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Uninsured Motorist Coverage

What does uninsured motorist coverage do?

There are several types of uninsured motorist coverage that step in when you are hit by a driver without liability insurance or with bare-bones coverage that is too skimpy to cover the damages. About one driver in seven isn’t insured for liability, says the Insurance Research Council.

Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UM or UMBI) coverage mostly pays for medical bills, and those of your passengers, if you are hit by a driver who is uninsured.  UMBI may also cover pain and suffering and lost income. In cases where the other driver has insurance, but isn’t enough to cover the bills, underinsured motorist bodily injury (UNDUM) makes up the difference between his policy limits and yours. Bodily injury coverage typically will pay for injuries. It can be sold separately or bundled together as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Is uninsured motorist coverage mandatory?

In Arizona, uninsured motorist may be required to be offered (typically as part of uninsured/underinsured coverage), but you can reject, in writing, the coverage. Some states don’t even offer underinsured motorist property damage coverage at all.

What are the recommended limits?

Drivers who do not have health insurance or do not carry collision coverage should strongly consider these uninsured motorist coverages, if they are optional in their home states.

Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage typically mirrors that of your own liability policy. That is, if you carry 100/300 on your own car, you would buy that amount as your uninsured motorist coverage.  You can usually buy amounts smaller than your own policy’s, but not larger.

What if I don’t buy uninsured motorist coverage?

If you are injured by an uninsured driver and don’t have your own medical insurance, medical payments coverage or personal injury protection, you would be responsible for your own hospital bills.

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