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Why You Should Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage

If your car is hit in an accident and it’s the other driver’s fault, it’s easy to assume that person’s car insurance will pay for the damage. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple.

Although it’s illegal in most states, some people drive without insurance. Roughly 16% of drivers are uninsured, according to the Insurance Research Council. If one of them hits you, you could be stuck paying for the repairs to your car even if it wasn’t your fault. Fortunately, Nationwide’s uninsured motorist coverage may help protect you against this possibility.

Protect yourself from paying for damage caused by others

Uninsured motorist insurance may help protect you against drivers who don’t have liability insurance or lack the money to pay for injuries and damages they cause to you, your passengers or your car. This coverage is often paired with underinsured motorist coverage, which is similar, but for situations where the other driver’s insurance will pay for some of the damages. It can also protect you from covered hit and run accidents subject to policy coverage provisions and limits.

Two types of uninsured motorist insurance

There are two basic components of uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage pays for covered damages to your car or other property. Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) coverage pays for covered medical expenses, lost wages and other damages experienced by you or your passengers in a covered accident.

Uninsured motorist coverage may cover you outside your car, too

This insurance may protect you even if you aren’t in your car. For example, if you were hit by an uninsured motorist while driving another person’s vehicle, walking across the street or riding your bike, the bodily injury portion of your insurance may help with your expenses in a covered incident.

Uninsured motorist insurance may apply to some unusual situations, too. Let’s say a thief driving a stolen car damages your vehicle in an accident. The company that insures the stolen car wouldn’t compensate you because the car was taken without consent. If the thief lacks auto insurance (or resources to pay for the damage to your car), you could be out of luck. With uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company may pay the costs if coverage applies. 

Laws for uninsured motorist coverage vary by state

Each state has its own uninsured motorist laws. Your safest bet is to discuss this coverage with an insurance professional to understand what’s right for you.

Insurance terms, definitions and explanations are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance contracts, policies or declaration pages, which control coverage determinations. Such terms may vary by state, and exclusions may apply. Discounts may not be applied to all policy coverages.