What does uninsured motorist property damage coverage do?
Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) covers your insured vehicle when it is damaged by a driver who doesn’t have auto insurance (uninsured). Hit-and-run accidents are not normally covered.
If you don’t have collision coverage, uninsured motorist property damage coverage pays up to a certain amount for repairs to the insured car. Some states limit coverage to $3,500; some are lower, and some are higher, even up to the actual cash value of the vehicle.
In many states, UMPD coverage doesn’t come with a deductible, but in a few it does (typically $200 to $500).
If you have collision coverage, then in some states uninsured motorist property damage coverage only pays your collision deductible amount, or may not be available to you at all.
Is uninsured motorist property damage coverage mandatory?
Depending upon where you live, uninsured motorist property damage may be required. Many states have laws regarding uninsured motorist property damage coverage and either have it as required coverage or require it to be offered, but can be rejected in writing. A few states don’t even offer UMPD coverage to motorists.
What happens if I don’t have uninsured motorist property damage coverage?
Estimates from the Insurance Research Council (IRC) say that chances are one in seven that a driver is uninsured. If you are hit by a motorist who is driving without insurance and don’t have uninsured motorist property damage, then you would be left to go after the at-fault driver to pay for your damages. It’s doubtful they will have the money, so that will leave you paying out-of-pocket for your car’s damages.
If you have collision coverage, then this coverage may be unnecessary. Uninsured motorist property damage alone is not enough to cover all potential car repair/replacement costs, and only applies if you are involved in an accident caused by a driver without insurance coverage. For better protection on your car, and to be covered if you are at-fault in an accident, collision is superior coverage, but will cost more to have as part your car insurance policy.
Have more questions about uninsured motorist coverage?
See more reader questions at "Uninsured motorist: What you need to know."