Written by attorney Edmund Alonso Normand

Protect Yourself From Uninsured Motorists

Now that the recession/depression is in full swing many motorists are cutting back on all spending including spending on auto insurance. As a result, there are ever increasing numbers of uninsured motorists on the roads today and the number is expected to increase not decrease. Now all of us are at increased risk of being damaged by a at fault drivers who do not have insurance to pay for the harm they cause in car accidents. "By next year, 1 of every 6 drivers on U.S. roadways is likely to be uninsured", according to the Insurance Research Council, a nonprofit group financed by the insurance industry.

There are solutions for you to take to protect yourself from these uninsured motorists. First lets examine the types of coverage that is being dropped and then what coverage you can get yourself to protect you when hit by an uninsured motorist. Bodily injury liability (BI) coverage and property damage liability (PD) coverage provide insurance when a drivers negligence injures another person or their property. BI coverage is the coverage that provides compensation for injuries to a person when a driver is negligent and causes bodily injury to another. PD coverage pays for damages to property caused by a negligent driver. If these coverages are dropped or never purchased by the at fault driver and you have not purchased substitute insurance to protect yourself then you will be left without compensation for injury and property damage caused by a another driver even when the accident is not your fault.

To protect yourself from the increasing numbers of drivers going without insurance you can purchase insurance to provide compensation for both injuries to you and for damage to your property even when caused by a negligent and uninsured motorist. For bodily injury you should purchase uninsured/under insured motorist coverage (UM coverage). For property damage you should purchase collision coverage. UM coverage pays for injuries from an accident in which the other driver is both legally responsible for the accident and considered "uninsured" or "under insured.". While definitions of underinsured and uninsured vary from state to state generally it means that you can buy insurance that provides the same coverage for your injuries that would be available if the other driver had purchased adequate bodily injury liability insurance.

UM coverage can compensate you for your own injuries where the other driver is uninsured or did not buy enough insurance to compensate you for your injuries. UM insurance also covers hit and run drivers. UM coverage will pay for your medical bills, lost earnings and other damages out of your own insurance and then your insurance company has the right to sue the at fault driver for the money they paid you. Thus UM coverage allows you to get compensated by your insurance company and leaves the hassle of trying to collect from the at fault driver with your insurance company.

Collision coverage pays for the damage to your car caused by another driver who is both legally responsible for the accident and who did not purchase enough (or any) property damage liability coverage. Collision coverage gives you the right to quickly collect under your insurance for the damage the at fault driver caused to your vehicle. Like UM coverage, collision coverage allows for quick payment to you and leaves the hassle of collecting from the at fault party with your insurance company.

If you purchase UM coverage and collision coverage you can protect yourself and your family from the ever increasing number of drivers out there who choose to go bare without proper automobile insurance.

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