According to statistics compiled by the Insurance Research Council last year, the nationwide rate of uninsured drivers in the United States rose from 12.3 to 13 percent from 2011 to 2015, although actuaries believe this rate could be higher since it does not take into account unlicensed drivers who may only drive sporadically. As of 2018, Florida is where most uninsured drivers are concentrated. Fortunately, things are better in California thanks to the state’s low-cost auto insurance program that has been in place since 1999, but this does not eliminate the risk of getting into an accident with a driver who lacks adequate coverage. Here are a few things to do should you ever find yourself in this situation.
Take Care of Injuries
First things first: emergency services should be contacted if any driver, passenger, or pedestrian is injured. Keep in mind health insurance policies often cover medical emergencies even if an uninsured driver is involved.
Report the Accident to the Police
You are always better off calling the police when you get into a car accident, particularly when you know or suspect the other driver is not insured. In fact, this is how most people find out uninsured drivers are involved since police officers will invariably request to see proof of insurance. It is always easier to go through the claims process when accident reports are available.
Use your smartphone to document the damage caused to all vehicles and private property. Make sure to take photos of the surroundings and any skid marks caused by forceful braking.
You should try to corroborate the information on the accident report by talking to the other driver, passengers, and witnesses. This would be a good time to inquire about other types of insurance the driver might have. For instance, he or she may be a business owner or self-employed professional covered by commercial auto insurance in San Diego.
Contact Your Insurance Company
After reviewing the circumstances of the accident, your coverage and the involvement of an uninsured driver, your insurance company will tell you how to proceed. If you only have basic coverage, chances are you will be stuck with covering your damages out of pocket or else paying a considerable deductible. You may also want to contact an attorney to weigh your options in a lawsuit. However, if the uninsured lacks a policy because he or she is unable to afford it, the possibility of recovering damages may be slim.
Adjust Your Coverage
In San Diego, car insurance options include coverage to protect you in case of accidents involving drivers who are uninsured or whose policy limits may not be adequate. Adding an uninsured motorist clause to your policy could be more affordable than you think, and it may also be included as part of a full or comprehensive auto insurance policy.
If you want to know if you’re covered in the event of an accident with an uninsured driver, get in touch with American Tri-Star in San Diego. Car insurance quotes are just a click away, or you can speak with one of our friendly agents at 619-272-2100. We hope to hear from you soon.