How to protect yourself from uninsured drivers

Special to The Log
How to protect yourself from uninsured drivers

Tip of the Week

Though most states require drivers to have car insurance, there are still motorists who take their chances and drive without coverage or with insufficient coverage. Nationwide, an estimated 14 percent of drivers are uninsured, and, in a handful of states, that figure tops 20 percent, according to the Insurance Research Council.

If you have an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance or lacks sufficient coverage, you could find yourself on the hook for thousands of dollars in medical expenses and repair costs, regardless of who’s at fault.

Buying uninsured and underinsured motorists’ coverage can ease your fears and pay off if you have an accident. The insurance pays for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering from injuries sustained in a car wreck. If you purchase uninsured motorist property damage insurance, you also get coverage for vehicle repairs and damage to valuables that were in your car at the time of the accident.

Though states require drivers to have auto insurance, the liability requirements vary greatly from state to state. In states that have low minimum insurance requirements, drivers often don’t have the coverage to deal with a serious car accident. If you live in one of those states, you should verify what limit of uninsured and underinsured motorists’ coverage you have. Mississippi, Alabama, California, New Mexico, Arizona and Tennessee traditionally have had the highest percentage of uninsured motorists.

Depending on your state, it’s possible that uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is mandatory on your policy. Talk to your agent to verify that you are adequately insured.