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Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Car Insurance

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Jeffrey Johnson graduated summa cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law and has worked in legal offices and nonprofits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman University and worked in film, education, and publishing. His professional writing has appeared on sites like The Manifest and Vice, and he is the author of a novel ...

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UPDATED: Aug 17, 2021

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Key Takeaways

  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is optional in some states
  • UM/UIM car insurance makes up 5% of your policy
  • There are two parts of UM and UIM coverage: bodily injury and property damage

Did you know uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage was required in some states? Your uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) car insurance may be included in your liability policy.

But what does underinsured motorist insurance cover? And what is UM/UIM insurance coverage?

Don’t worry – our guide explains everything you need to know about UM/UIM car insurance quotes and where you can secure cheap car insurance.

After you learn more about affordable UM/UIM car insurance, enter your ZIP code in the free comparison tool to locate multiple companies near you.

How does uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) car insurance work?

Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is auto insurance that pays for bodily injury and property damage if you get into an accident with a driver who doesn’t have car insurance.

Meanwhile, underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance provides coverage if you’re in an accident with a driver that doesn’t have enough on their policy limits to cover your bodily injury and property damage costs.

What’s the difference between UM and UIM car insurance?

UIM auto insurance provides coverage if you’re a no-fault driver in an accident with an at-fault driver with insufficient coverage limits, and UM auto insurance covers you when an at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance.

How much are UM/UIM car insurance rates?

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), liability-only coverage is $46 per month on average. Full coverage auto insurance is about $90 a month.

UM/UIM coverage is 5% your car insurance payment. That means you could pay as little as $2 more a month for liability-only insurance, or $5 more for full coverage insurance.

But what about the best UM/UIM car insurance companies? Let’s look at UM/UIM auto insurance estimates from the top insurance companies in the United States:

Estimated Monthly UM/UIM Car Insurance Rates by Company
CompaniesMonthly UM/UIM Car Insurance Rates
American Family$11
Liberty Mutual$20
State Farm$12
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Several factors determine whether affordable UM/UIM car insurance is available to you. Therefore, your rates will vary. The best way to get cheap UM/UIM auto insurance is to compare multiple companies until you find something within your budget.

What does stacking UM/UIM car insurance mean?

You can stack uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage by adding multiple vehicles to your policy. When you add more cars to a policy, your UM or UIM car insurance limits will double.

For example, a Missouri driver with $50,000/$100,000 UMBI limits can get $100,000/$200,000 UMBI limits when adding a second vehicle to their auto insurance policy.

Which states require UM/UIM car insurance?

Each state has a unique law for auto insurance coverage. New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Virginia don’t require drivers to get car insurance.

However, if you do purchase auto insurance in those states, specific policy limits are required. Here’s a list of states that require UM/UIM auto insurance.

States That Require Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Car Insurance
StatesUMBI Coverage RequiredUMPD Coverage RequiredUIMBI Bodily Injury Coverage Required
District Of Columbia
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia
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Car insurance by state varies. Most auto insurance companies recommended higher limits to ensure that you have enough coverage.

How much UM/UIM car insurance do I need?

It depends on the state. The most common UM/UIM coverage limit is $25,000 for bodily injury of one person per accident, $50,000 for bodily injury of multiple people per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.

The UM/UIM limits resemble liability’s BI liability and PD liability, but auto insurance companies recommend getting higher coverage limits.

How do I file a UM/UIM car insurance claim?

If you were in an accident, call the police right away. While you wait for an officer, take photos of the damage.

The police officer will establish fault. The other driver’s insurance company will pay for bodily injury and property damage if you’re the no-fault driver. However, an uninsured driver can’t provide you with insurance information, which can make things complicated.

If an at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance or insufficient coverage, call your auto insurance company and tell them that you need to file a UM/UIM coverage claim.

Both uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage have two parts, which are:

  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI)
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD)
  • Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UIMBI)
  • Underinsured Motorist Property Damage (UIMPD)

When you file a claim, you’ll need to report which situation applies to your coverage.

Your car insurance company will file your claim. Afterward, you can have your vehicle towed anywhere you like until you get estimates for your repairs.

If your coverage limits are too low, you may have to take legal action against the at-fault driver to recover fully.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Car Insurance: What’s the bottom line?

UM/UIM auto insurance covers you when an at-fault driver is not adequately insured. UM/UIM insurance rates can be as low as $25 per month.

Before you buy UM/UIM car insurance, use our free online quote tool to compare quotes from multiple companies in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions: UM/UIM Car Insurance

Check out some answers to frequently asked questions about UM/UIM coverage:

#1 – Does uninsured motorist coverage cover hit-and-run accidents?

The answer is yes. Uninsured motorist auto insurance provides coverage if you were in an accident with a driver that hit your vehicle and drove away.

#2 – Do I need uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage?

It’s optional in some states but required in a few states. Even if it’s not required everywhere, we recommend purchasing UM/UIM coverage.

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