Uninsured motorist property damage coverage is typically sold with underinsured motorist property damage coverage.
A growing number of Americans carry uninsured motorist property damage coverage. Approximately 1 in 8 drivers nationwide carry no insurance whatsoever. Millions more drivers carry too little insurance: their insurance may meet the legal minimum requirements in a state, but that insurance has too little coverage to protect drivers in most accidents.
Do you need uninsured motorist property damage coverage? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about uninsured motorist property damage coverage and how it works.
What Does Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage Cover?
Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance covers two broad areas: bodily injuries and property damage. Typically, the policies are bundled together. When you buy uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, you’re buying both of the following types of coverage:
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage: This coverage covers medical expenses, emotional pain and suffering, and similar expenses for the driver and passengers after a collision with a driver with no bodily injury insurance (uninsured) or too little bodily injury insurance (underinsured)
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage: This coverage covers the cost of repairing your property after a collision with an uninsured and underinsured driver. It covers car repairs, for example, and any other property that may have been damaged during the collision.
Who is Required to Have Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage?
In most states, uninsured and underinsured motorist property damage coverage (UPMD) is optional. Some states, however, require uninsured motorist property damage coverage. Other states require drivers to buy coverage unless they specifically opt out of it in writing:
States that Require UPMD: Maryland, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC, and West Virginia
States Where Drivers Must Buy UMPD Unless Specifically Opting Out in Writing: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington
In most other states, UMPD coverage is optional but not required. In some states, insurance companies are legally required to offer UMPD coverage even if drivers aren’t required to have it. In other states, UMPD coverage is not offered at all.
Different states have different requirements for the minimum amount of damage that UMPD must cover. Insurance companies in California, for example, must offer a minimum of $3,500 in UMPD, while insurance companies in Texas are required to offer a minimum of $25,000.
How Does Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage Work?
Uninsured motorist property damage cover will pay for the cost of repairing your damaged property after a collision with an uninsured motorist. Let’s say an uninsured motorist collides with you. Your truck requires $10,000 of repairs. Typically, you would receive $10,000 from the insurance company of the at-fault motorist to cover the cost of repairs. Since the at-fault motorist has no insurance, however, your own uninsured motorist coverage will kick into effect.
The uninsured motorist doesn’t escape without penalty. You can sue the uninsured motorist to recover damages. Unfortunately, drivers who drive without insurance often have few assets. Even if you win the lawsuit, you might fail to recover sufficient damages to repair your vehicle.
That’s why uninsured motorist insurance can be so valuable. Whether you have uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance, it typically works in one of the following ways:
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage: This insurance policy comes into effect if the other driver has no insurance whatsoever. Approximately 1 in 7 drivers in America are uninsured. If one of these uninsured drivers collides with your vehicle, then your uninsured motorist property damage coverage will cover the cost of repairing damage to your own vehicle.
Underinsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage: This insurance policy comes into effect when a motorist with too little insurance collides with your vehicle. Some states have low minimum property damage requirements. Let’s say a motorist with the bare minimum requirements collides with your $100,000 SUV and causes $35,000 in damage. The other motorist only has $15,000 of property damage coverage – the lowest legal amount required for your state – but you still have an additional $20,000 of car repair bills. You can sue the other driver to recover damages. Or, you can use your underinsured motorist property damage coverage to cover any remaining property damage repair costs that were not covered by the other driver’s insurance.
Conclusion: Is Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Liability Coverage Worth It?
Uninsured and underinsured motorist property damage coverage covers the cost of repairing your own vehicle after a collision with an uninsured or underinsured driver. In a small number of states, you are legally required to have uninsured motorist property damage liability coverage.
In most states, however, uninsured motorist property damage liability coverage is optional. Since 1 in 8 drivers in the United States are uninsured – and many more are underinsured – it may be in your best interest to compare uninsured motorist property damage liability insurance plans today.