Is Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage A Good Idea?

We all want the cheapest, simplest, most advantageous car insurance plan going. Sometimes this means adding on coverage for specific incidents for a more comprehensive approach. It may sound like more hassle in the short term but these plans can end up saving hundreds of dollars in the case of an accident. Uninsured motorist property damage protection is one of those plans, but also one that some new drivers don’t know about. 

Typically, drivers will go through the same channels when dealing with an accident that isn’t their fault. It is up to the offending driver to pay through auto-liability coverage for any damages caused. But, this all falls down when the driver took out no insurance in the first place. They can’t pay those costs and there is no form of compensation. This often means that you have to take care of the bill yourself for something that wasn’t your fault. This makes uninsured drivers even more reckless and infuriating for all those with plans in place. That is where this UMPD plan comes in. 

What Is Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage?

UMPB coverage is a great way for careful drivers to get around the issue of uninsured drivers. If someone hits your vehicle, but they don’t have insurance, uninsured motorist property damage coverage helps to take care of the costs. The limits on the amount of damage covered are typically the same as property damage liability limits. You can also adjust the plan to your needs and create a deductible. Although, options and perks will always vary depending on your provider and location. 

This accident could come in many forms. The driver may back into you, collide with you at a junction or hit your car at a light. These common accidents can lead to costly claims for car repairs so it pays to have this uninsured driver take care of the bill. Surprisingly, there are also cases where you can even claim on a hit and run incident. However, some states need a clear identity of the driver to make a claim. 

What Are The Pros and Cons of This Approach?

Con: claims are specific to car damage.

It is important to remember that this plan against uninsured motorists causing property damage is quite specific in terms of the damage caused. This is not to be confused with the UMBI coverage – uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage – which pays for personal injuries, not damage to the car. Therefore, if you have a UMPB plan and receive a dented door and a little whiplash, the uninsured driver at fault only pays towards the dented door. Even so, this is still a great safety net to have in place in case of an accident. 

Pro: some plans include under-insured drivers too.

New claimants should also be aware that there is the potential for payments from under-insured drivers as well. Some plans do put uninsured and under-insured drivers in the same category. An underinsured driver basically means someone that has insurance but isn’t able to cover enough accident. This can be a big problem when claiming for excessive property damage against those with disadvantageous insurance plans. UMPB coverage that allows for under-insured drivers means that you can soften the blow in this situation. 

Pro: it is better than going to court.

Finally, don’t overlook the disadvantages of declining a UMPD plan completely. If you suffer a major accident and the other driver is uninsured, what can you do to get compensation? Would you rather know that your insurance plan will take care of the worst of it? Or, would you rather make arrangements to go through the courts and sue them?

So why don’t all motorists have this as standard in their car insurance policy?

This all sounds great and some drivers may wonder why they don’t already have this as part of their current plan. The problem is that there are different laws and regulations, depending on your state of residence. This can vary from a legal requirement for UMPB to no available coverage at all. Therefore, it is important to check your local state laws to see what you are entitled to. The following guidelines are correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of writing. 

Drivers need uninsured motorist property protection at the following states: New Hampshire, Maryland, DC and Vermont residents all require it. As do those in both North and South Carolina and Virginia and West Virginia.

The same is true in the following states, although drivers can formally reject it in writing if needed:

  • Washington 
  • California
  • Indiana
  • Arkansas
  • Mississippi
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Alaska
  • Rhode Island.

Finally, it is the law that providers in the following states must at least offer the option of UMPD:

  • Delaware
  • Illinois

Could you get a UMPD plan instead of collision insurance?

This is an option that some motorists may consider when trying to create a more affordable plan. UMPD is cheaper than collision insurance with a smaller deductible. You get coverage against these uninsured or under-insured drivers and lower your rates. 

However, a lack of collision insurance means you have no protection if the accident is your fault. This gamble depends on whether or not you consider yourself a careful driver and your previous track record. If you have never been in an accident that was your own fault, yet you worry about the actions of other motorists, this is an appealing option. However, you could miss out on a lot of perks. You are also shooting yourself in the foot if you do suddenly cause an accident and need costly repairs. 

Get a comprehensive plan that covers all eventualities. 

The best option is to add a clear uninsured motorist property damage plan to your car insurance. This means you can have the very best protection in all circumstances. If you have a collision then your company can payout for the personal injuries and car repair you were responsible for. Then, the UMPD plan offers protection for the car damage caused by the offending driver. An additional UMBI plan sweetens the deal even further.

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