If I Have Health Insurance, Do I Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Be aware that uninsured motorist coverage is required in most states. But even if you have health insurance, you need uninsured motorist coverage to recover lost wages and compensation for pain and suffering. Both health insurance and uninsured motorist coverage will pay for medical bills, but uninsured motorist coverage provides both personal injury protection and property damage protection for your vehicle. Even if you have health insurance it is in your best interest to also have uninsured motorist bodily injury and property damage coverage.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

Full Bio →

Written by

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Mar 30, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident auto insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one auto insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Uninsured motorist coverage covers certain expenses after an accident, including your medical bills. But do you really need uninsured motorist coverage if you already have health insurance?

Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about how uninsured motorist coverage works, including whether or not you need uninsured motorist insurance coverage if you already have health insurance.

How Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Work?

1 in 7 drivers in America have no car insurance whatsoever. In certain states, that number is as high as 1 in 5. If you collide with another driver, there’s a decent chance the other driver has no insurance.

Uninsured motorist coverage covers certain expenses after a collision with an uninsured driver. If the other driver has no insurance, and the other driver was at-fault for the accident, then you cannot make a claim through the other driver’s insurance company because there is no other insurance company.

Yes, the other driver is still personally liable for any damages caused by the accident. However, the types of drivers who drive without car insurance typically don’t have a lot of assets to seize in a lawsuit. This might make it impossible to claim compensation.

Sure, you could sue the uninsured at-fault driver, but it may not be worth it. If you have $500,000 in medical bills and the other driver only has a net worth of $10,000, then you’re never going to get the full amount owed to you.

Uninsured motorist coverage is built for situations like this. If the other driver has no insurance, then your own uninsured motorist coverage can kick into effect. Your own uninsured motorist coverage can cover things like medical expenses, vehicle repair costs, and lost wages after an accident.

Uninsured motorist car insurance consists of two key components:

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage (UMBI): UMBI covers medical bills, lost wages, and other costs incurred by drivers and passengers during a collision with an uninsured motorist.

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage (UMPD): UMPD covers the cost of repairing any property – like a vehicle – damaged by an uninsured motorist.

Compare over 200 auto insurance companies at once!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Uninsured Motorist Coverage is Required in Some States

Uninsured motorist coverage isn’t always optional.

Some states, particularly states with high numbers of uninsured drivers – require drivers to have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

Drivers in Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, for example, are required to have $25,000 of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person and $50,000 of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident.

Other states that require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage include Maine ($50,000 of coverage per person, $100,000 per accident), Massachusetts ($20,000/$40,000), New Jersey ($15,000), North Carolina ($30,000/$60,000/$25,000), Vermont ($50,000/$100,000/$10,000), Washington D.C. ($20,000/$50,000/$5,000), and West Virginia ($25,000).

Health Insurance Doesn’t Pay for Lost Wages or Pain and Suffering

Health insurance and uninsured motorist insurance cover some of the same things – like medical bills incurred as a result of an accident.

However, health insurance may not cover all costs stemming from an accident. Health insurance doesn’t cover lost wages or pain and suffering, for example.

If you’re injured in an accident, the at-fault driver is required to pay any costs incurred by you as a result of an accident – like vehicle repair expenses and medical bills. These are expenses you paid for as a result of the other driver’s actions.

However, the other driver is also liable for additional expenses – including ‘non-material expenses’. These expenses include pain and suffering, which can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars after a car accident. This money compensates you for the recovery process and any challenges you faced after a car accident – even if you can’t put a specific dollar amount on those challenges.

Health insurance will also not cover lost wages, while uninsured motorist insurance does cover lost wages. If you’re forced to take time off work because of your car accident, then you might receive compensation for lost wages. You will receive compensation equal to the amount you would have made if you were able to work.

Some Doctors on Health Insurance Plans Refuse to See Patients for Car Accident Claims

Making things even more complicated is that some doctors on certain health insurance plans will refuse to see patients involved in car accident claims.

If you have injuries as a result of a car accident, for example, then you might visit a doctor in your health insurance company’s network. However, this doctor might refuse to see you because the doctor does not want to testify or be involved in a court case.

With uninsured motorist coverage, you may not encounter the same conflicts. This insurance is designed specifically for car insurance claims, while health insurance companies are more likely to challenge medical bills related to car insurance claims.

Compare over 200 auto insurance companies at once!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Final Word

Some drivers avoid uninsured motorist coverage because they already have health insurance.

However, this may not be a wise choice. Health insurance can cover certain expenses after an accident – like your medical bills – but it does not cover other expenses – like lost wages or pain and suffering.

If you want better peace of mind, then consider contacting your insurance company to add uninsured motorist coverage to your policy.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Compare over 200 auto insurance companies at once!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption