If you have car insurance in New Hampshire, you’re required to carry uninsured motorist coverage. When do you use uninsured motorist coverage? What happens if you get into an accident with an uninsured driver? Here’s everything you need to know about the NH uninsured motorist law and the auto insurance coverage you have under it.
What is an Uninsured Motorist? What is an Underinsured Motorist?
Drivers in New Hampshire are required to have financial responsibility when driving a car. For most drivers, this is an auto insurance policy. However, this does not mean every driver on the road is following the law. An uninsured motorist is one that does not carry auto insurance. A driver without auto insurance may not be able to pay for injuries they cause in an accident.
That’s where uninsured motorist coverage, or UM coverage, comes in. This protects you, your family members who live in the same household as you, and your passengers who are injured by an at-fault driver who is operating their vehicle without auto insurance. It may also cover injuries sustained in hit-and-run accidents.
In New Hampshire, your uninsured motorist coverage also covers accidents with underinsured motorists. An underinsured motorist is one with auto insurance coverage but with liability limits that may not be able to pay for all injuries they cause. You may see this on your policy together as UM/UIM coverage.
If you have an auto insurance policy in New Hampshire, you’re required to carry uninsured motorist coverage. The amount of uninsured motorist coverage you carry is equal to your bodily injury liability coverage.
Accidents with an Underinsured or Uninsured Driver
If you’ve been involved in any accident, you should exchange information with the other driver. Record their auto insurance policy number if available, and take down their phone number and license plate number. Be polite, but avoid discussing fault- the adjuster will determine this after you file your claim. Take pictures of the accident scene. Call the police and file a police report. Then, contact your auto insurance carrier and open a claim.
If you were the victim of a hit-and-run, you probably won’t have much information. Call the police and file a report. Tell the officer everything you can remember about the accident. Contact your insurance carrier and open a claim.
- Move your vehicle to a safe location if it is operable and you are physically able, but do not leave the scene
- If you or anyone were hurt, call 911 for medical assistance (Never move an injured person unless they are in imminent danger)
- Contact the police; they’ll send an officer if needed
- Exchange information with those involved
- Be polite, but avoid discussing fault (When you file an insurance claim, the adjuster will determine this)
- If your vehicle is not drivable, request roadside assistance
This process can sound scary, but we’re here to help. Plymouth Rock makes it easy to file a claim, and our specialists will guide you through every step. We’ll assign you a friendly personal representative to walk you through your policy coverage and answer any questions you may have. Our skilled adjusters will review the accident and make sure your claim is settled in a timely manner.
How Can You Protect Yourself and Your Family?
The best way to protect yourself and your family from uninsured or underinsured motorists is to carry more coverage on your policy. You can only collect up to your own UM/UIM limit, which in New Hampshire is equal to your bodily injury liability limit.
You may not find out the at-fault driver was underinsured until it’s time to pay for your expenses. The last thing you want is to find out your injuries or damages won’t be covered. That’s why it’s important to carry more than the minimum coverage required in New Hampshire.
Say you only have the minimum UM/UIM coverage limit of $25,000. An uninsured driver causes an accident in which you incur $50,000 in medical bills. You can only collect up to your own limit of $25,000. That means you’ll still have $25,000 in injuries you’ll need to pay for.
Many drivers who choose to drive uninsured or have the minimum insurance coverage do so because they can’t afford more. It would be unlikely for you to recover more via a lawsuit against them. That’s why having higher limits on uninsured motorist coverage is so important.
Consider increasing your Medical Payments coverage to better protect you in the event of an accident. Medical Payments coverage, or MedPay, covers medical expenses for you and your passengers in an accident, no matter who was at fault. It can also cover health insurance deductibles and copays. In New Hampshire, the minimum MedPay coverage required is only $1,000. If you get higher limits, you can be assured you’re protected no matter the situation.
Keep in mind that in New Hampshire, underinsured motorist coverage does not cover physical damage to your car. To fully protect your own vehicle in an accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver, you’ll need collision coverage.
Collision coverage helps pay for the cost to repair or replace your car after it hits another car or an object, or is hit by another car. This includes damage sustained in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
We understand everyone’s circumstances and needs vary – that’s why we offer a variety of coverage packages to fit many different budgets. With Plymouth Rock Assurance, you can protect yourself and your car with quality coverage at an affordable rate.
Still have questions about car insurance in New Hampshire? Contact us and one of our friendly insurance specialists will guide you through coverage options.