Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage a Good Idea? Revealing Data

In many states, insurance companies are required to offer drivers uninsured motorist coverage when they apply for auto insurance. Drivers, however, aren’t always legally required to accept uninsured motorist coverage. Because it costs extra – and, let’s face it – no one enjoys spending their hard-earned cash on insurance, you might be wondering whether it’s that important.

It is. But don’t just take out word for it. Here’s why people should seriously consider purchasing uninsured motorist coverage, and the data that proves it.

Many drivers are uninsured.

If every driver carried liability auto insurance, uninsured motorist coverage wouldn’t be necessary. And because state laws typically require drivers to maintain liability coverage, you might think you don’t need uninsured motorist coverage. Unfortunately, many drivers break the law and drive without coverage.

According to a study from the Insurance Research Council, one in eight drivers is uninsured. That sounds bad, and it is, but in some states, the rate of uninsured drivers is significantly higher. In Florida, more than one in four drivers is uninsured. If a driver hits you in Florida, there’s a 25 percent chance that the driver doesn’t have insurance.

This is why uninsured motorist insurance is so important. Although coverage details can vary depending on state laws, uninsured motorist coverage can cover bodily injury and property damage.

You can’t get blood from a stone.

Maybe you’ve heard this expression. It means you can’t get something from somebody who doesn’t have it. For example, you can’t get money from someone who’s broke.

Let’s say you live in a tort state, which means the at-fault driver is responsible for damages. If an uninsured motorist hits you, you can sue for damages. If the driver has savings or assets, you might succeed in getting compensation. However, if the driver does not have any savings or assets – which is often the case among uninsured drivers – you’re pretty much out of luck.

If you have uninsured motorist insurance, your policy will provide coverage in this situation. 

Underinsured motorists are also a problem.

Many drivers carry the minimum amount of liability insurance required by state law. In some states, this isn’t very much. For example, in California, drivers only need to carry $5,000 for property damage, $15,000 for injury to one person and $30,000 for injury to more than one person. So, what happens if a driver with the minimum insurance hits you and totals your car? Assuming your car is worth more than $5,000, the damage will exceed the policy limit. Or what if you’re injured and your hospital bills are more than $15,000? Given the high cost of health care in the U.S., this isn’t unbelievable.

Once again, you can sue the at-fault driver for damages if you live in a tort state. However, if the driver doesn’t have any money, you will have a difficult time getting compensation. This is why underinsured motorist coverage is often recommended alongside uninsured motorist coverage.

And don’t forget about hit-and-run accidents.

It’s impossible to sue a driver for damages if you can’t find the driver. While hit-and-run accidents are illegal, they are also common. If you are the victim of a hit-and-run driver, you will want to be compensated for any injuries and property damage you experience. Although state laws vary regarding insurance for hit-and-run accidents, coverage is often available through uninsured motorist insurance.

Not sure if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage? Get a quote for auto insurance quote today and be sure to ask for this important added protection.

Sources
  • https://www.insurance-research.org/sites/default/files/downloads/UMNR1005.pdf

  • https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffvr18

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