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What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 September 2016
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Uninsured motorist coverage is a type of auto insurance provision that helps to cover expenses when the driver who is at fault proves to not have car insurance. Typically, this provision will help to pay for the expenses of repairing damage to the vehicle as well as provide funds to settle expenses for the treatment of any injuries sustained to the insured driver or any passengers in the insured vehicle. In some locations, the benefits of uninsured motorist coverage will even extend to providing compensation for any damage done to personal property as the result of the accident.

The scope of coverage provided by uninsured motorist coverage will vary, but most plans will at least address the amount of repairs to the vehicle of the injured party. In the event that the driver at fault for the accident does not have car insurance, the uninsured motorist coverage of the insured party will cover the costs of making all repairs to the insured vehicle, up to the point of declaring the car to be a total loss. In any event, the provisions of the coverage help to reduce or eliminate the out of pocket expenses involved with either repairing the damage or allowing the insured party to acquire a replacement vehicle.

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It is not unusual for uninsured motorist coverage to provide at least some benefits if medical care is necessary after the accident. This can extend to not only the insured driver, but also to any passengers who were in the insured vehicle at the time of the accident. Depending on the scope of the coverage, this can include not only benefits to meet medical expenses but possibly some additional benefits to help offset losses of income if the injured parties are unable to work for a period of time.

While more and more jurisdictions are passing legislation requiring auto owners to have car insurance that meets basic standards, there are still incidences in which uninsured motorists are involved in accidents. Since there is a good chance those motorists do not have any assets that can be used to pay for repairs or settle medical expenses resulting from the accident, making sure that uninsured motorist coverage is part of the overall car insurance package is very important. Usually available for reasonable rates, this particular benefit can pay for itself with only one covered event, and provides a great deal of peace of mind for the insured party.

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