Have you ever been hit by an uninsured driver? Chances are the uninsured driver got a ticket, which got reduced to something minimal, and nothing else. The fact of the matter is that almost every uninsured driver who causes a crash doesn’t see any real penalty, sometimes not even a slap on the wrist. This is frustrating and unfair, and it causes some people to ask, “Do I really Need Insurance? If I don’t have insurance, won’t I be in a position to not have any real consequence if I cause an accident?” Not necessarily. There are three big reasons why everyone should have insurance.
First, it is the right thing to do and it is the law. If you cause an accident and damage someone’s car or worse, hurt somebody, doing the right thing includes helping your victim get their car fixed and paying their accident related medical bills. If we stop taking care of the things or people we hurt, then we only encourage others to do the same. This is not the world any of us want to live in. Additionally, in Colorado, the law requires you to have insurance in order to operate a car.
Second, if you hurt someone badly enough, they can go after you personally. If you cause an accident and hurt somebody, they can sue you personally. If you do not have insurance to pay the claim, then the responsibility falls on you personally. If the other person has uninsured motorist coverage, then they may opt to recover from their own insurance instead of pursuing you. But, if they do sue you, they could get a judgment against you that could result in your wages and bank accounts being garnished. A judgment against you could also damage your credit or prevent you from buying a home. It is also possible that the other person could make the claim to their own uninsured motorist policy, but their insurance company could then pursue you on behalf of the injured party.
Third, if you get hurt by an uninsured driver, then you may have no source of compensation unless you have your own uninsured motorist coverage. You cannot buy uninsured motorist coverage without also having liability insurance. If you wind up with large medical bills from being hit by a driver without insurance coverage, then you may have no way to pay your medical bills without having your own uninsured motorist coverage.
If you’ve decided to buy insurance, you should know that not all insurance policies are created equal. Sure, every policy has different limits, deductibles, and different types of coverage. Because so many inconsiderate motorists are driving these days without insurance, in violation of the law, it is more important than ever to have medical payments coverage (medpay) and uninsured motorist coverage. Both coverages are relatively inexpensive. Most importantly, choose an insurance company with a good reputation for paying on claims. Insurance companies are very good at selling customers a product that most are scared to use. It shouldn’t be a surprise, insurance companies make money by collecting premiums and they lose money by paying on claims. As a general rule, if the insurance company advertises on television about low premiums, they are probably not the best at paying on claims.
In the end, you really do need insurance both to protect you and your victim if you cause an accident, and to protect you if another driver who doesn’t have insurance causes harm to you.