Can I purchase both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage?


Buying both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is not only possible, but also highly advisable. In some states it is even mandatory to purchase either one or the other, but if not required by state law, carrying underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage is the best way to ensure that you will be adequately compensated in the event of an accident caused by an uninsured, underinsured or a hit-and-run motorist.

Insurance advisors usually recommend that you buy adequate protection for your bodily injuries, in addition to liability insurance which covers your liabilities in case you cause an accident. In fact, the most reasonable thing to do is purchase equal amounts of underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage, which must be the same as your liability limits.

Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage by State

In most states underinsured motorist coverage is obligatory. In others, it is required by state law (see Table 1). In Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Iowa, and Utah, it is included in every Personal Auto policy but can be rejected in writing. In North Carolina and Nebraska underinsured motorist coverage is sold in a single package with uninsured motorist coverage. Some states have minimum required coverage amounts, as illustrated in Table 1.

State Coverage required? Minimum coverage
(per person/per accident)
Connecticut Yes $20,000 / $40,000
Hawaii No $20,000 / $40,000
Iowa No $20,000 / $40,000
Maine Yes $50,000 / $100,000
Minnesota Yes $25,000 / $50,000
Pennsylvania No $15,000 / $30,000
Utah No $10,000 / $20,000
Vermont Yes $50,000 / $100,000
Virginia Yes $25,000 / $50,000
West Virginia No $20,000 / $40,000
Wisconsin No $50,000 / $100,000

Table 1. States requiring insurers to offer underinsured motorist coverage or imposing minimum coverage amounts.

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