States now require automobile insurance and it is a crime to operate a motor vehicle without the minimum insurance coverage set by each state. Still the reality is that there are many uninsured drivers on the road. So some states will require that you also purchase uninsured motorist insurance.
Uninsured motorists are ten times more likely to drink and drive and three times more likely to be convicted of negligent driving. About 15 percent of drivers do not carry insurance. So it’s not surprising that, one in ten of all drivers have been involved in accidents with uninsured drivers. So what should you do if this happens to you and what can you do to protect yourself?
When an accident happens, it’s hard to know whether or not the other driver has insurance. You should respond the way you would to any accident. Write down as much information as you can about the other car, like make and model, and license and registration numbers. Get the other driver’s information as well, keeping in mind that he might not be telling the truth.
Be sure to note the other car’s damage and the accident’s setting. Record road signs and markings, the amount of lighting in the scene, the weather, and if the other car had its lights on. The more detail you account for on the record, the better your case. If there was an independent witness, get their full contact information, this is a very lucky occurrence. Having a camera with you is one of the best things you can do. Take many pictures, aiming for one that clearly has the other driver in the frame. The police will find that one very helpful!
Comprehensive auto insurance will provide the protection of your insurer to pay for your car repair, minus the deductible. However, if your claim is as a result of damage caused by a uninsured or underinsured motorist, you might be able to have that repair deductible waived by your insurance company. Regardless of the scenario, however, you might lose your no claims discount.
Many drivers with auto insurance carry the smallest amount permitted by law, which may be insufficient to cover the damages caused by a major car wreck. If a driver at fault cannot pay for the out of pocket expenses resulting from an accident that he caused, you will need to carry Underinsured Motorist insurance. Otherwise, you could be saddled with the bills.
The most advantageous approach is to drive defensively, always wear a seatbelt, and to purchase uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage with your vehicle insurance policy.