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What is uninsured motorist coverage and must I carry it?

Getting struck by a motorist who does not carry the proper insurance can add more frustration and anger on top of the damage your automobile has sustained. After all, the law requires motorists to carry insurance in the event of an accident, so it feels wrong that the at-fault motorist does not possess insurance to cover your damages. However, Texas drivers do have an available safeguard against uninsured motorists in the form of uninsured motorist coverage.

According to Nerdwallet, uninsured motorist coverage is an additional policy that some insurers offer that covers drivers in the event they are struck by another motorist who does not possess auto insurance. This coverage also may be used if a motorist is the victim of a hit-and-run. If the other party drives away without leaving behind insurance information, uninsured motorist coverage can still cover the damages of the motorist.

People looking for uninsured motorist coverage should pay attention to the kinds of coverage offered. Some policies will only cover physical injuries sustained in a crash. These policies are called uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. To cover damage to your vehicle, you would need uninsured motorist property damage coverage. This type of policy will cover your automobile and also your other property if it should be damaged.

It is also important to note that while auto insurance is a requirement by law, uninsured motorist coverage is generally not. Some states require uninsured motorist coverage that takes care of physical injuries, others necessitate coverage of property, and some states insist on both. However, many states, including the state of Texas, do not require a driver to carry uninsured motorist coverage at all. Motorists may purchase the coverage if it is offered by an insurer. So while Texans may choose to buy it as a safeguard against uninsured motorist damage, it is not required.

This article is intended to educate readers on uninsured motorist coverage and is not to be taken as legal advice.

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Jon Michael Smith Attorney

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