Many motorists in the US have surprisingly low levels of liability insurance. Motor insurance can be expensive and as US citizens look to reduce general living expenses, cheaper insurance is often a priority.

The minimum mandatory insurance coverage in many US states can be as low as $10,000. With the high cost of medical expenses and compensation awards in the US, it is perhaps surprising that this is allowed to continue. In addition, as with most countries, a number of motorists are not even insured, regardless of the statutory requirement imposed by law.

So how can tourists protect themselves against being hit by uninsured or underinsured motorists in the US?

The answer, which is common knowledge for most US citizens, but relatively unknown outside the US, is uninsured motorist insurance, often referred to as “UM insurance”. UM insurance can cover pain and suffering, loss of earnings (past and future) and medical expenses.

UM insurance comes into play if you sustain injury/losses in an accident and the responsible driver is either uninsured or has a low level of third party liability insurance. In those situations, your UM insurance can make up the difference between the responsible driver’s level of insurance cover and the actual value of your claim (depending on how much UM cover you took out), which is often significantly higher.

It is not an overly expensive policy to purchase so holidaymakers would be well advised to consider it.