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Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage

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What is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage?

UM/UIM provides coverage for you and your vehicle if you’re in an accident (that you didn’t cause) with someone who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough. This also includes hit-and-runs. You’re legally required to have Liability coverage to operate a vehicle in all 50 states (unless you live in New Hampshire). But some drivers on the road are underinsured, or completely uninsured. If you’re in an accident with someone who is underinsured or uninsured, that can mean bad news for you (and your wallet). That’s where Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage (UM/UIM) comes in.

Here’s how it works

Let’s say you’re in an accident with someone who is underinsured, and the accident isn’t your fault. In this case, the accident caused $15,000 worth of damage to your vehicle, but the driver only has $5,000 of coverage. That means the extra $10,000 would be your responsibility.

Similarly, let’s say you’re in the same accident (it’s still not your fault), but this time, the driver is driving without insurance. The $15,000 of damage from the accident falls on you to pay, even though the accident wasn’t your fault.

What does Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage include?

It depends on your state’s requirements. For some states, Uninsured Motorist coverage and Underinsured Motorist coverage are offered separately, while other states have UM/UIM together. No matter if it’s offered together or separately, UM/UIM typically has two coverages: Property Damage and Bodily Injury.

UM/UIM Property Damage coverage

Also referred to as UMPD, it helps you if there is damage to your vehicle after an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. This also covers hit-and-run accidents. Collision coverage protects you in similar situations, but does not include any coverage of medical expenses like UM/UIM Bodily Injury does.

UM/UIM Bodily Injury coverage

Bodily Injury helps to cover your medical expenses and lost wages if you’re injured because of an underinsured or uninsured driver.

UM/UIM Bodily Injury coverage vs. health insurance

If you have health insurance, it may cover the cost of any injuries from an accident. Before you choose your health insurance policy over UM/UIM coverage, you’ll need to consider:

Your deductible

Health insurance plans typically have high deductibles, while UM/UIM coverage with bodily injury has a low (or no) deductible. Learn more about deductibles.

Other insurance

If you have PIP or MedPay as part of your auto insurance policy, you may not need to use your health insurance.

How much coverage should I have?

The amount of coverage you choose depends on how comfortable you are with your insurance rate and how much you want to pay out of pocket.

With UM/UIM coverage, you can choose the maximum amount Root will pay if you file a claim (the coverage limit). Let’s say you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. The driver who hit you caused $10,000 of damage to your vehicle. If you have at least $10,000 in coverage, you wouldn’t have to pay anything for the accident (minus any applicable deductibles). However, if you had $10,000 in coverage, and the driver caused $12,000 in damage, you would have to pay the extra $2,000 out of pocket. In the Root app, you can see instantly how your insurance rate changes based on your coverage amounts.

Is UM/UIM required in my state?

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage is required for all drivers who live in:


New Jersey

North Carolina

South Carolina

Washington DC



West Virginia


Percentage of uninsured drivers by state

According to the Insurance Information Institute, Florida is ranked #1 in highest percentage of uninsured drivers at 26.7%, followed by Mississippi, New Mexico, Michigan, and Tennessee. Only 6.15% of New Yorkers are uninsured, making the Empire State #50. Learn where your state ranks.

Ready for fair and affordable car insurance?

We base rates primarily on how you drive, not who you are. If you’re a good driver, you could see savings of up to $900 a year on your auto insurance. Plus, everything you need is in the Root app. Learn more about all of Root’s coverage options.

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June 24, 2019

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November 7, 2018 It’s a great question. Everyone is different, so we’re making it easy to decide if you need a coverage or if you don’t. Read more

How to choose Medical Payments, Personal Injury Protection & Uninsured Motorists coverage

May 2, 2018 Car Insurance in Everyday English, Part 3 Important question: What happens if you get injured in a car accident?  Read more

Disclaimer: Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage not available in all states.

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