What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
This policy option, and remember that I said, option, covers you in a couple of cases.
- An uninsured motorist damages your car and/or causes you an injury in an auto accident.
- A hit-and-run driver damages your car and/or causes you an injury in an auto accident.
This coverage is not necessarily provided automatically by your current auto policy. If you, yourself, are a legal driver than you probably have liability on your vehicle. If your vehicle is fairly new, and especially if you still owe a bank or finance company money, they you probably also have collision and comprehensive coverage. But only uninsured motorist coverage actually helps compensate you for the two cases that I listed above.
Should You Buy Uninsured Motorist Protection?
Considering that the insurance information institute says that 1 in 7 US drivers are uninsured, it might be a good idea. In some US states that figure is closer to 1 in 4. If you live in a state like Texas or Florida, look to the cars in front of you, in back of you, and beside you. One of these drivers may lack coverage. It seems like a gamble to me to drive around without this protection.
Assuming people reading this post are more responsible that a possible 25% of American drivers, you wouldn’t dream of operating your car without a minimum liability policy. It’s required by your state and breaking the law still leaves you responsible financially, plus puts you at risk of paying fines, or possibly even losing your vehicle.
According to FrugalPig.com,, it’s not frugal to go without insurance. Auto liability insurance protects you against having to pay all of the damages out of your own savings or having to fork over some of your assets. That’s also what the other driver’s policy should do, assuming he has one. But if he doesn’t, you may have a hard time collecting. After all, the guy didn’t think he could afford a basic policy so why would he have the cash or assets to fix your car or broken arm?
Don’t assume you automatically have this protection. It may not be a good idea to bypass it either in saving a few bucks on your policy. Nobody plans to have an accident, but you can plan to protect yourself.