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What is Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Insurance?

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Insurance (UMPD) protects you if you get in an accident with a driver that is uninsured or underinsured. Even though states require drivers to have car insurance by law, do not be fooled into thinking that all drivers abide by this law. One out of eight drivers on the roadways today does not have car insurance. Thus, you should protect yourself and your property with the right insurance. The uninsured or underinsured driver must be at fault for this type of insurance to cover you.

What is Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Insurance?

Don’t confuse UMPD with the Uninsured Motor Vehicle fee that you must pay in Virginia if you do not wish to purchase insurance. UMPD is not a fee paid to the state; it is car insurance. Furthermore, it covers your property, not the other driver. This type of insurance covers the repairs that need to be done to your car or property when struck by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

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

What Does Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Insurance Cover?

UMPD covers damage to your property when an uninsured driver is at fault. If you are a victim of a hit-and-run, you are also covered. In some states including California, UMPD does not cover hit-and-run accidents where the driver is completely unidentifiable.

UMPD also covers you when another driver does not have enough liability coverage to cover the full cost of your property damages. Otherwise, you may have to pay the difference between the other driver’s liability insurance coverage and your property damage expenses out-of-pocket.

UMPD does not cover personal injury damages that result from an uninsured or underinsured motorist striking you. You can purchase Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Insurance if you wish to be covered in this instance.

Are Drivers Required to Have Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Insurance?

UMPD is not available everywhere. Seven states, however, require that drivers purchase this type of insurance.  These states include: Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, and Vermont. The District of Columbia also requires drivers to obtain this type of insurance.

Here are the minimum requirements for the 7 states that require Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Insurance:

StateRequirements
Maryland$15,000 uninsured/underinsured property damage coverage per accident
New JerseyStandard policy:
$5,000 uninsured/underinsured property damage coverage per accident
North Carolina$25,000 uninsured/underinsured property damage coverage per accident
South Carolina$25,000 uninsured/underinsured property damage coverage per accident
Vermont$10,000 uninsured/underinsured property damage coverage per accident
Virginia$20,000 uninsured/underinsured property damage coverage per accident
West Virginia$25,000 uninsured/underinsured property damage coverage per accident

In some other states, you must reject UMPD in writing. These states include: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington

These states make UMPD available, but you must affirmatively agree to the coverage: Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Ohio, and Utah.

Do You Need Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Insurance?

You cannot control the actions of others. UMPD covers your expenses when the other driver is both at fault and lacks adequate insurance. The Insurance Research Council conducted a study in 2017 that found one out of every eight drivers on US roadways was uninsured as of 2015. Thus, 13% of drivers on US roadways do not have insurance to cover the damages that they cause.

Furthermore, the Council estimates that in some states the percentages of uninsured drivers can be as high as 25%. Thus, one out of four drivers in some states may not have insurance. Therefore, you face a high likelihood of being involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist at some point while driving. You need to make sure that you are prepared and covered if this happens to you.

Do You Need Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Insurance If You Have Collision Coverage?

You do not want to get stuck paying for these damages out of your own pocket. Collision insurance pays for damages your car sustained in an accident. This should cover damages to your car caused by another driver who does not have adequate insurance as well. Therefore, in states where UMPD is not mandatory, collision insurance should cover you. If you already have collision insurance, you do not need to get UMPD. If you do not have collision insurance, you need to have UMPD to avoid paying for the cost of repairs out-of-pocket.

How Much Coverage Do I Need?

If you do not have collision insurance which covers the cost of damages to your car, you should consider getting enough Uninsured Motorist Property Damage that covers the current value of your car. If you car is currently worth $20,000, you should consider getting UMPD worth $20,000.

How Much Does Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage Cost?

UMPD insurance is much cheaper than collision insurance. If you have an older vehicle that is already paid off, you should consider UMPD insurance that costs an additional $9 – $13 a month. This depends on the amount you purchase, the insurance company and the state you live in. States with more uninsured drivers like Oklahoma, Florida, and Mississippi will cost you more than states with a lower percentage of uninsured drivers like Massachusetts and Maine.

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