In the months leading up to us launching HiRoad, we did research across the country, talking to people like you. Something we heard a lot?
“Insurance jargon is confusing!”
With that in mind, part of reinventing insurance for us was to help make it more straightforward and transparent. We put FAQs on our website. We’re blogging on more in-depth topics like things to do immediately after a crash, or what roadside assistance covers. But there’s a lot left to do, and many terms to demystify. While we can’t change the words, we can help break them down.
We also figured it would be helpful to try to explain some of these unavoidable insurance terms. Two of these are Uninsured Motorist Property Damage, or UMPD and Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury.
You’re likely a smart cookie. But, you might be thinking, “Eek! Do I really need something I’m already confused by?” To explain it, it’s helpful to have the context of the four major categories of auto insurance:
Liability: perhaps you’ve seen a sign in an antique store or pawn shop saying “You break it, you buy it.” That’s basically what Liability is for: property damage or injuries that you are legally liable for (i.e. you broke something, or injured someone). This coverage is mandatory; most states have a minimum liability requirement.
Collision: let’s say you didn’t break anyone else’s stuff — just your own car, like if you hydroplaned in a puddle and went off the road and hit a tree. That’s what Collision is for. It would also help if, for example, a shopping cart was blown into the side of your car on a windy day. (Technically, the shopping cart collided with your car.)
Comprehensive: Comprehensive covers the things that could happen to your car outside of a collision, like a tree branch falling on it, a break-in, or theft. These claims fall into the category of “no other driver is to blame” and are seen as an “act of God.” Comprehensive coverage will pay for the resulting damage,, but remember, you’re still responsible for the deductible (the amount you pay before your insurance kicks in. This is also true of Collision claims). At HiRoad, we package comprehensive and collision together for a couple of reasons: many customers want both to be sure they are protected in a wide variety of situations, and lenders require both if your car is financed.
UMBI and UMPD: And, the moment we’ve all been waiting for… What the heck are UMBI and UMPD? A.K.A. Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury and Uninsured Motorist Property Damage coverages. These help ensure that you, your passengers, and your car are covered for injuries or damage if an uninsured driver causes an accident, or doesn’t have enough coverage.
Remember, your Liability coverage provides protection for other people and things when you are negligent in an accident; UMBI and UMPD provide protection for you when others on the road are irresponsible and don’t have the legally required (or enough) liability coverage for their own car. And, in cases where there are claims where it was somebody else’s fault, but we don’t know who (like a “hit and run”), UMPD may be applicable to cover the damages.
With us, UMPD coverage carries a $200 deductible. However, it may be waived in three scenarios:
- If your car is hit by an uninsured person while parked legally.
- If your car is hit by an uninsured vehicle while that vehicle was traveling on the wrong side of the road.
- If the uninsured vehicle struck your car in the rear (ouch!).
Since almost one out of six drivers in Rhode Island are rolling the dice with no insurance (13th highest percentage out of all 50 states), this coverage might be worth considering.
Now that you know more about liability, collision, comprehensive and UMBI/UMPD, you’re ready to pass on your knowledge to family and friends, right? If you still feel like you have more to learn:
The LoDown: if you want coverage that repairs your car and protects your and your passengers after an accident, even when nobody is at fault, you should purchase collision, comprehensive and UMBI plus UMPD coverage. (Liability is mandatory.)
Insurance pro-tip: When choosing your coverage, be sure to choose a plan that has a deductible that will be palatable if you’re in an accident, because even if you’re not at fault, you’ll likely need to pay that deductible to have your car repaired.