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Do I need uninsured motorist coverage?

Since there are an estimated 1.6 million uninsured drivers on the highways and byways in Texas, it is a good idea to have that kind of coverage. ( You never know when you may be involved in a crash.

When people are involved in a collision, their first thought tends to be wanting to file a suit against the uninsured driver to recover damages. However, that is the least effective way to be fairly compensated. Even if you did win such a case, nothing is stopping the uninsured driver from filing for bankruptcy.

Drivers in the Lone Star state are required to have basic liability vehicle insurance. That does not mean that every driver complies with the law. Drivers are mandated to carry liability insurance providing $30,000 of coverage for each injured person and up to $60,000 per accident. The reality of today’s prices for hospital care and other medical care means those figures are nowhere near what the actual cost of damage and medical care would be. 

The real reason the limits are lower is that the 30/60 maximum amount an insurance company pays out would be $60,000 no matter how many people were injured. The lower the payout, the happier the insurance company.

Car owners must also carry $25,000 in property damage coverage. Again, realistically, property damage to vehicles on the road today would be astronomical. The $25,000 would be a minuscule amount toward the actual cost and/or repairs.

Another frustrating problem with uninsured driver accidents with people that do not have even the minimum insurance requirements to drive is the “named driver” policy. Those policies mean that only the named driver is covered while driving. As a result, if the owner of the car loans the car to a friend or family member, the friend or family member would not be covered by the owner’s insurance if the friend or family member gets in a wreck.

This often happens with families who have teenagers, but the family does not want to pay the high insurance rates that teenagers bring. If the named driver lets their older teen drive and the teen causes an accident, coverage likely does not apply to the collision. That means the other driver is left with no recourse to recover damages. This is a good policy for insurance companies so they do not have to pay out on accidents. However, it creates a difficult situation for those who were in a crash.

Do you need uninsured motorist coverage? Yes, it would be a good idea to protect you and your family.

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