What is UMBI Coverage? How Much Does It Cost?

Last Updated on August 8, 2023

Uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance, or UMBI, is a type of car insurance that covers injuries caused by uninsured drivers.

UMBI also covers injuries in situations where the other driver is unknown – like in a hit-and-run accident.

Approximately 1 in 7 drivers in America have no car insurance. That means there’s a good chance your next accident could be with an uninsured driver.

If an uninsured driver is declared at-fault for an accident, then the uninsured driver is still liable for any damages – including medical bills and vehicle damage. However, the only way to recover these damages is by suing the other driver. Typically, drivers who have no car insurance also do not have significant assets to seize in a lawsuit, making it difficult to recover the money you are owed – unless you have uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance.

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Insurance

What is Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Insurance (UMBI)?

UMBI pays for injuries – like medical expenses – that result from an accident caused by a driver who is uninsured. It also protects you and your passengers from accidents where the other driver is unknown – like a hit and run.

UMBI is one of two core components of uninsured motorist coverage:

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage (UMBI): UMBI covers injuries and the cost of those injuries, including medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses, caused by an uninsured driver.

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage (UMPD): UMPD covers property damage, including damage to your own vehicle or home caused by an uninsured driver.

UMBI can cover a range of expenses. It covers medical bills after an accident with an uninsured driver, for example, but it can also cover lost wages, rehabilitation and physical therapy, funeral costs, and other expenses.

UMBI protects you if you are hit by an uninsured driver while driving, although it can also protect you if you are struck as a pedestrian or while riding a bike.

What Does UMBI Cover?

UMBI can cover all of the following expenses after an accident with an uninsured driver:

Medical Expenses: UMBI covers hospital bills, emergency care, rehabilitation, follow-up visits, and other medical expenses caused by the accident.

Lost Wages: If you are forced to miss time at work due to the injuries caused by the uninsured driver, then UMBI may cover lost wages. UMBI will reimburse you for the money you would normally earn if you were able to work.

Pain and Suffering: Pain and suffering is difficult to quantify. However, accident victims are entitled to some compensation for general emotional distress – pain and suffering – after an accident. UMBI can cover pain and suffering after an accident with an uninsured driver.

Funeral Costs: UMBI can cover funeral costs for any drivers, passengers, or pedestrians injured as a result of the actions of an uninsured driver.

How Does UMBI Work? How Do I File a UMBI Claim?

UMBI coverage works similarly to ordinary car insurance. You add it to your policy, then can file a claim after an accident.

Drivers can customize UMBI coverage limits. A basic policy may have just $5,000 of UMBI coverage, for example, while a stronger policy might have more than $1 million of coverage.

Your policy will have two coverage limits, including the maximum coverage per person and the maximum coverage per accident. Your UMBI coverage might have $50,000 of coverage per person and $100,000 of coverage per accident, for example. If an uninsured driver collides with your family minivan, then this might not be enough coverage.

Uninsured motorist coverage limits can also be expressed as three numbers. You might see 50/100/25, for example, which means you have $50,000 of UMBI per person, $100,000 of UMBI per accident, and $25,000 of uninsured motorist property damage insurance (UMPD) per accident.

Do I Need UMBI Coverage?

UMBI coverage is required in approximately half of all states. UMBI is mandatory in all of the following states:

  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington D.C.
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Each of these states has a specific required minimum amount of UMBI coverage. Most states require UMBI coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.

How Much Does UMBI Cost?

Talk to your insurance company to determine how much it costs to add UMBI to your policy.

Or, compare car insurance quotes online today by entering your ZIP code.

Typically, it costs $30 to $150 to add UMBI to your policy. However, prices vary widely by insurance company and state.

Insurance companies also charge more for UMBI coverage in states with a high percentage of uninsured drivers. In certain states, for example, nearly 1 in 5 drivers have no car insurance, which significantly raises the chances of making a UMBI claim.

Should I Get UMBI?

UMBI is required in all of the states listed above.

If UMBI is not required, however, then it’s a personal decision based on your budget and aversion to risk. Just like with any car insurance, you may be willing to pay a little more for added peace of mind.

Consider your state’s rate of uninsured drivers before getting UMBI. In some states, only 5% to 10% of drivers are uninsured. In other states, nearly 30% of drivers are uninsured.

Final Word

Uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance (UMBI) covers medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses after a collision with a driver who does not have car insurance.

UMBI also covers injuries after a hit-and-run. It also protects you in any accident where the other driver was unknown or fled the scene.

UMBI is required in some states but not others. Nearly 1 in 7 drivers in America are uninsured, and that’s why many Americans feel more comfortable after adding UMBI.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for InsurancePanda.com and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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