No matter how prepared you think you are, a car accident is a shocking event. If the crash is the other driver’s fault, it’s an even bigger shock to find that the person doesn’t currently have insurance. Sometimes a person is uninsured because he or she hasn’t bothered to pay for coverage. Other times, there’s insurance, but for some reason, the policy won’t cover the accident. Either way, you could be left with the job of figuring out how to handle your damage and injury costs.
The Problem of Uninsured Drivers
Every state has some sort of requirement regarding auto insurance. If you’re willing to accept the privilege of driving, then you’re expected to take on the obligations of being a responsible driver. However, not every driver is a responsible one. The percentage of uninsured drivers in the United States is about 13.8 percent, which means that approximately 1 in 7 drivers are currently uninsured nationwide.
Matters are even worse in the state of Florida with 26.7 percent of motorists driving uninsured—the highest percentage in the nation. This means that if you drive every day, there’s a possibility that you will be involved in a crash with someone who doesn’t have insurance.
The Effects of Uninsured Drivers
It takes money to fix the damage and injury caused by car accidents. That money usually comes from insurance companies. If you have your own coverage that will pay for your injuries and repairs, you have fewer worries. However, you may still have a deductible to pay out of pocket, and your insurance premium may increase even if the crash wasn’t your fault.
When insurance can’t pay the bill, you have to find a way to pay, or you may just have to live with the problem. The idea of driving around with a smashed fender or a missing bumper isn’t appealing. Suffering from an injury that you can’t afford to treat is also not a good idea.
What Can Be Done
Plan ahead to make sure your car insurance adequately covers your needs. If you add uninsured motorist insurance to your policy, your own insurance will pay for car repairs or medical treatment. You can also use your own collision or personal injury coverages if you have them. If you don’t have any insurance that will pay for your own losses, you may have to take the other driver to court to try to get your money back.
You can’t control whether or not other people have car insurance but you can control what you have. Avoid unnecessary losses by making sure you have the right insurance coverage, even if the other driver doesn’t. Not only will this help you in the long run, but it will help other drivers on the street as well.
For the best protection from uninsured drivers, ask us about how you can add uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to your car insurance policy!