If you are a smart, safe driver, your car insurance will be up to date and provide you full coverage against all damage. But not everyone has the wherewithal or the foresight to purchase car insurance. Or, if they do have car insurance, it may not cover all the damage incurred in an accident.
Facts: Did you know that roughly 1 out of every 7 drivers in the U.S. don’t even have basic car insurance? That’s roughly 14% of U.S. drivers operating a vehicle on the road without insurance.
So what do you do if you find yourself in a collision with a driver who DOESN’T have car insurance? How do you proceed?
First of all, you check both vehicles to make sure no one is injured. Make sure both vehicles (and the passengers) are in a safe place. That means you may need to pull to the side of the highway, or out of the middle of the road. If it’s safe, take a few pictures of the accident site to give the insurance company a clear idea of what occurred.
Call 911 to request an ambulance for injured passengers or drivers, and let the police know about the accident. As the emergency services are on the way, check the vehicles for signs of damage. Take pictures with your phone or a camera, getting as many details of the vehicular damage as possible. Don’t forget to get a picture of their license plate. After this, call your insurance company.
ALWAYS ask to see the other driver’s license and insurance, and offer them yours. Write down what happened in the accident, exactly the way you remembered it. If there are witnesses to what happened, ask them to come and give their statement when the police arrive.
The uninsured driver may be uncomfortable giving you their name or information, considering they are driving without insurance–something that will incur a penalty. The penalty becomes even more serious if they were speeding or someone got seriously injured in the accident.
When the police arrive, they will try to ascertain who is at fault. If you are at fault, your insurance company will cover the damages to the vehicles.
However, if the uninsured motorist is at fault, there are two things that could happen:
1) Your insurance will cover the cost of the repair to your vehicle. This only happens if you have under-insured or uninsured motorist coverage.
2) Your insurance will cover the cost of the repair to your vehicle, but they may try to recover damages from the person responsible for the accident. Essentially, the insurance company may sue the driver, and you may need to appear in court to testify.
In either case, your insurance will work with the police to handle everything. All that matters is that YOU have full coverage–ensuring that you can have your vehicle repaired regardless of who is at fault or whether or not the other driver has insurance.