Uninsured motorist coverage can seem like a waste of money if you have good health insurance coverage. But this kind of car insurance goes beyond covering medical expenses. It offers important protection in accidents where the other driver doesn’t have insurance.
Health insurance only covers your personal injuries, while uninsured motorist coverage extends protection to your passengers and property. Some states require this kind of coverage to register your car.
Let’s look at what uninsured motorist coverage is, when it’s required, and why it’s a smart addition to your auto insurance policy.
Do I need uninsured motorist coverage if I have health insurance?
Uninsured motorist coverage is a smart addition to your car insurance and health insurance policies. It goes beyond paying for your personal medical expenses to offer per-person and per-accident limits for injuries and car damage for you and your passengers when you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.
|Uninsured Motorist Coverage||Health Insurance|
|Per-person and per-accident limits||Annual limits|
|Covers injuries, car damage, and lost wages||Only covers injuries|
|Protects your passengers||Only protects you|
Without uninsured motorist coverage, you’ll have to meet your health insurance policy’s requirements for deductibles and co-pays as you access care for your injuries. You’ll only get coverage for your own injuries, leaving your passengers to rely on their health insurance.
Your health insurance also won’t cover lost wages or damages to your car, both of which you can get covered with uninsured motorist property damage insurance.
What is uninsured motorist coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage is a type of car insurance providing protection if you’re in an accident with an at-fault driver who is not insured. It essentially functions as the at-fault driver’s insurance when that driver isn’t covered or identified due to the circumstances of the accident.
You might file a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage in accidents involving:
- Underage drivers
- Drivers under the influence
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Drivers who haven’t purchased insurance of any kind
When adding uninsured motorist coverage to your auto insurance policy, you’ll notice it’s often split into two types of coverage: uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) and uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD).
UMBI coverage pays for medical expenses for you, your passengers, permitted drivers, and lost wages and pain and suffering. In addition, UMPD covers car and property damage after an accident.
Am I required to have uninsured motorist coverage?
Twenty states and Washington, D.C., require uninsured motorist coverage for every driver with a registered car in the state. These states are:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
If you don’t live in a state where uninsured motorist coverage is required, it’s still a good idea to add this coverage to your policy. It's typically inexpensive and can provide a critical safety net in case of an accident. Compare quotes for uninsured motorist coverage to see what protection you can get.
The Bottom Line on Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Even if you have health insurance, adding uninsured motorist coverage can give you extra protection and peace of mind about you, your car, and your passengers. You shouldn't have to worry about the at-fault driver’s insurance covering injuries and damages with this type of auto insurance.