of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia:

  • New Mexico 29 percent
  • Mississippi 28 percent
  • Alabama 26 percent
  • Oklahoma percent
  • Florida 23 percent
  • Tennessee 20 percent
  • California 18 percent
  • Arizona 18 percent
  • Michigan 17 percent
  • Washington 16 percent
  • Ohio 16 percent
  • Kentucky 16 percent
  • Texas 15 percent
  • Nevada percent
  • Arkansas 15 percent
  • Wisconsin 15 percent
  • Illinois 15 percent
  • Montana 15 percent
  • Colorado 15 percent
  • D.C. 15 percent
  • Indiana 14 percent
  • Missouri 14 percent
  • Rhode Island 14 percent
  • Alaska 13 percent
  • Maryland 12 percent
  • Hawaii 12 percent
  • Louisiana 12 percent
  • Iowa 12 percent
  • Minnesota 12 percent
  • North Carolina 12 percent
  • Georgia 12 percent
  • New Hampshire 11 percent
  • Oregon 11 percent
  • Delaware 10 percent
  • Kansas 10 percent
  • Connecticut 9 percent
  • Virginia 9 percent
  • South Carolina 9 percent
  • Idaho 9 percent
  • Wyoming 9 percent
  • New Jersey 8 percent
  • Utah 8 percent
  • Nebraska 8 percent
  • West Virginia 8 percent
  • Pennsylvania 7 percent
  • South Dakota 7 percent
  • Vermont 6 percent
  • New York 5 percent
  • North Dakota 5 percent
  • Maine 4 percent
  • Massachusetts 1 percent

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Is uninsured/underinsured motorists insurance expensive?

Uninsured motorists / underinsured motorists coverage is much cheaper than other forms of car insurance such as liability, collision, and comprehensive.

The industry average for uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage is about 10 percent of a driver’s total premium.

Careful analysis of your location and financial situation can help determine if uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage is right for you. The percentage of uninsured drivers in your state is one factor to consider.

You should also look at your health insurance policy. Since uninsured motorists/underinsured motorists coverage is  protection against bodily injury, you will want to look at health insurance coverage to see the extent of existing protection.

Is uninsured/underinsured motorists insurance expensive?

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is an add-on that can be applied to either a liability or a comprehensive auto insurance policy. The price that you pay for uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage varies according to the amount that you buy.

Even if you select a liability car insurance policy that only covers state minimum, you can still get uninsured and underinsured motorist protection at a good rate.

Another option for motorists that want to buy the maximum amount of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is an option known as stacking.

Stacking is done by combining the amount of coverage that you have on all of your vehicles and applying it to one car if you get into a collision.

When looking for the insurance coverage, why not try our convenient online car insurance comparison tool. You will receive multiple quotes after typing in your information just one time.

By comparing these quotes, you can determine which one best fits your lifestyle and sits most comfortably in your wallet. Compare quotes today by entering your ZIP code in our comparison tool below for FREE.

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Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates by State