Insurance is generally a requirement. Some states don’t require insurance, if one can prove that they can financially cover the amount of minimum liability damage, with their current income/assets. If one cannot prove that they can cover the minimum requirement, an insurance policy is required.
Even though it may be required, the Insurance Research Council reports that 1 in 8 drivers is uninsured. This means they have no automobile insurance to cover damages/injuries if they cause an accident. This is why you need uninsured motorist insurance coverage.
Uninsured motorist insurance is like- additional insurance. It is coverage that helps cover/ pay for damages caused by a driver who doesn’t have automobile insurance. This also covers injuries. If someone is injured and/or, the vehicle is damaged in the accident, uninsured motorist coverage will help pay for costs, up to the limits in your policy.
Uninsured Motorist- Example Situation
So, what do you do if you are involved in an accident with a driver that doesn’t have auto insurance?
Example: You are on your way to the grocery store. You are in the right lane because you are making a right turn. You are next in line, you stop to make sure you can proceed, and suddenly- you’re rear-ended.
Step 1: Call the police
Step 2: Exchange information, but keep in mind- some states require drivers to not communicate until the police arrive. The other driver doesn’t have insurance coverage so- you’ll be obtaining contact information and vehicle information.
Step 3: Take photos of the damages and the scene if possible- again, some states require you to wait for the police to arrive at the scene.
Step 4: Report the accident to your insurance agent/ insurance carrier.
Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim
When contacting your insurance agent/insurance carrier, you’ll be providing the details of the accident, and providing the other person’s contact and vehicle information. Because the other driver doesn’t have insurance coverage- the claim you file with your carrier- will be an uninsured motorist claim. In many states, a police report is required in order for the uninsured motorist coverage to be allowed to be applied.
How it Works When There is No Uninsured Motorist Coverage
For those that don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, taking the at-fault driver to court to sue for damages is an option. The process could take time and money, and doesn’t guarantee a settlement. It’s possible to be stuck with paying out of pocket for damages and injuries. Though, collision insurance coverage could be used to help fix your vehicle.
Things work a little differently if injuries are a factor. In no-fault states, no matter who was at fault for the accident, it will be your insurance provider who will pay some or all of your medical bills and lost earnings- whether the driver has insurance or not. In a no-fault state, you’ll file the claim with your insurance company no matter what.
Uninsured motorist insurance coverage provides peace of mind. Collision coverage could cover automobile damages, but it wouldn’t cover medical from any injuries. Contacting an insurance agent is a great way to start the conversation.
About Travis Etheridge
Travis, the co-owner of The Insurance Alliance, joined the insurance industry in 2011. He is married to his lovely wife Anica, and has an amazing son Henry. Travis is passionate about helping people, so the insurance industry is a natural fit. The thing he loves most about the industry is being there for his clients at their most trying times. He believes everyone is an individual and they deserve an individual plan best suited for their situation.