What is the most important automobile insurance coverage?

Posted by John Harris on Sat, Oct 02, 2010 @ 12:21 PM

The most important automobile insurance coverage is uninsured motorist coverage. This article explains things you should know about the uninsured motorist coverage in your policy. It is most important when you are injured in automobile accident. Or when the driver of the car that hit you, hits and runs.

What is the most important automobile insurance coverage? Is it liability coverage to protect you from getting sued? No way, to a very large extent one can protect one’s self against causing an accident and getting sued by not speeding, not following to closely, obeying traffic signals and using good judgment. What you can not protect yourself from is “the other guy”. If he causes an accident and injures you, does he have insurance?

In Virginia, drivers don’t have to have insurance, but if they drive without insurance they can be put in jail for driving without insurance. However, instead of buying insurance they can pay an annual fee of $500. If a driver pays the $500, he can drive without insurance. The $500 does not buy any insurance. That driver is still an uninsured driver. The $500 is sort of a “get out of jail free”. If a driver pays the $500, he can drive without insurance without going to jail but he is still uninsured. The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) has looked at uninsured motorists -- people who are driving without insurance. Annually, about 40,000 Virginians pay the $500 uninsured fee.

In 2008, Virginia had 5.3 million licensed drivers. I.I.I. estimates that nine percent of the 5.3 million licensed drivers are uninsured. I.I.I. estimates means that in Virginia there are almost half a million uninsured drivers out there everyday. That number does not include those folks who are driving without a driver’s license. The percentage of uninsured drivers is even higher in North Carolina, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

O.K., so there are a lot of uninsured drivers. Why does that matter to you? It matters to you because when an uninsured driver injures you or your passengers, your uninsured motorist coverage kicks in and pays any judgment you get against the uninsured driver. Your insurance coverage can then turn around and seek reimbursement for the money your insurance company paid to you. It is much better to have the insurance company trying to get its money back from the uninsured driver (who probably has nothing) than it is for you to try to collect your judgment from the uninsured driver (who probably has nothing).

Here is the lesson to be learned -- make sure you have at least $100,000 in uninsured motorist coverage. In a serious accident, medical bills, lost income, inconvenience, worry, concern and those things that make up pain and suffering can easily exceed $100,000 so you really should have more than $100,000 in uninsured motorist coverage. I do not sell insurance, but this is an important question -- do you have enough uninsured motorist coverage?


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Topics: Car Accident Injuries & Deaths