What’s Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Why Do I Need it?

June 24, 2020
Written byCharlie WendlandPresident of SafetyNest® and Head of Claims

Let’s face it: most people don’t really understand all the ins and outs of their auto insurance policy. Sure, you probably get the basics; you pay some money every month and you get protected in the event of an accident. 

But, there’s a lot more to your auto insurance policy that’s worth thinking about. 

For example, have you ever thought about what would happen if you were hit by someone else who doesn’t have insurance? If you think that sounds unlikely, it’s more common than you think. In fact, the very possibility of it drives up your monthly insurance costs. 

Uninsured motorist coverage - a primer:

Uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist coverage comes into play when someone doesn’t have liability insurance, or enough insurance, to cover an accident they’re responsible for. 

There are two primary types of uninsured motorist coverage. 

1. UMBI: that stands for "uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage" - covers medical expenses, lost wages, and injury-related expenses for you and your passengers. It can also cover injuries caused by a hit-and-run accident. 

2. UMPD: that's an acronym for "uninsured motorist property damage coverage" - covers any property damage caused by an uninsured at fault driver. However, it doesn’t cover hit-and-run accidents.

Why do I need it? 

Uninsured motorist accidents may seem like a rare occurrence, but they’re more common than you think. Although you’re legally required to have insurance in almost every state, about 13% of drivers in the U.S. don’t have minimum liability coverage. Also, this number can vary greatly across different states. For example, about 27% of drivers are uninsured in Florida! 

While it’s easy to cast blame on these folks, the truth is, a lot of people simply don’t have enough money in the bank to afford auto insurance every month. So, they cancel their policy and hope that nothing bad happens. 

What’s the rub?

The cost of uninsured motorist coverage can make up about 3-5% of an average insurance premium. 

Think about that! 

As an insurance customer, the fact that some people can’t afford insurance ends up costing you money every month. 

So, reducing the number of people that are uninsured is something that every driver should care about. It helps them, but it also helps you. Solving the uninsured problem can help people in need and benefit everyone by decreasing insurance premium costs across the board.

That’s why we founded SafetyNest.

What’s SafetyNest®? 

SafetyNest® is a first-of-its-kind program aimed at helping those who don’t have enough insurance when they need it most. At Branch, a portion of all customer payments goes toward funding SafetyNest. 

At first, SafetyNest will cover a small number of cases each quarter, but as our community grows, we will have the ability to help more people in need. You can read more about the program here.

Branch was founded on the belief that we could all get back to getting each other’s backs. SafetyNest is a way for us to get the backs of some, in order to benefit all.

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