I live in Tennessee and I understand state law requires that everyone who owns a car or truck have liability insurance coverage on the vehicle. Why should I spend money to purchase uninsured motorist insurance coverage if everyone already has liabilty insurance?
Because (a) some people don’t follow the law; (b) some people buy liability insurance coverage but do not purchase an amount that will protect you from losses you sustain in a car or truck wreck; and (c) you may get hit by a hit-and-run driver (and unisured motorist coverage gives you some protection in such cases).
Despite the law that mandates insurance coverage, 20% of the people in Tennessee have no insurance on their vehicle. That means that 1/5th of the people you meet on the highway have virtually no way of meeting their financial obligation to you if they cause an accident and you are hurt. You need uninsured motorist coverage to protect you from that risk.
Second, you need uninsured motorist coverage to protect you from the driver who caused a wreck and has purchased an insufficient amount of insurance. My guess (and it is only a guess) is that 30 or 40 % of Tennessee drivers have only $25,000 in liability coverage available to a person involved in a wreck. That sum – $25,000 – will not cover an emergency room visit and three nights in an ICU. Most of the drivers that have low coverage have poor driving records, and many have a history of past DUIs. These are exactly the drivers more likely to be involved in accidents, and we have to protect ourselves from them.
Third, uninsured motorist coverage protects you (under some circumstances) from hit-and-run drivers.
Ask your insurance agent to show you exactly what uninsured motorist coverage costs – you will be surprised how inexpensive it is. Then, buy as much as you can. This is the least expensive insurance coverage you can buy given the risks you face on Tennessee roads every day.