How can I protect myself from uninsured drivers?


The dangers of having uninsured drivers or motorists on the road is that they have no financial coverage when they cause an accident. This is bad for the injured parties, especially in third party car insurance, because they hardly have any chance for being reimbursed for their damages and injuries. And there is also the trouble of the uninsured driver or motorist of being unable or unwilling to pay for the damages that they have caused.

There are ways to protect oneself from these uninsured drivers and motorists, and one of these include purchasing uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM) motorist insurance. UM coverage would reimburse the insured driver, a member of their family, or a designated driver for injuries received from an accident caused by a hit-and-run driver or an uninsured motorist. While UIM coverage would take effect when an at-fault driver has insufficient coverage to pay for one’s losses, and also protect one when struck by a car as a pedestrian.

Keep in mind that standard UM and UIM coverages only reimburse drivers for their physical injuries, and not for the damages inflicted on their vehicle. The damages would be paid only if one had collision coverage included in their auto insurance policy. If there is none, one could consider uninsured motorist property-damage coverage (UMPD) which would pay for vehicle repair if struck by an uninsured driver. If the accident is caused the insured driver or motorist themselves, then the UMPD would not pay for repairs.

Though both UM and UIM coverages are available in all fifty US states, they are mostly optional. Having UM coverage is required in the states of Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The states of Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Vermont also require purchasing UM coverage and mandates UIM coverage.

Another way to be protected against uninsured drivers is to practice defensive driving techniques. One has to watch what other drivers are doing, and give the more reckless ones plenty of space. Keep an eye for unexpected curves and other potential hazards on the road, and allow more distance between one’s car and another during rush hour or heavy traffic. Also keep one’s vehicle in good running order, avoid driving in a foul mood, and drive more carefully at night and when the weather is bad.