Every day that you hit the road, you have to prepare for unique variables. This is what makes driving very dangerous at times. Things become even more complicated when you collide with uninsured or underinsured drivers who either do not have insurance or have inadequate coverage. The possibility of being involved in such an accident is higher than you may like to believe. According to recent studies, over 10% of drivers operate a vehicle on a regular basis without insurance. This complicates matters while filing claims for damages incurred in a collision with an uninsured/underinsured driver.
How Can Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance Help?
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you and covers damages to your vehicle if you are involved in a collision with a driver who does not have coverage. This policy will also cover hit and run accidents. Even if the other driver has insurance, it may not be enough to fully cover your vehicle’s damages. In such cases, an underinsured motorist coverage will take care of the difference.
How Much Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Do I Need?
The level of coverage that you need depends on multiple factors. Ideally, you should opt for the same level of uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage as your existing bodily injury coverage. If you opt for a split policy, you’ll have separate limits for property damage and bodily injuries. On the other hand, if you choose a combined policy, there will be a single coverage limit.
How Much Does Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Cost?
Normally, the cost of coverage is 6% of annual auto insurance premiums. Multiple factors can impact the price of coverage, including your driving record, any previous claims, and whether you qualify for a discount.
The Best Coverage for Accidents with Uninsured Drivers
If you are involved in a crash with an uninsured driver, try to keep a positive attitude, knowing thatyour uninsured motorist coverage will protect you. More states across the country are making this type of coverage mandatory. You’ll have peace of mind that any damage to your vehicle, injuries to you or your passengers will be covered. Uninsured motorist coverage will cover your medical expenses and any loss of income if you are unable to work. Without uninsured coverage, you can still pursue litigation against the other driver, but there is no guarantee that things will work out. This coverage is the easiest solution to ensure that you don’t have to pay for anything out of pocket.
Determining Fault in an Uninsured Car Accident
Generally, the at-fault driver is responsible for the damages caused in a wreck with another driver. The injured driver must prove that the collision happened due to negligence. You have to show that the driver did not maintain their duty of care. If the uninsured driver caused the collision, they would be held at fault. However, don’t automatically assume that they are responsible. Gather as much information regarding the accident as you can. You will want to keep track of any damages that occur. Also, try to find any eyewitnesses and speak to them.
What If the Insured Driver Is at Fault?
If you are ruled to be at fault, you can dispute the claim. Speak with a lawyer to process your next steps. In most states, it is illegal for insurance companies to use unfair settlement practices. If, as an insured driver, you are ruled to be at fault, you might have to pay higher insurance premiums and could possibly lose your license.
Other Things to Consider
Remember to call the police as soon as the accident occurs. This will help the claims process go smoothly. Take pictures of the scene, including damage to both vehicles. If the uninsured driver offers you money out of fear, do not accept it. Instead, comply with the legalities and let the claims process play out.