Understanding Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Insurance

UMPD rules vary by state. Some states don't offer it, some require it, and some require that it be offered to you.

Lacie GloverAugust 6, 2019
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Uninsured motorist property damage coverage, also known as UMPD, sounds sensible: If someone without car insurance hits your vehicle, UMPD pays for the damage.

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Roughly 13% of drivers nationwide — or about one in eight — is uninsured, according the most recent data from the Insurance Research Council. Many others buy only the minimum auto insurance their state requires, which may not be enough to pay for damage a driver causes in an accident.

UMPD can be easily confused with:

  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI). This pays for your injuries — not car damage — when someone with little or no insurance crashes into you.

UMPD overlaps with:

  • Collision coverage. This type of auto insurance also pays for damage to your own vehicle. ISo if UMPD is optional in your state, you probably don’t need both.

What uninsured motorist property damage covers

UMPD pays for damage if your car is hit by a driver without insurance or you are the victim of a hit-and-run, in most states. It also typically pays out if an underinsured driver hits you, which means it will pay for your car damage after the other person’s insurance is used up and there are still repair bills.

Rules for UMPD vary by state. It’s not available in all states, some states require it, and some states require that it be offered to you.

A look at UMPD laws

Where drivers must have UMPD

  • Maryland

  • New Hampshire (if drivers choose to purchase insurance)

  • North Carolina

  • South Carolina

  • Vermont

  • Virginia

  • Washington, D.C.

  • West Virginia

Where drivers must buy UMPD unless they specifically reject it in writing

  • Alaska

  • Arkansas

  • California

  • Georgia

  • Indiana

  • Louisiana

  • Mississippi

  • Rhode Island

  • Tennessee

  • Texas

  • Washington

Where drivers must be offered UMPD but don’t have to buy it

  • Delaware

  • Illinois

Where drivers can request UMPD if they don’t have collision coverage

  • Utah

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  • UMPD limits: States have different requirements for the minimum amount of damage that UMPD must cover. Typically, you UMPD limits are set the same as your property damage liability limits.

  • Deductibles: UMPD may have a deductible, which is the amount deducted from your claim check. Amounts vary by state but are often around $200 to $300.

  • Hit and runs: In certain states UMPD provides coverage for hit-and-run accidents only if the driver is identified.

Do you need uninsured motorist property damage insurance?

If you have collision coverage, it would also pay for damage caused by a driver without insurance or without enough coverage. Uninsured motorist property damage coverage generally has a lower deductible than collision coverage. But that may not be enough to justify buying UMPD if you already have collision coverage.

However, UMPD is a lot less expensive than collision insurance. If you want some protection while keeping premiums low, you could buy UMPD instead of collision, but it won’t pay for repairs if you’re at-fault in a crash. Without either UMPD or collision coverage, if an uninsured driver crashes into your car, your only option would be to sue the driver.

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