Unless it is up for renewal, we seldom give much thought to our car insurance. However, one thing that we should give some thought to is getting uninsured motorist coverage because getting into a car crash with an uninsured driver can wreak havoc on our lives.
What are the chances of hitting someone without insurance?
It is a fair question because, after all, all questions of insurance and warranties are balancing the consequences of not having it, with the likelihood of needing it. As to the latter, according to the Wall Street Journal, nationally, 14% of all drivers are uninsured, but of course, that number could be higher or lower depending on where one lives. If we put that in perspective, this means that, for every 10 cars around us, one or two are uninsured. That seems rather high, especially for New York roads, which rarely, if ever have less than 10 cars around at any given time.
What are the consequences?
The second part of that “whether one needs it” inquiry is the consequences. If one is in a car accident with someone without insurance, there are two places to get compensation from, the victim’s own insurance company and the negligent uninsured driver. The problem is that, often, the reason one does not have insurance is because they cannot afford it. This means they likely will have very little assets or income to pay the, potentially, substantial costs incurred after a car accident, like lost wages, vehicle repairs, car rental fees, medical bills, etc. This leaves one’s own insurance company, but if one does not have uninsured insurance coverage, the insurance company will likely not pay.
So, one will just get the max?
No. Insurance companies, regardless of who they are paying, are in the business of taking payments without making payouts, even here in Garden City, New York, and Kings County. As such, many times, even with uninsured insurance coverage, insurance companies will try to pay their own customers as little as possible. This is when litigation or an attorney may be needed to force the insurance company to pay what is fair.