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Have Adequate Auto Insurance? Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late to Find Out.

Sooner or later it’s bound to happen; it’s virtually inevitable. You’re stopped at a red light and the driver behind you isn’t paying attention and slams into your car. Or you’re making a left-hand turn and the motorist on your right side jumps the red light and broadsides you. Fortunately no one is seriously injured, but there is a lot of damage to your brand-new car. You’ll also need several trips to the doctor and extended physical therapy after that.

You, as a responsible driver, believe that you carry sufficient insurance should you be found at fault in an accident. But what about the driver who hit you? You hope that he or she is adequately insured. But hope doesn’t pay for auto repairs and doctor visits. In a perfect world all drivers would carry enough insurance to cover property damage and bodily injury claims in the event of an accident. Unfortunately that’s not the case. In fact, it’s estimated that 12.6 percent of drivers — roughly one in eight — is uninsured. In 2012, Oklahoma had the highest percentage of uninsured drivers at nearly 26 percent. Massachusetts had the lowest, at only four percent.

There are five different types of underinsured/uninsured motorist insurance coverage. They are:

  1. Underinsured motorist bodily injury
  2. Uninsured motorist bodily injury
  3. Underinsured motorist property damage
  4. Uninsured motorist property damage
  5. Underinsured/uninsured motorist bodily injury

The scene of an accident is no time to discover that the person who hit you does not carry enough insurance to cover the costs you’ll have to bear as a result of their motor vehicle infraction. Carrying supplemental underinsured and uninsured motorist insurance yourself is your only protection against this kind of disheartening — and potentially costly — scenario.

There is no uniform solution to the issue of underinsured motorists. In fact, not all states offer coverage for underinsured motorists, while some require it. In no-fault states, drivers look to their own insurance companies to settle claims. However, in tort states, insurance companies pay damages depending upon which driver is at fault. And to complicate matters, in those that do offer such coverage, the amounts and requirements vary significantly. What can you do to ensure that you are adequately covered should you have an accident with an underinsured driver?

While not mandatory, low-cost extended coverage to protect you in the event of an accident with an underinsured driver is available in Pennsylvania. As an insured driver it’s a simple addition to the policy you already carry. Being proactive is your best defense against having to face exorbitant costs should you have an accident with a careless, underinsured driver.