Do you need Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
One in eight drivers on the road are uninsured, according to a 2017 report from the Insurance Research Council. Each day, thousands of these motorists take to the streets without insurance, putting themselves and other drivers in jeopardy. Uninsured motorists not only take the risk of injuring themselves and others with no way to cover the damages, they also endanger other drivers to undertake more financial responsibilities.
Topping the list with some of the highest uninsured motorist rates are the Southeastern states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. In Florida, 26% of drivers are uninsured—the highest in the entire country. Although some areas did see a decrease from previous studies, overall research showed numbers of uninsured motorists are actually on the rise across the United States. To answer this, many states are developing laws to identify uninsured drivers and require those who drive to carry uninsured motorist coverage.
Here are the best precautions you can take to protect against motorists with no insurance.
1. Choose to Add Uninsured Motorist Coverage to Your Policy
Uninsured and underinsured motorist is an additional coverage that will reimburse policy holders involved in an accident with uninsured, hit-and-run, or underinsured drivers. This policy will also protect you, your resident relatives, and the passengers in your covered vehicle.
You can request stacked or non-stacked uninsured motorist coverage in your policy. In stacked coverage, the policy limits for each motor vehicle listed on the policy may be added together to determine the total amount that may be recovered (stacked) for all covered injuries to the insured and resident relatives. With non-stacked uninsured motorist, the injured person may not add or combine the coverage provided as two or more motor vehicles together to determine the limits of uninsured motorist available.
2. Know the Risks Where You Drive
All states vary in the amount of liability coverage required. However, if you live in a state that ranks high for uninsured motorists or is a no-fault state (or both), you may need to take a close look at your policy to make sure you have the most comprehensive coverage for liability. The Insurance Information Institute publishes detailed charts of coverage requirements and uninsured motorist rates per state.
3. Keep Up with Your Own Coverage
Be sure your own coverage doesn’t lapse. Keep proof of your insurance in your car where you can easily access it in the event of a traffic stop or accident. If you misplace your card, most insurers allow you to access printable cards through an online account. If you’re unsure how to set this up or access it, give your insurer a call.
4. Bundle It
If you already insure a home, chances are you can save money by purchasing auto and homeowners insurance together with the same insurer. Motorcycles and boats can often be bundled in too. Choosing multiple policies through the same agency can lower your overall premiums.
Uninsured motorist coverage is an addition to your policy that protects against the staggering statistics of uninsured drivers. People who drive should have basic auto insurance coverage, but as the facts show, many simply do not. Until many parties can come together to create laws for safer roads, choosing to be prepared for whatever may come your way on the road is the smartest way to drive.
Fudge Insurance is an independent insurance agency providing homeowners, short-term rental, life, business, and auto insurance with comprehensive coverage to meet your needs. We offer savings through Progressive Home Advantage when you insure your vehicle and home. Call or request a free quote online.
Read more about automobile insurance from our blog.