Getting into an automobile accident is bad enough. Having a collision with someone who is un-insured can make matters a whole lot worse.
Even though it is against the law to go without at least liability auto insurance in just about every state, there are many people who push their luck and go without it. If you are unlucky enough to meet one of these people under the worst circumstances there are steps you can take to safeguard yourself.
What To Do in the Event of an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
Step 1 – Call 911 to get a police officer dispatched. This is an immediate must if anyone is injured, but it’s best to do so even if everyone is alright. Why? So that the police officer can note in their official records that the other driver is uninsured and what happened to cause the collision.
Step 2 – Get all of their information. By all of it we mean:
- Phone number
- License Plate Number
- Drivers License Number
With no insurance company to call, the other driver is going to be your sole contact to get matters resolved. It’s not pleasant to think about, but people will sometimes provide false information in these instances. By asking to see their driver’s license and getting their drivers license number you can ensure that you at least have a real name.
Step 3 – Contact your insurance company. Call your insurance provider as soon as possible to let them know what has occurred. Pass along all of the information that you received from the other driver.
Step 4 – Prepare to pay the deductible – even if the accident wasn’t your fault. All Austin auto insurance policies come with a deductible that must be paid before repairs can be made, unless it was the other driver that caused the accident. In most cases their insurance will be the ones covering the cost of the repairs so no deductible is required from you.
However, if the other driver has no insurance you’ll be on the hook for the deductible no matter what.
Step 5 – Prepare to take the other driver to court. You and/or your insurance company may have to file a civil lawsuit against the other driver in order to recoup the costs involved with the accident. As you probably know from your own policy, there are limits to coverage. So even if your insurance company covered most of your costs you may still have to pay out of pocket for a portion.
Step 6 – Keep records of everything. If the accident was the other driver’s fault then they are responsible for the costs you incur. Note anything that is related to the accident: write down names of people you talk to, make copies of receipts, note anytime you have a conversation with or reach out to the other driver. All this information will be needed if you have to go to court to recoup costs.
What You Can Do To Protect Yourself in the Future
Someone trying to save a few bucks can cost you a lot of money. With the Insurance Research Council estimating that 1 in 7 drivers doesn’t have car insurance it’s best to cover your own bases with un-insured/under insured motorist coverage.
Un-insured/under insured motorist coverage can be added to your policy to protect you from incurring costs if:
- You are in a collision with an un-insured driver.
- You are in a collision with an under insured driver.
- You are in a hit-and-run accident.
- If the other driver’s insurance denied coverage or becomes insolvent.
There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to un-insured/under insured coverage. The two main types are bodily injury coverage and property damage coverage. It’s the best way to ensure that you and your passengers are covered no matter who is driving the other car.
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Original Source: http://www.mybiginsurance.com/insurance-know-how/what-to-do-if-the-other-driver-is-uninsured