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What is uninsured motorist coverage?

Even though most states call for drivers to have basic liability coverage, there are drivers who fail to purchase liability insurance for themselves and their vehicles. That means if those drivers are involved in an accident with you -- and the incident is their fault -- then you might have issues collecting compensation for damages done to your property or personal body. This is where uninsured motorist coverage comes in.

Uninsured motorist coverage is an extra coverage you can purchase on your own insurance policy. In some cases, you can decide between bodily injury and property damage coverage. Bodily injury coverage would help cover the costs of medical bills and other expenses related to a personal injury you suffered in a car accident with an uninsured motorist. Property damage would help cover the cost of repairs to property.

Some states mandate the inclusions of such coverage in any insurance policy, but Colorado is not one of those states. As such, you have to choose whether you want to buy the extra coverage, which usually comes at a small expense above the cost of your existing car insurance.

Many experts recommend purchasing such insurance, especially if the cost is relatively low, because then you have peace of mind on the road. However, just because you have such a policy addition doesn't mean your insurance will automatically kick in with coverage. In some cases, there might be a dispute about whether the insurance should cover damages. If you were in an accident with an uninsured motorist and are having difficulty seeking compensation, consulting with a legal professional might be your next best step.

Source: Farmer's Insurance, "Uninsured Coverage," accessed Jan. 22, 2016

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