It’s one of those unwritten rules of driving–the first time you get into a really bad accident, the driver who causes it will be uninsured. It’s surprising that there are so many uninsured drivers on the road, since most states have some sort of mandatory insurance laws, usually with stiff penalties for uninsured drivers. Still, there are a lot of people driving without insurance and it’s important to learn how to keep yourself protected from them.
In terms of damage to your vehicle, the best way to protect yourself from uninsured drivers is to have collision insurance. Collision coverage will cover the cost of repairs to your car after an accident, regardless of who is at fault or whether or not they have insurance. Collision insurance even keeps your car protected in the event of a hit and run accident or if you cause the accident yourself.
Car damage from an uninsured motorist can be frustrating and expensive, but physical injury to yourself or someone in your car can be catastrophic. The best way to protect yourself and your passengers from the medical costs and other expenses associated with an accident caused by a driver without insurance is to have uninsured motorist insurance. This coverage is specifically designed to pay for your medical expenses when the person who caused the accident that hurt you was not insured. Another good coverage to have is underinsured motorist insurance, since just because someone has insurance, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will have enough coverage to pay for all of your costs.
It is important to note that in a "no-fault" insurance state, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is an effective type of policy to have for paying for injury expenses that stem from an accident caused by an uninsured driver. Since fault is not assigned to a driver in a no-fault state, each person involved in the accident is basically responsible for their own injury expenses, either paying them out of pocket or with PIP insurance.
Uninsured drivers are a hazard on the road, just like potholes, wet pavement or drunk drivers, and a smart driver would be wise to learn how to prepare for them. With the right combination of collision, uninsured motorist and/or PIP insurance coverage, a driver can make sure that they are protected from at least the financial damage that uninsured motorists can cause.
In the U.S., bicycles are considered vehicles, and hold the same rights on the roadways as motor vehicles do. However, because bicycles are much smaller, slower and difficult to see, motorists must take extra safety measures when sharing the road with bicyclists.
Yield Right of Way
When approaching an intersection, yield the same right of way to bicycles as you would a vehicle. According to SmartMotorist.com, approximately one in three accidents involving bicycles occur when motorists fail to yield the right of way to bicycles by either making a left turn in front of an oncoming bicycle, or pulling out from a stop sign in front of a bicycle. Always look for bicycles at intersections, and be prepared to wait for a bicyclist to pass before you proceed.
Many motorist-bicyclist accidents are avoidable by simply being aware of potential hazards. For example, although both motorists and bicyclists must obey posted speed limit signs, it is a good idea to lower your speed when approaching a bicyclist on the road. Similarly, motorists should give bicyclists plenty of space to ride, as well as anticipate potential hazards to both themselves and bicyclists. Also, be careful to follow bicyclists at a safe distance — especially during dangerous weather.
Bicyclists are equally responsible for safety when riding on public roadways, although not all bicyclists are skilled in riding safety. For example, professional riders are much more likely to understand and adhere to traffic laws and safety precautions than leisurely cyclists and young children. Though you should be careful around all bicyclists, be especially cautious around young children and riders who may be distracted by other riders cycling with them. Doing so may not only prevent a serious accident or injury, but it could save a life too.
Getting car insurance quotes online is one of the easiest ways of comparing and buying car insurance. No matter where you are, so long as you have an Internet connection with your computer, laptop or smart phone, you can go to an online comparison site and request a free quote. What follows are five frequently asked questions about requesting car insurance quotes and buying insurance online.
- Does my car insurance policy have to be in the same name as my car loan? Yes, it does. Lenders require that the person responsible for the loan provide adequate insurance for the vehicle.
- I’m learning to drive with a learner’s permit. Do I still need insurance? Yes, you do. All vehicles on the road are required by law to be properly insured, which means that even if you don’t have your driver’s license, your name should still be on the car’s insurance policy.
- Do I need underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage? This depends on your state’s minimum coverage requirements and your own comfort level. Underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage can be invaluable if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who isn’t insured.
- Can I transfer my policy when I buy a new car? Yes, all insurance carriers will be happy to transfer your policy to your new car, though you’ll probably pay higher rates for a newer car.
- Are online quotes legally binding? No, they aren’t. If you like a quote, you can take the next step in buying car insurance, which is to fill out and sign the actual paperwork.
In a perfect world, you wouldn’t need uninsured motorist coverage. But as everyone knows, the world we live in is far from perfect—and there are some people on the road that either don’t have insurance at all, or carry insufficient car insurance coverage to reimburse you for their poor judgment when your paths unfortunately collide. This is the reason why most insurance companies will strongly suggest that you get uninsured motorist coverage.
Is uninsured motorist coverage required in all states?
The majority of states don’t require you to have coverage that’ll protect you in the event you’re hit by someone without insurance, or without enough insurance to pay for the damages they’ve inflicted on you. But this doesn’t mean that it’s not a smart idea to have it.
Won’t my medical insurance cover me for medical bills?
The fast and easy answer is: yes. But by taking a closer look at what you might face, it isn’t exactly a great comfort. The bottom line is, if you have health insurance, are injured in a car accident, and you wind up racking up thousands of dollars (or more) in medical bills, you’ll be covered. However there are a couple of things it won’t pay for.
- Lost wages. Unless you’re lucky enough to be employed by someone that offers an excellent short- or long-term disability package, you could be out of luck if your medical injuries leave you unable to work while you recover. If you’re self-employed, having uninsured motorist coverage could be the very thing that keeps you afloat.
- Pain and suffering. Your health insurance only covers your medical bills. If you’re hit by someone that doesn’t have an insurance policy or doesn’t have adequate insurance, the only other way to get compensation for your pain and suffering is to sue them in court—and odds are you won’t have much luck there, especially if that person’s lack of insurance coverage is a result of their inability to pay for it. Having uninsured motorist coverage covers you for pain and suffering in this event.