Sunday, January 29th, 2023

Revealed – US states that require uninsured motorist protection

“Legal guidelines in most states have confirmed ineffective in lowering the variety of drivers who’re uninsured,” the Insurance coverage Info Institute (III) defined in a backgrounder about uninsured motorists on its web site. “There are lots of causes for this. Some drivers can’t afford insurance coverage and a few drivers with surcharges for accidents or critical site visitors violations don’t need to pay the excessive premiums that outcome from a poor driving file.

“With the estimated share of uninsured drivers within the US near 13%, it’s expensive to trace down violators of obligatory insurance coverage legal guidelines. State insurance coverage departments and insurance coverage corporations are utilizing new strategies to fight the uninsured motorist drawback, together with utilizing digital means to confirm auto insurance coverage rapidly.”

Nonetheless, the difficulty persists and due to this, even when uninsured motorist protection just isn’t necessary in all states, it could possibly be price contemplating for most of the nation’s drivers.

Learn extra: America’s high automotive insurers in 2022 – a region-by-region breakdown

What’s uninsured motorist protection?

In accordance with the III, uninsured motorist protection, additionally known as UM, is designed to offer compensation to policyholders when an at-fault driver doesn’t have legal responsibility insurance coverage or illegally leaves the scene of the crash.

The group added that whereas this sort of coverage doesn’t scale back the variety of uninsured motorists on the street, it does present a means for drivers to take care of the monetary penalties of accidents with hit-and-run or uninsured motorists.  

How does uninsured motorist protection work?

Typically, when an accident happens and the opposite motorist is at-fault, their auto insurance coverage ought to cowl automotive restore and medical prices incurred by the not-at-fault driver and their passengers. Nevertheless, if the at-fault motorist doesn’t have protection and can’t afford to pay up, the opposite driver might find yourself footing the invoice.

That is the place uninsured motorist protection turns out to be useful. This type of coverage fills the hole between the prices incurred by the insured driver and the at-fault motorist’s means to pay.

UM is often bundled with underinsured motorist (UIM) protection, which works virtually precisely the identical. The one distinction is that UIM supplies monetary safety when the at-fault driver carries insurance coverage, however their protection just isn’t sufficient the pay for all bills.

Learn extra: Revealed – probably the most and least costly states for automotive insurance coverage in 2022

What does uninsured motorist insurance coverage cowl?

Uninsured motorist insurance policies present two varieties of safety. These are:

  • Uninsured motorist bodily damage (UMBI) protection: This covers medical payments, prices incurred as a result of ache and struggling, misplaced wages, and funeral bills ensuing from a collision with an uninsured at-fault driver. Some insurance policies additionally cowl accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Uninsured motorist property harm (UMPD) protection: This pays out for damages to the policyholder’s car or property after a crash with an at-fault motorist who doesn’t have insurance coverage. Some insurance policies, nevertheless, require the insured to pay a deductible quantity.

A number of states additionally enable “stacking,” which advantages those that personal a couple of insured car. This observe provides drivers the choice to mix UMBI limits for a number of automobiles, both in a single coverage or throughout a number of insurance policies beneath the insured’s identify, elevating the general protection quantity.

“[To illustrate], in a three-car household, the place uninsured motorist legal responsibility limits are $20,000, in a state that doesn’t prohibit stacking, the quantity obtainable to pay a declare in an accident with an uninsured driver can be $60,000,” III defined. “[But] as a result of stacking drives up the price of auto insurance coverage, about half of the states prohibit stacking.”

Learn extra: Revealed – probably the most and least costly automobiles to insure within the US

Which states require uninsured motorist protection?

There are greater than 20 states within the US the place uninsured motorist protection is necessary. In others, insurance coverage corporations are required to supply UM insurance policies, however buying them just isn’t obligatory. Fewer states require drivers to take out underinsured motorist protection.

Beneath is the whole record of states that require uninsured and underinsured motorist protection, together with the corresponding minimal legal responsibility limits.


Protection required & minimal legal responsibility limits


UMBI: $25,000 per individual, $50,000 per accident

District of Columbia

UMBI: $25,000 per individual, $50,000 per accident

UMPD: $5,000 per accident


UMBI: $25,000 per individual, $50,000 per accident


UMBI: $25,000 per individual, $50,000 per accident


UMBI: $50,000 per individual, $100,000 per accident


UMBI: $30,000 per individual, $60,000 per accident

UMPD: $15,000 per accident


UMBI: $20,000 per individual, $40,000 per accident


UMBI: $25,000 per individual, $50,000 per accident


UMBI: $25,000 per individual, $50,000 per accident


UMBI: $25,000 per individual, $50,000 per accident

New Hampshire

UMBI: $25,000 per individual, $50,000 per accident

UMPD: $25,000 per accident

New York

UMBI: $25,000 per individual, $50,000 per accident

North Carolina

UMBI: $30,000 per individual, $60,000 per accident

UMPD: $25,000 per accident

North Dakota

UMBI: $25,000 per individual, $50,000 per accident


UMBI: $25,000 per individual, $50,000 per accident

South Carolina

UMBI: $25,000 per individual, $50,000 per accident

UMPD: $25,000 per accident

South Dakota

UMBI: $25,000 per individual, $50,000 per accident


UMBI: $50,000 per individual, $100,000 per accident

UMPD: $10,000 per accident


UMBI: $25,000 per individual, $50,000 per accident

UMPD: $20,000 per accident

West Virginia

UMBI: $25,000 per individual, $50,000 per accident

UMPD: $25,000 per accident


UMBI: $25,000 per individual, $50,000 per accident

Supply: Insurance coverage Info Institute, January 2022

In New Hampshire and Virginia, auto insurance coverage just isn’t necessary but when bought, it ought to embrace uninsured motorist protection.

How a lot does uninsured motorist protection value?

Premiums for uninsured motorist protection are comparatively inexpensive than different varieties of automotive insurance coverage insurance policies, though costs could possibly be greater in states with the next share of drivers with out insurance coverage. On common, UM protection prices lower than customary legal responsibility insurance coverage. 

Private finance agency NerdWallet pegs the value of uninsured motorist protection at about lower than half the value of an everyday legal responsibility coverage, whereas monetary info web site MarketWatch says drivers can take out UM protection for as little as a further $5 to $10 of their month-to-month premiums.

Learn extra: Ten methods motorists can save on auto insurance coverage premiums

Is taking out uninsured motorist protection price it?

Though not obligatory in most states, there are a number of explanation why drivers ought to contemplate taking out UM protection, in line with specialists.

“Chances are you’ll be required to purchase uninsured motorist protection, relying on the place you reside, however even in case you’re not, it’s price contemplating,” NerdWallet suggested. “Any such insurance coverage prices comparatively little and will probably prevent tens of hundreds of {dollars} in case you’re hit by an uninsured driver.”

It added that even for these with medical insurance, buying UM insurance policies has its share of benefits.

“Whereas your medical insurance ought to pay for medical remedy after a wreck, uninsured motorist protection might nonetheless be helpful, as it might probably cowl ongoing bills like long-term care,” the agency defined. “Plus, there’s usually no deductible for UMBI protection, which might offset a excessive medical insurance deductible.”

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