According to experts, an estimated 25 percent of drivers on the road are driving without insurance. When an accident is caused by an uninsured motorist, it costs money for drivers of insured cars in property damage, personal injury, higher insurance premiums, and the cost of a lawsuit. Sadly, many people do not understand the implications of being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. This article provides information about uninsured motorist coverage or uninsured motorist property coverage, and what you can expect when involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.
Report the Accident
If you hit an uninsured motorist, do not “just forget it.” Most states have reporting requirements for accidents, especially if the damage is over a certain amount, which varies from state to state. If you fail to report an accident, you can sometimes be fined and penalized.
If the other driver is uninsured, likely, he or she may not want to report the accident because of possible fines that could be imposed for driving without insurance. In reality, especially if the accident was minor, you may not find yourself having to pay much of any of the damage. However, several situations might bring about negative consequences if you fail to report an accident. Between various state laws and potential scams, you are often better off quickly reporting an accident regardless of the consequences to either driver.
Pay At-Fault Damages
If you have insurance and the accident is your fault, then your insurance will have to pay for the damages you have caused. Failure to do so could be considered illegal, whether the other driver had insurance or not. Reporting an accident to your insurance company will likely raise your rates, but the alternative is to possibly have your coverage dropped or to face legal consequences.
The Lying Insured Driver
When you hit a so-called uninsured driver who turns out to have insurance, and they accept fault, the person could claim not to have insurance to try to keep you from filing a claim. Regardless, if the accident turns out to be that person’s fault, your insurance company will find out any relevant insurance information so you can make a claim. If the accident is your fault, your insurance company will need to know the coverage of the other person to see how much liability you are assessed.
Be Aware of Potential Scams
You may be the victim of a scam where a person sets up an accident. The “victim” of the accident will then try to claim your insurance, or worse still, tell you that he or she is uninsured to get you to pay cash to keep the accident from being on your record.
In these scenarios involving accidents with an uninsured driver, your best bet is to report the accident right away. Better to have a rate increase than to break the law.
If you want to learn more about auto insurance, contact the experts at Weeks & Associates Insurance Services in Thousand Oaks, California. We are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.