Uninsured Motorist Coverage – How Much Is Enough?

Everyone is trying to save these days, and car insurance is no exception. We’ve all seen the ads claiming that you can save 15% or more by comparing car insurance quotes online and switching to a new insurance company. But let’s take the conversation beyond savings and talk about the coverage you actually need. Specifically, we’re talking about uninsured motorist coverage – how much is enough for you?

Most states have minimum coverage amounts that are required by law, but few actually require uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. That doesn’t mean that you don’t need this type of policy, though.

Some states, like Oregon require uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury of at least $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident. This could be used as a baseline recommendation for the amount of coverage you might need. You may need more coverage, though, depending on your situation.

Wisconsin requires uninsured/underinsured bodily injury coverage at $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident. This might be more in line with what you would actually need. To see what your state requires, try this online interactive map.

Consider how many people might be in your car at the time of an accident. If you are driving your kids to school and get hit by someone with no insurance, would $50,000 worth of coverage be enough? How expensive could it be if more than one family member had a lengthy hospital stay? You might want to opt for a higher level of coverage.

When an uninsured motorist causes bodily harm to others, it’s terribly difficult to get them to pay any of the costs. Uninsured motorists typically have little or no assets you can go after even if they are found to be at fault. Even though it’s not fair, you have to consider how to protect your family even when someone else is being irresponsible.

Since the uninsured or underinsured driver probably won’t be able to pay the bills, it’s important that you make sure you have enough coverage. Set your deductible to the highest amount you can reasonably afford. You can even set the money aside in a health savings account for potential medical bills that would result from such a crash.

The bottom line is to be prepared. Make sure you have enough coverage in the event someone else isn’t.

Photo via meddygarnet

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