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Here’s Why You Should Always Get the Uninsured Motorist Insurance

Having insurance is important. In fact, it is so important it is legally required in every state except New Hampshire. In 22 states, the “uninsured motorist” add-in is also required. I happen to live in Tennessee, one of the 28 states that does not require it. My wife and I opted in any way — for an extra $15 a month — and forgot about it. Or, I should say, we forgot about it until a couple of months ago.

October 10 was a pretty normal rainy day here in middle Tennessee. I came home from work around 5:30 p.m. feeling a bit tired, but I helped my wife on her way out the door. As a night shift nurse at a hospital in Nashville, she leaves around 5:45 p.m. or so in order to make it for shift changeover at 6:30 p.m., and her 12-hour shift ends at 7 a.m. On her way to work, she got in her car and drove away like normal. Five minutes later, I got a call. Usually she’ll remember something I need to do while she’s gone or remember something in general she forgot to tell me from the day or night before. Not this time. “Hey. I got rear ended. I’m okay, but the lady doesn’t have insurance.” Crap.

I jumped in the car and hurried down the street to see she was okay, I made sure to take pictures, and I waited. My insurance company answered the phone and was more than willing to take care of us. Nationally, it’s estimated that 13% of drivers are uninsured — but in Tennessee that number is nearly 20 percent, or one out of every five, making the chance the other party is uninsured much higher. As a result, you can easily tell why uninsured motorist coverage is important, providing coverage for your car — or you — if the motorist who hits you doesn’t have insurance, or doesn’t have enough insurance.

Since this accident, it’s clear to me that uninsured insurance is extremely important. In this accident, my wife didn’t need any medical attention, but that $15 per month covered what the property deductible, let alone what any personal damage would have been. We paid the $200 uninsured deductible, and that was it. If we did not have the uninsured motorist coverage, we could have been out far, far more.

The insurance company was the one that took the offender to court and dealt with everything else making our lives as easy as possible — especially in what could be a sensitive topic, like an accident where we had no responsibility. Do yourself a favor and opt in, as it could definitely save yourself the hassle, time and money.

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  1. Uninsured/Underinsured coverage is probably the most valuable part of your policy.  You have no control over how much insurance the guy who hits you might have.  This is particularly important if you have a serious injury and the accident is the other driver’s fault.  You won’t get all your medical bills, lost income, or suffering compensated from an unemployed driver of a 1996 Malibu, or from a $25k policy for that matter.  I am an auto insurance company attorney, so I see this every day. I carry $1,000,000 myself.

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