All responsible drivers have auto insurance to protect themselves when accidents arise. However, not everyone is as diligent. Thousands of people drive daily without car insurance. If you would happen to get involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you could be responsible for all medical costs as well as any vehicle repair. The Insurance Information Institute (III) states that one in eight drivers are uninsured.

So, what is uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage? These motorist coverage types are the protection drivers need to cover all the necessary medical bills and vehicle repairs if an uninsured or underinsured driver hits them.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), underinsured motorist coverage is an addition to your auto insurance policy. It protects you if you are in an accident involving someone who doesn’t have sufficient insurance of their own. In an accident, the insurance of the at-fault person is supposed to compensate the other injured person. If the at-fault party’s policy (liability coverage) has a limit below the cost of the damages, the injured party’s underinsured motorist coverage would cover the rest.

Underinsured coverage is not the same as uninsured coverage, which covers cases in which the at-fault driver has no insurance at all, though the two types may be bundled together. A handful of states require underinsured motorist coverage, while more require uninsured motorist coverage.

Underinsured motorist coverage is usually a relatively inexpensive add-on to your auto insurance policy cost. Still, it can prove beneficial if you’re in an accident where the driver who was found to be at fault does not have enough insurance to cover the cost of damages from the crash. This happens much more frequently than one might expect.

For example, assume you have medical, automobile and other pain and suffering types of damages totaling $200,000. The other driver has insurance to cover only $100,000. You can claim the balance against your insurance provider, up to the limit of your policy’s coverage. You cannot request more than the actual costs you had as a direct result of the accident.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

An uninsured motorist is an at-fault driver with no auto insurance or the necessary insurance that is state-required minimum liability amounts. This can also be a person whose insurance company is unwilling or unable to pay the claim. A hit-and-run driver could also be considered an uninsured motorist. One in every eight U. S. drivers on the road does not have insurance reports the Insurance Research Council.

Specific options for uninsured motorist coverage vary by state and insurer, but in general, there are three types of protection:

  • Uninsured Motorist (UM) insurance – Also known as Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) insurance, this coverage will pay your and your passengers’ medical bills if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist who is at fault. Also, UM insurance will reimburse you and your passengers for lost wages. UM coverage again kicks in if, as a pedestrian, you are hit by an uninsured driver or if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run accident.
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) coverage – Uninsured motorist insurance covers bodily injuries but no damage to your car or property. For this, you need UMPD coverage, which, in addition to paying for damages to your vehicle caused by an uninsured driver, generally also covers damage to other personal property such as your house or your fence. Ask your insurance professional or state insurance department, whether UMPD coverage is available in your state.
  • Medical Payments – Medical payments coverage will pay the driver and other occupants of your vehicle for their medical bills up to the policy coverage regardless of who is at fault in the accident. If anyone using this coverage recovers from another party who was at fault, the policy typically requires that you pay back your insurance company for what they paid in medical payments; however, many states provide that if there was insufficient coverage on the other vehicle, you do not have to pay your insurance company back. Many states also allow for partial repayment to the insurance company requiring them to share in your attorney’s fees to recover.

Do You Need Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance?

Most experts would say yes. These coverages protect you and your family. It is a required coverage in some states, and even if it’s not needed, you never know when you will have a run in with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Some 9.2 percent of Americans — 29.6 million people — were uninsured in 2019, compared to 8.9 percent (28.6 million) in 2018, ACS data show.

If you have a run-in with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, it can leave you paying for your injuries or vehicle’s damages and going to court to seek compensation, which may not be collectible. A much easier route is to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance as part of your car insurance policy and make a claim for your damages.

Having uninsured and underinsured coverage protects you and your family in a West Virginia car accident and could allow you to recover compensation for your crash even if you were in a hit-and-run or the other driver does not have sufficient insurance. Work with a West Virginia car accident lawyer for assistance with your car accident case. A lawyer at Manchin Injury Law Group can help you explore all of your options for financial recovery.

Attorney Timothy Manchin established the Manchin Injury Law Group in 2011 after his law partner of more than 25 years became a West Virginia circuit court judge. His focus is on helping individual clients and entire families victimized by negligent acts.

  • Taylor Downs was easy to talk to (I do not speak the legal language well!) and was very upfront and honest about the entire process of my case. He kept me updated as the case progressed, and answered my relentless questions. The end result was a favorable settlement that I’m not sure could have been any better with anyone else. In short, go see Taylor if you have a case. Don’t be intimidated to go seek his help, he won’t blow your brains out with “legal speak”.


  • Being referred to Taylor was the best thing I could have asked for. Taylor and staff are very easy to talk to. I would highly recommend them to anyone.


  • If I ever have to go through it again I would definetly call Taylor right away. The group was so helpful through my situation and handled everything that needed to be done. They made a stressful situation a stress free situation. With Taylor you dont have to worry about one thing. Definietly would recomend to anyone.

    - TAYLOR G.

  • Efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly.


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Manchin Injury Law Group, Took care of me when I got into a car accident while I was pregnant. Very scary moment for a first time mom but thankfully Manchin Injury Law Group had my back and treated me great. They made me feel as if I was part of their family. My son is now 7 Months Old and very happy and healthy. I’m very thankful for them for helping me through everything and getting me what we deserved. I 100% would recommend them to anyone. If I ever have an accident again they will be my number 1 phone call!


  • The support given helped me to feel like I was included in my personal injury case every step of the way. I was informed about the entire process throughout. It was amazing how quick the turn around time was and I would definitely recommend Attorney Timothy J. Manchin to anyone!


  • Taylor and Kelly worked hard on my case so I didn’t have to. Thanks guys!


  • Excellent experience dealing with Manchin Injury Law. They were very responsive, professional and easy to talk to. I did my homework before I hired a lawyer after my accident and I am so glad I found Manchin Injury Law Group. If you are injured, give them a call!


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Kelly and Taylor did all the hard work so that I didn’t have to. They both cared about my circumstance and got me a nice settlement. Taylor knows what he is doing and I felt comfortable with my case in his hands.


  • Great lawyers. They helped me with a West Virginia case.


  • Such a great experience with Taylor and this firm. Thankful for their diligence and their work on our case. Thank you to all!


  • Had a easy and smooth experience with a great attorney so when you go there make sure you ask for Taylor.


  • My experience at the Manchin Injury Law Group was extremely positive, and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a compassionate and experienced lawyer on their side.


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