What is UM or UIM Car Insurance Cover?

Uninsured or underinsured motorist car insurance coverage can pay for injuries to you and your passengers, and in some locations damage to your property, when there is an accident and the other driver is both legally responsible for the accident and considered "uninsured" or "under-insured."

An uninsured driver is someone who did not have any car insurance, had car insurance that did not meet state-mandated minimum liability requirements, or whose car insurance company denied their claim or was not financially able to pay it. A hit-and-run driver also counts as uninsured as it relates to bodily injury (UMBI).

Why would you want it? The Insurance Information Institute extols the virtues of UM/UIM. "You absolutely need this coverage, because, if you get into an accident with someone who is driving without insurance or doesn't have enough of it, you want to be made financially whole again. You have to protect yourself fiscally and physically, and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection can help you in that regard."

An underinsured driver is someone who had car insurance that met minimum legal requirements, but did not have payment limits high enough to pay for the damage caused by the accident. In these situations, UM or UIM can pay you for your damages. It is important to note that uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages are separate, although in many states they can or must be purchased together.