Question: What is an uninsured motorist property damage deductible? I only have basic liability insurance and no collision insurance. That is the only deductible I can see on my policy. Is that what I would pay out of my own pocket if I was in an accident that was my fault?
Answer: No. Uninsured motorist property damage deductible isn’t for when you’re the one at-fault in an auto accident. If you don’t have physical damage coverages of collision and comprehensive, then you don’t have coverage for your vehicle if you are at-fault in an accident.
Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage pays for damages to your car only when a driver without car insurance is the one legally liable for the accident.
When someone without insurance is at-fault for damaging your car, you can make a claim for your vehicle’s damages through your uninsured motorist property damage coverage, but in some states, this coverage comes with a deductible.
If your policy lists a deductible for your UMPD coverage, then that is what is due for your repairs before your uninsured motorist property damage benefits kick in.
For example, in Virginia there is a $200 deductible associated with uninsured motorist property damage coverage, it's a $250 deductible in Louisiana, and in New Jersey, all uninsured and underinsured motorist property damage policies come with a $500 deductible.
So, if you live in New Jersey and you’re hit by someone who is driving without insurance, then you would make a claim against your UMPD coverage. If the damages to your car were $2,500, then you would owe the first $500 for repairs and then your insurance would cover the remaining $2,000.
This also means that if damages to your car by the uninsured driver only came to $450, you'd end up paying out-of-pocket for repairs, since the repair costs are less than the $500 deductible amount.(In this situation you could try to seek reimbursement directly from the uninsured at-fault driver, though.)
UMPD works only if the uninsured driver is at-fault. If instead you’re at-fault in an accident, then you’ll need collision coverage for your car insurance policy to cover your damages, since you’re the one responsible for causing the accident.
If you want protection for your car, whether you are at-fault or not for an accident, you need to carry physical damage coverages of collision and comprehensive on your vehicle. Collision covers colliding with other cars or objects and comprehensive covers incidents that are “other than collision” such as fire, theft, vandalism and striking an animal.