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Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Do I Have To Buy Both?

3 minute read

In California, drivers are required by law to carry Liability Insurance on their Auto Insurance policy. Unfortunately, there are a lot of law breakers out there who choose not carry the adequate amount of Car Insurance. Even worse, there are some that choose not to carry any coverage at all. So, what happens if you get into a car accident with someone who does not have the proper Auto Insurance? This question should prompt you to consider adding Uninsured and/or Underinsured Motorist Coverage to your Auto Insurance policy. 

Why should you add this coverage? Well, it’s probably bad news for you if you don’t have more coverage on your policy than the state minimum. To be better protected from uninsured and underinsured drivers, consider additional coverage. It’s most likely only a couple extra bucks a month, which is a low price to pay for better peace of mind on the road. It’s time to ask your agent about Uninsured and/or Underinsured Motorist Coverage.

What Is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Depending on the state you live in, there’s a difference between Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage.

Uninsured (UN) Motorist Coverage covers you if you are hit by a driver that does not have Car Insurance, including bodily injury and time missed from work.

Underinsured (UNDER) Motorist Coverage covers you if you are hit by a driver that does not carry sufficient Car Insurance to cover the cost of an accident.

  • UN/UNDER Bodily Injury Coverage typically has a limit of $100,000. This covers the difference if you’re injured in an accident where the other driver is at-fault and doesn’t have enough coverage.
  • UN/UNDER Property Damage Coverage works differently because it depends on whether or not you carry Comprehensive and/or Collision coverage. If you do carry Comprehensive and Collision coverage when you’re hit by an at-fault uninsured motorist, your deductible will be waived. If you do not have Comprehensive and Collision coverage when you’re hit by an at-fault uninsured motorist, UMPD will pay up to $3,500 to repair your car.

It’s important to note that a UN/UNDER policy also applies to hit and run accidents. Many drivers who do not carry Car Insurance typically flee the scene of an accident.

California Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

auto insurance rate - car accidentIn California, the law requires Auto Insurance companies to offer Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage to every driver. However, you may choose to reject the additional coverage. Before you do this, keep in mind that the minimum Liability Insurance limits in California are only $15,000 per claimant or $30,000 per bodily injury claim. Oftentimes, that’s not enough to pay for anything more than a fender-bender.

Under California insurance code, if you buy Uninsured Motorist Coverage, you automatically get Underinsured Motorist Coverage, too. That makes this coverage of even more value for a usually inexpensive cost. To learn more about adding this coverage to your Auto Insurance policy, speak with an AIS Insurance Specialist at (855) 919-4247. We can also give you a free quote in minutes.

So, What Happens In An Accident?

Let’s say you’re in a car accident caused by the other driver. Your car is totaled and you have been injured. However, the at-fault driver only carries the state minimum Liability Insurance of $15,000. This is not enough to cover both your car’s damages and medical bills. Luckily, you have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage on your policy. That means your insurance company will cover the difference of the policy limit from the driver who hit you. In other words, you have $85,000 to cover the cost of your medical bills.

Additionally, you also carry Comprehensive and Collision coverage on your Auto Insurance policy. That means your deductible is waived. You don’t have to pay anything out of your own pocket. This is just one example of why it’s a good idea to add Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage to your policy. What are you waiting for?


The information in this article is obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only. It should not replace the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.