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Uninsured Motorists

Frequently Asked Questions about Uninsured Motorists

Q: I was injured in an automobile accident and the other driver does not have insurance. What can I do?

A: Most states require all drivers of motor vehicles to have liability insurance coverage. Unfortunately, not all drivers comply with this requirement or you may be in an accident with a driver from one of the few states that does not require liability coverage. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you may be able to recover for your injuries, just as if the other driver was insured. Your insurance company will step into the shoes of the driver responsible, as though it were insuring that driver.

Q: What is uninsured motorist coverage?

A: Uninsured motorist coverage is insurance coverage that protects you if you are involved in an accident with a motorist who has no insurance or if you are struck by a hit-and-run driver who is never located. Uninsured motorist coverage is available in the same amounts as regular liability insurance coverage.

Note that your uninsured motorist coverage does not provide protection for the uninsured motorist. In fact, your insurance company may sue the uninsured motorist for amounts it pays to you.

Q: How do I know if I have uninsured motorist coverage?

A: In many states, uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory. In other states, the coverage is optional. If you don't know whether you have uninsured motorist coverage, review your motor vehicle insurance policy or contact your insurance agent.

Q: What is covered by my uninsured motorist policy?

A: Your uninsured motorist policy provides coverage for bodily injury or death caused by another motorist who does not have liability insurance coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage will also protect other occupants of your car who are injured.

Note that uninsured motorist coverage typically does not provide coverage for property damage.

Q: What do I do after I have been in an accident?

A: Your policy will tell you what to do. The instructions in your policy should be followed closely, as this can affect your right to make a claim. What follows is a typical sequence of events:

First, you should report the accident to your local law enforcement authorities. Next, you should seek medical attention, if necessary. It is best to seek attention quickly, even if you aren't sure that you need it. After that, notify either your insurance agent or your insurance company's claims office of the accident and probable claim. Instructions on how to report a claim, including the person or office to which it must be reported, will be found in your insurance policy. Last, review your policy or talk to your insurance to confirm how much and what kind of coverage you have.

Copyright © 2012 FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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