Collision insurance will pay to repair your vehicle if you’re hit by an uninsured driver, but it won’t pay for any of your medical expenses.  Comprehensive insurance Comprehensive insurance only pays for repairs if your car is damaged by something other than a collision, such as vandalism or a natural disaster.  Comprehensive insurance will not cover your costs after a collision. Neither collision nor comprehensive coverage cover medical expenses after an accident unless  you carry personal injury protection (PIP) or MedPay on your auto insurance policy which will pay for your medical bills in accidents up to a certain amount regardless of fault or if the other driver is uninsured.

Many people carry uninsured motorist coverage on their auto policy to compensate them in case of an accident with a motorist who does not carry liability insurance.  There are two types of uninsured motorist coverage: bodily injury (UMBI) and property damage (UMPD). UMBI pays for your medical expenses after an accident caused by an uninsured motorist, while UMPD pays to repair or replace your car. The uninsured coverage will cover your medical bills up to the limits of such coverage on your insurance policy.

Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage pays for medical care, loss of income, and funeral expenses after an accident where an uninsured driver is at fault. Uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance covers the policyholder, his or her family members, and passengers.

Uninsured motorist coverage include compensation for you even if you were a pedestrian, on a bicycle or e-bike, or even in someone else’s car and you were hit by an uninsured motorist.

As a coverage option, UMBI somewhat overlaps with health insurance, disability insurance, MedPay, and PIP. However, UMBI often has higher limits than MedPay and PIP, and it does not require the copays or deductibles that come with health insurance.

To be compensated for property damage under uninsured motorist coverage, you must show that the uninsured driver was at least partially at fault for the accident. Any property damage compensation may be reduced by the degree you were at fault, if at all.  This concept is called “comparative fault” or “comparative negligence”.  Some policies will pay for property damage even if you cannot prover the uninsured motorist was at fault if the policy states that it will cover property damage regardless of who is at fault.

If you are able to collect from both the uninsured motorist coverage and collision coverage on your own policy for the same accident, the uninsured motorist coverage will pay for any deductible you owe under the collision coverage.

Uninsured motorist bodily injury is an inexpensive coverage option and usually costs about 5% of your total annual premium.

Michael Wales is a San Diego based Personal Injury and Insurance Coverage Attorney representing seriously injured persons and wrongful death cases in California and Arizona.  You may reach Michael Wales at 619.493.1700 or at [email protected]