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What is Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Insurance?

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) Insurance covers your medical and other injury related expenses if you are struck by an uninsured or underinsured driver.  Normally, the at-fault driver’s liability coverage kicks in to pay your medical bills, but many drivers fail to purchase this insurance before operating a vehicle.  The Insurance Research Council estimates that 13% of drivers on the roadway today do not have insurance. Therefore, you need to make sure you have coverage in case you get in an accident with a motorist who is uninsured.

Do I Need Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Insurance?

Every state except New Hampshire requires drivers to have insurance to legally drive on the roadways.  However, one out of eight drivers on the road today do not have insurance. In addition, many drivers only have the bare minimum amount of liability coverage that is required to legally drive within the state.  This coverage may not cover all your medical bills if you are involved in an accident in which an uninsured or underinsured driver is at fault. Furthermore, your own liability coverage does not cover your injuries. It only covers the other driver, his passengers, and bystanders if you are at fault.  Therefore, if you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, UMBI Insurance can cover your injury related expenses.

Twenty states and Washington D.C. require motorists to carry UMBI Insurance.  Here are the states and their minimum legal requirements:

StateRequirements
Connecticut$25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person
$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident
Illinois$25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person
$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident
Kansas$25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person
$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident
Maine$50,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person
$100,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident
Maryland$30,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person
$60,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident
Massachusetts$20,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person
$40,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident
Minnesota$25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person
$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident
Missouri$25,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person
$50,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident
Nebraska$25,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person
$50,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident
New JerseyBasic policy:
UMBI not required
Standard policy:
$15,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person
$30,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident
New York$25,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person
$50,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident
North Carolina$30,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person
$60,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident
North Dakota$25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person
$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident
Oregon$25,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person
$50,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident
South Carolina$25,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person
$50,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident
South Dakota$25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person
$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident
Vermont$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person
$100,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident
Virginia$25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person
$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident
Washington DC$25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person
$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident
West Virginia$25,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person
$50,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident
Wisconsin$25,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person
$50,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident

Furthermore, some states such as Kentucky mandate that car insurers offer this coverage and that the consumer must reject it in writing if they do not want the coverage. New Hampshire and a few other states in which Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Insurance is optional require that the coverage must match a consumer’s bodily injury liability limits if purchased.  The minimum for bodily injury liability per person and per accident is $25,000/$50,000 if purchased in New Hampshire.  (New Hampshire also makes liability insurance optional.)

>>MORE: Uninsured vs. Underinsured Motorist Coverage, Explained

What Expenses Does Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Insurance Cover?

If you are injured in an accident in which the other driver is at-fault and that driver fails to have enough Bodily Injury Liability coverage to pay for your expenses, UMBI Insurance can cover these medical expenses.  Furthermore, it also covers lost wages if you are forced to miss work because of auto accident injuries. Additionally, this insurance covers custodial services which you may require. Moreover, Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Insurance may cover funeral expenses and pain and suffering depending on the terms of your policy.

How Much Coverage Do I Need?

Car insurance companies recommend that your Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Insurance coverage equal your Bodily Injury Liability coverage. A recommended amount is approximately $100,000 per person of Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage and $300,000 per accident. Car insurance companies denote these limits by 100/300. This amount of insurance should cover you and your passengers’ medical expenses even in a severe accident.

Do Other Types of Insurance Coverage Cover the Same Expenses?

Yes, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance covers many of the same expenses as Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage.  In fact, PIP insurance is more extensive. PIP insurance covers your injuries regardless of fault whereas Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage covers you if the other driver is at-fault but can’t pay.  PIP insurance, however, is not available in all states and is specifically geared toward no-fault states.

Medical Payments Coverage or MedPay is similar to Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury and PIP insurance because it covers your medical expenses regardless of fault.  MedPay, however, does not cover lost wages. Thus, it provides less coverage that the other two options.

Health insurance can also cover your injuries if you get in a car accident regardless of fault. However, health insurance coverage tends to have a sizable deductible. You may have to pay this deductible out of pocket if you do not have another form of insurance.

How Much Does Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Insurance Cost?

The good news is that Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury is actually very affordable.  Adding $100,000/$300,000 coverage to your policy would cost you approximately an additional $80 a year.  In states where there are fewer uninsured drivers, your policy increase could be even less than that. Thus, many auto insurance companies recommend that you either have this form of coverage or PIP coverage.  However, having both forms of coverage may be redundant.

Car insurance companies also offer Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Insurance to cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle if you are in an accident involving an uninsured motorist.  Collision insurance coverage covers these same expenses. Therefore, this type of insurance is only necessary where required by law.

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