Just about everyone besides insurance companies thinks that auto insurance is too expensive. This is especially true when the policy covers young drivers or those with spotty driving records. It makes sense that drivers who pose a greater risk would pay more, but the high cost of insurance prompts some drivers not to renew their policy or carry sufficient coverage. According to the Insurance Research Council, this adds up to one in eight drivers in 2019 being under-insured or uninsured.
This lack of coverage is against the law, and it prompts insurance companies to pass along an extra $13 billion or about $78 per vehicle in costs to drivers with insurance for injuries and property damage caused by underinsured and uninsured drivers. The one bright spot in this news is that New Jersey leads the nation with the fewest drivers without proper insurance with 3.1%. The national average is 12.6%, with Mississippi ranking highest with an eye-popping 29.4%.
What does this mean to victims?
It is bad enough to suffer injuries or property damage due to other’s negligence, but it gets worse when the victim realizes the other driver does not have proper insurance. One option is for victims to file uninsured motorist insurance (UMI) claim with their carrier. They should do this as soon as possible because there are time limits on filing a claim. The carrier will then have an adjuster investigate the claim to determine who is at fault, which could mean that they deny the claim. The other option is filing a lawsuit against the underinsured or uninsured driver. This is not the best-case scenario, but victims may still be compensated for the damages.