The Insurance Research Council has estimated that by next year nearly one in six motorists in this country may be driving without insurance.
As the recession leaves millions of workers unemployed and pressures family budgets, many families are cutting the “luxury” of car insurance. Big Mistake. Not only is car insurance mandatory by law in 48 states, including Colorado, is the the responsible thing to do. Driving without car insurance will expose your family’s assets if you are a negligent driver who causes a collision.
Even worse, though, is if you or your family is injured in a collision caused by an uninsured driver and you have no uninsured/under insured (UM/UIM) coverage. What would happen in that case? Presumably the negligent driver has no assets that you can go after. If you have health insurance, you would still have to pay for your co-pays and deductibles to get medical care for your injuries. If you don’t have health insurance, you will have to pay for your medical bills out of your own pocket. (Have you heard that ER visits from a car accident, for even “minor” injuries costs $3,000?).
Car insurance has two kinds of coverage: liability coverage (“BI”) on your insurance card and uninsured/under insured motorist coverage (“UM/UIM” on your insurance card. UM/UIM coverage allows you to make the same claim against your own car insurance that you would make against the negligent uninsured driver who hit you. UM/UIM coverage is optional. Insurance companies are required to offer it to you the first time you buy car insurance from them. After that, even if you ask to renew for “full coverage” you will not get UM/UIM coverage on your car without asking for it.
How much UM/UIM coverage should you have? You should have the same amount of UM/UIM coverage as you carry for liability. If you have $100,000 in liability coverage, you should carry $100,000 in UM/UIM coverage. Why would you want to protect strangers that may be injured by your own negligence more than your family or passengers who may be injured in your car by a negligent uninsured driver?
You will find that UM/UIM coverage costs very little more to add to your car insurance. And, with nearly 20% of all drivers operating out there without insurance, the peace of mind in protection of your family from the uninsured drivers is, as they say, “priceless.”