What does underinsured motorist property damage coverage do?

Underinsured motorist property damage covers property damage you’ve sustained that is more than the property damage liability limits of the at-fault (underinsured) driver, up to the limits of your policy. 

There may or may not be a deductible depending upon the terms of your policy and state laws. The limits available vary by state and are according to the conditions of your underinsured motorist property damage policy.

If you don’t have collision coverage, underinsured motorist property damage coverage pays up to a certain amount for repairs to the insured car. Some states have limits of $3,500 some are lower and some are higher. If you have collision coverage, in some states, underinsured motorist property damage coverage only pays your collision deductible amount.

Is underinsured motorist property damage coverage mandatory?

Depending on the state in which you live, it may be required or required to be offered (typically as part of uninsured/underinsured coverage), but you can reject the coverage in writing. Some states don’t even offer underinsured motorist property damage coverage to motorists.

Uninsured motorist property damage and underinsured motorist property damage coverage can be combined or sold separately depending on the state and insurance carrier.

What happens if I don’t have underinsured motorist property damage coverage?

If you are hit by a motorist driving with insufficient insurance, and you don’t have underinsured motorist property damage, then you will be left to personally go after the at-fault driver to pay for your car’s damages that exceeded their policy limits. If the person doesn’t have the money, it will leave you to pay out-of-pocket for your damages.

If you have collision coverage, then this coverage may be unnecessary. Underinsured 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 enough insurance coverage to pay for your damages in full. 

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 of your car insurance policy.

Learn more at “uninsured motorist: What you need to know.”

Michelle Megna contributed to this story.

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Contributing Writer

Prachi is an insurance writer with a master’s degree in business administration. Through her writing, she hopes to help readers make smart and informed decisions about their finances. She loves to travel and write poetry.