Did you know that if you’re involved in an accident – even if you weren’t at fault – you could actually pay more and have your premiums go up if the driver is uninsured? If you don’t have proper coverage, being hit by an insured driver can hit you – right in the wallet.
One in eight motorists is driving without insurance, even though penalties in many states for driving without insurance are steep. When faced with stiff fines and possible arrest, many uninsured drivers will simply flee the scene of an accident, which leaves you on the hook for damage to your car. In a study by Insurance Research Council, uninsured motorist rates have risen to over 13 percent, up from just 12 percent in 2013.
“The results of the survey sound an alarm,” said Daniel Halsey, president of the Insurance Research Council. “Uninsured motorists represent a significant risk to insured drivers.”
Underinsured drivers; that is, those with discount policies and minimal coverage, may also be a problem for the fully insured motorist. While their coverage may take care of some of your car’s damage, or injuries to you and your passengers, that coverage limit may not cover the extent of damages if the accident is severe, or involves multiple vehicles.
Fortunately, many reputable insurance companies have provided addendums for purchase to their policies that prepare you for just this type of situation. If you aren’t sure if your policy covers damages from uninsured or underinsured drivers, a quick consultation with your insurance representative can set your mind at ease. Typically, it is a good idea for motorists to have the same amount of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage as they have for bodily injury coverage.
Still not sure whether you need coverage from uninsured motorists? Consider this. If you aren’t at fault for an accident, then your insurance company may not cover the damage to your vehicle or any medical needs resulting from the crash. In addition, according to the Insurance Research Council, the average cost of an uninsured motorist claim is close to $20,000. This is excluding any physical damage to your vehicle.
You may never be involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, but can you afford to take that risk? Your insurance representative can work with your existing policy to make sure that no matter what kind of accident happens, you are safely covered.