Uninsured motorist coverage is one of the most important aspects of an automobile insurance policy. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you in the event that you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. The coverage will extend to cover you and your passengers for bodily injury as well as your vehicle against damage if the accident was the fault of the uninsured driver.
Some states go so far as to require uninsured motorist coverage. They include:
- Washington D.C.
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Other states may limit the amount of uninsured motorist coverage or limit the application of the coverage. Please see your state's Department of Insurance or contact your agent/insurance carrier to review the specific rules and regulations for your particular state.
Fortunately, obtaining uninsured motorist coverage is a quick and painless process. All major insurance carriers will offer the coverage as an additional coverage to the standard automobile insurance contract.
The first thing to do is to contact your carrier, or another carrier, to get a quote for this important additional coverage. Obtaining a quote is free of charge. Most carriers will require that they write your entire automobile policy and will not offer the uninsured motorist as a standalone coverage. In other words, if you wish to get uninsured motorist coverage through a carrier other than the one your policy is currently through, you will most likely have to transfer your entire policy. There are three ways to get a quote.
- In person - Visit your local agency. Contact your agent or another local agent and let them know you would like to request a quote for uninsured motorist coverage. They will set an appointment where you can sit down to review the coverage options, including limits available and the cost of that coverage.
Over the phone - Most carriers will offer a quote directly over the phone. In order to obtain a phone quote, contact the carrier directly. You can find the phone number for policy service on the Declarations Page of your policy or on your insurer's website.
Through the Internet - Like the phone quotes, most carriers will now allow you to obtain a coverage quote through the Internet. Direct your browser to the carrier website and follow the links to "obtain a quote." You may get an instant quote or you may be contacted by a company representative shortly. Some carriers will also refer your Internet inquiry to a local agent who will then contact you directly.
Once you have received your quote, review the coverage amount to determine that it is sufficient to cover you for injuries and well as property damage. The amount quoted will include all of your damages for pain and suffering as well as the actual medical bills if you are seriously injured by an uninsured driver. If you have any questions regarding the quote, be sure to ask the carrier prior to signing the insurance contract.