One of the biggest responsibilities that you have, as a driver, is carrying car insurance and making sure that you have the best possible protection in the event of a car accident.
One very important type of coverage to understand is uninsured motorist coverage, which will protect you and your finances if you are involved in a car accident with a driver who is not carrying car insurance.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage, and Why is Car Insurance Important?
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you in a car accident with an uninsured driver. It also takes into account any serious injuries that may have been caused in the accident. Having car insurance is important because driving without insurance is illegal in most states.
Some penalties that you could face if you are found driving with no insurance include:
- Hefty fines that could ruin you financially
- Loss of your car
- Loss of your driver’s license
- No protection against lawsuits
- Lack of medical protection
Even if you think that you cannot afford to make car insurance payments in the short term, you can save thousands of dollars in the long run, if an accident was ever to occur.
What Can Happen in a Car Accident with an Uninsured Driver?
If the accident was caused by a driver who carried no insurance at the time of the accident, the not-at-fault driver will likely have to sue the uninsured driver for compensation.
Why do Many People Drive without Car Insurance?
According to the Insurance Research Council, about one in eight Americans decides to drive without car insurance, whether that is because of financial issues or the temptation to avoid making monthly payments that may not be used for an accident.
However, these monthly payments toward car insurance can be to your advantage, should a car accident ever occur. Some of the biggest reasons that many people decide to drive without having car insurance include the following:
- If you drive without car insurance, you may have to spend thousands of dollars following an accident when coverage from a car insurance policy could have helped.
- The longer you drive without car insurance, you will have to pay more out of pocket following an accident.
- If you are an uninsured driver, and you are at fault in a car accident, you could be sued by the driver who is not at fault.
- If you are an uninsured driver, you may even lose your driving privileges following an accident.
If a car accident was to occur with a driver who has no car insurance, it will be difficult for that person to regain his or her reputation as a driver.
How to Handle a Car Accident with an Uninsured Driver
Being able to handle a car accident with an uninsured driver is crucial, so as to protect yourself in making your claim. The steps to take following an accident include:
- Checking yourself and your passengers for injuries
- Getting to safety, as to avoid holding up traffic
- Calling 911 when necessary
- Waiting for help
- Exchanging information with the other parties involved
- Documenting the accident with accurate information
- Notifying your insurance company to file a claim
If the at-fault driver is uninsured, there are extra steps that need to be taken to make the most out of the claim to be filed.
The Best Practices of Navigating through a Car Accident with an Uninsured Driver
In order to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your finances and other assets, notifying to law enforcement is the best way to handle any type of car accident.
It can be very easy to fall into the 13 percent of Americans who casually drive every day without car insurance, especially if the economy is bad. However, protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your assets should be your top priority.