As a responsible car owner, you own insurance to help protect yourself and your fellow drivers in the event that there is an accident. Unfortunately, not all drivers have coverage even though car insurance is required in the state of Texas.

The number of people driving without insurance in the greater Houston area may be higher than you think. Nationally, about 1-in-7 drivers are uninsured, equating to about 14% of drivers. In Texas, that number is even higher.

About 15% of drivers in Texas are uninsured. That number does not factor in drivers that could be underinsured. This means that the total number of uninsured or underinsured drivers in Harris County is likely north of 20%.

If you are injured by a driver that does not have adequate insurance coverage, you could be on the hook for expensive medical bills and the costs of replacing your damaged property. Purchasing an uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) policy can help protect you.

2 types of uninsured/underinsured motorist polices

A UM/UIM provides benefits if the at-fault driver does not have adequate insurance to compensate you after an accident. This is true whether the at-fault driver does not have insurance, or if they simply do not have enough coverage.

There are two primary kinds of UM/UIM insurance coverage that you may want to consider purchasing:

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI): A UMBI policy will provide benefits for any injuries you may have suffered as a result of the accident, including pain and suffering. It may also provide compensation for any lost wages if you were unable to work during your recovery.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD): UMPD policies provide compensation to help you repair or replace any of your property that was damaged during the accident. This may include damage to your automobile or motorcycle. It can also apply to damaged possessions that were in your car during the accident, such as your phone or computer.

These policies are typically best for those who only have liability coverage. This means the policy pays out if you are at-fault during the accident. If you have collision coverage, you will typically be covered if an uninsured or underinsured driver strikes your car.

Insurers in Texas are required to offer UM/UIM coverage. It may be a good idea to call your agent to see what the costs are and whether it makes sense to add a policy to your auto insurance coverage. Ensuring you have adequate UM/UIM coverage will help you feel more secure the next time you get behind the wheel.