If you get into a crash with an uninsured driver, it’s likely that you’ll be dealing with someone who lacks (or is unwilling to disclose) financial means or proper identification, or is reluctant to undertake a task legally required by U.S. residents. In this case, uninsured motorist coverage is your best protection. If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, your only other form of possible compensation is the courts, but if the other party didn’t have the means to purchase auto insurance, the likelihood that they will be able to pay judgments (if you win) isn’t great.
Many states (21, plus Washington, D.C.) require drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage, while other states don’t even offer it. And the coverage can vary widely. Ask your agent for details, and when shopping around, be sure to take note of what types of uninsured motorist coverage each potential insurer offers.