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How To Guard Against Uninsured Motorists

By Jason Markum

There’s nothing worse in the world than getting into a car accident that was caused by somebody else who doesn’t have car insurance. You have spent your entire life dutifully paying your auto insurance premiums month after month, year after year, and in all that time you have never had a single accident. Then one day, through no fault of your own, somebody runs into your car causing significant damage, maybe even totaling it.

You get out of your car, you make sure everybody is okay, and then you grab your notepad and pen out of the glove box and go to get the insurance information from the person who ran into you. Almost immediately you can tell that something is wrong! Maybe they start stuttering or looking away or try to change the subject… but in no time at all you figure out the problem. They don’t have car insurance.

What do you do under such a circumstance? What CAN you do under such a circumstance? Sure the police will issue a ticket to that person for not having insurance and the fine can be quite hefty… they may even lose their license. But that doesn’t help you any! That doesn’t fix the dent in your car or replace it if it was ruined!

Sometimes your own policy will contain a provision that deals with uninsured, or underinsured accidents. In fact some states require that basic liability insurance contains such a provision. But that doesn’t mean it will cover all the expenses. If your policy does have such a provision, the chances are that it will pay out a very bare minimum of what you will need to make yourself whole again.

If you are especially worried about this then there are some steps you can take before hand. Of course, it’s important to note that these things must be done before hand and are usually unavailable after the fact. What that means is that if you get into an accident and haven’t put these steps into place already, it’s going to be too late to use them.

The main thing you can do is to purchase additional underinsured coverage in your own insurance policy. This will raise your insurance premium every month but will give you the peace of mind that you need to make sure that no matter what happens, you will be covered. Basically what this insurance does is pay out if the other person that caused the accident doesn’t have insurance, which is exactly what we’re looking for.

The problem with these policies is that you’ll really have to go at it with your insurance company if you ever have to have a claim paid out. Why is that? Because your insurance company doesn’t want to give you money because somebody else who is not a customer of theirs crashed into you. So you may have to go head-to-head with your insurance company and really push in an adversarial sort of way to get these policies to pay out. This means strict note taking and medical reporting so that you can really prove what the damages are and make sure they are without dispute.

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