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How much uninsured motorist coverage do you need?

The answer to the question of how much uninsured motorist coverage you need isn't always simple. While everyone certainly needs insurance, especially car insurance, how much coverage you need really depends on your lifestyle, your car and your goals for protection. If you are someone with a lot of personal property, for example, you might want a high level of insurance to protect that property from a lawsuit should you ever cause an accident.

Uninsured motorist coverage is a little different, though, because you don't have it in case you cause an accident or damage your own vehicle. You have the coverage in case someone hits you or causes damage to your vehicle or body and that person does not have insurance or doesn't have enough insurance. According to a 2013 Insurance Research Council study, around 14 percent of nationwide accidents occur at the fault of an uninsured or under-insured driver.

Anyone can be hit by someone who doesn't have insurance, and when you consider how much coverage you need for such a situation, look at the worth of your vehicle and the deductibles and policies on your other insurance plans. If you have health insurance that will pay for medical claims if no vehicle insurance is available, then consider how much out-of-pocket cost you might accrue if you used that health coverage. If you have a high deductible plan with an out-of-pocket max of $12,000, then you'll want at least that much in uninsured motorist coverage.

Consider speaking to your insurance agent about policy options to understand how to best cover yourself. If you've been hit by someone without ample insurance, though, consider speaking to a law professional to understand how to best recover financially from the incident.

Source: Bankrate, "What is uninsured motorist coverage?," Tara Baukus Mello, accessed Sep. 14, 2016

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