Car insurance is mandatory for drivers in all states except New Hampshire, yet some drivers manage to dodge the expenses and are on the road uninsured. If you are in an auto collision involving an uninsured driver, the process for claiming damages is much more complex and generally takes longer.
Uninsured vs. Underinsured
Uninsured drivers are those that have no car insurance or coverage at all. Despite the fact that 49 of 50 states require auto insurance, reports show that approximately 13% of motorists are uninsured. The leading cause of uninsured driving is affordability or the lack thereof. If an uninsured driver is at fault for an accident, chances are they cannot afford to pay for damages. Therefore, you would not sue the uninsured party.
More often in occurrence is auto collisions involving underinsured parties. This when you are hit by a driver who carries insufficient car insurance when the accident is deemed to be that driver’s fault. Furthermore, this is common in more severe collisions, such as head on collision rather than fender benders.
What immediate steps do I need to take?
Just like any auto collision you may be involved in, it is crucial to collect the other driver’s contact and insurance information. If the other driver tells you that they do not have insurance, or if you suspect that they are uninsured or underinsured, you need contact your own insurance provider and let them know as soon as possible about the situation. Next, you will need to file an uninsured or underinsured claim.
Filing A Claim
If the driver at fault is uninsured or underinsured, you would make a claim against your own insurance company to increase the limit of your uninsured driver coverage. You will want to inform your insurer immediately, as car insurance policies have strict deadlines on notifying potential uninsured claims.