Car Insurance Coverage for Accidents Caused by Uninsured Motorists

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Unfortunately there are drivers who hit the highways without any car insurance or with insufficient coverage. Should you have a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver who was at fault, you may still receive compensation from your own car insurance policy if you have uninsured motorists insurance included in your coverage.

TIP: Some states require you to have uninsured motorist coverage. Ask your insurance company if you need uninsured coverage before you purchase a policy.

The Basics of Uninsured Motorist Coverage

If you add uninsured motorist coverage to your car insurance policy then your insurance company provides the insurance coverage that the other driver should have had. Rather than work with another insurance company, you would file a claim with your own company under the uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in your plan.

TIP: As with any claim, you and your insurance company will need to settle on an amount of money you are owed under your policy. If you and the insurance company don’t agree on whether or not you are legally entitled to recover damages under this portion of the policy, or you don’t agree on the amount you are entitled to, you can negotiate a settlement, or resolve the matter in arbitration in accordance with your car insurance policy. If a dispute arises, you should take advantage of a free consultation with an experienced auto accident attorney prior to taking any action.

Limits on Liability

As with any type of car insurance coverage, there are limits which address how much your insurance company will pay for damages under the uninsured motorist section of your policy. These limits, found in your declarations page, are hard caps on the amount of money you will be able to recover from your car insurance company after an accident with an uninsured driver. Like other damage limits, your uninsured motorist coverage will express its dollar limitations in the form X/Y/Z, with “X” representing how much your car insurance company will pay out per person, “Y” the amount it will pay out for all bodily injury claims, and “Z” the amount it will pay for damage to your car.

Example: suppose you and two friends are all injured from the same accident with an uninsured motorist. If your car insurance policy limits are 50/100/10, then, even though you would be able to collect up to $50,000 for your medical bills and other damages if you were alone, the company is only responsible for paying up to $100,000 total for all three injured persons’ bills. Further, if more than $10,000 in damage was done to your car, you car insurance company would only pay up to that amount.

Exceptions to Uninsured Motorist Coverage

In addition to policy limits, your uninsured motorist car insurance coverage will not cover you if a handful of exclusions apply. Although each car insurance policy is different, you will likely find the following exclusions from your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage:

  • If you have an accident with an uninsured driver while you are in a car that is not listed on your car insurance policy.
  • If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured at fault driver or car, you will get no uninsured motorist compensation for injuries if you settle your claim without the consent of the insurance company
  • If you are using your car to transport people (i.e. a taxi) or property (i.e., a delivery van) for money, you cannot collect uninsured motorist benefits under your policy should you have an accident with an uninsured motorist. This is generally the case unless you are sharing expenses for a carpool.
  • Your sound equipment and accessories that are not permanently installed in your car is not typically covered by uninsured motorist coverage. This can include any enhancement you have made to the car after you purchased it.

When you make a decision to purchase uninsured motorist coverage in your car insurance policy, you will need to set your coverage limits and understand the exclusions to your coverage. It is important that you know what your uninsured motorist coverage will protect you from before purchasing it.

TIP: Like other types of car insurance coverage, you can get more protection from uninsured and underinsured motorists by increasing your coverage limits and paying a higher premium. When you get a quote for car insurance with uninsured motorist coverage, be sure to clarify how much coverage you are willing to pay for.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can be an important part of your car insurance policy. The coverage provides you with an added level of security to protect you from drivers who drive without car insurance. If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, then there is a very good chance that you will be left to pay all the costs that arise from a car accident with an uninsured driver.

Find cheap uninsured motorist coverage by comparing car insurance quotes, and getting the coverage you need at a plan you can afford. Click here to visit the Free Advice quote center today!.

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