Approximately One Out of Every Seven Drivers On The Road Is Uninsured- Protect Yourself!
Posted on Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 at 11:06 am
The Insurance Research Council estimates that nearly 1 out of every 7 drivers on the road is uninsured. That is roughly 15%, which is a staggering number. Additionally, in Pennsylvania, drivers only need to have $15,000 of motor vehicle liability insurance coverage, which means that their insurance will only pay up to $15,000 in damages if they are at fault in causing an accident. Considering the amount of time that most of us spend either driving our own vehicles or as passengers in other vehicles, these are concerning numbers that must be addressed.
Let’s start first with the uninsured motorists on the road. Our attorneys represent hundreds of individuals each year who have been injured as a result of motor vehicle accidents. Many of our clients suffering debilitating injuries resulting in significant loss of earnings, as well as pain and suffering, among other things. Unfortunately, given the statistics mentioned above, approximately 1 out of every 7 of our clients is struck by a driver who does not have any insurance. What this means for our client is that unless our client has uninsured motorist coverage with his/her own motor vehicle insurance company, our client likely isn’t going to recover any money whatsoever to compensate him/her for wage loss, pain and suffering or anything else. It is extremely disheartening to have to tell a client that because the other driver was uninsured and because our client didn’t purchase uninsured motorist coverage he/she will not be compensated at all. Most of our clients didn’t even know that purchasing uninsured motorist coverage was even an option. That is because insurance companies and their agents don’t want you to have this coverage, even though it is very affordable for most individuals and families. Why-because this coverage can only result in your insurance company potentially paying out more money on your claim to you, and insurance companies don't like to do that!
Now let’s turn to underinsured motorist coverage. It bears repeating that in Pennsylvania a driver need only have $15,000 in motor vehicle liability insurance coverage. Assume that you are involved in a car accident and you are out of work for a year as a result, suffering a loss of wages of $50,000. The accident was the other driver’s fault. Unfortunately, like most drivers on the road, the other driver only has $15,000 in coverage and doesn’t have any assets or money worth pursuing. This means that unless you have underinsured motorist coverage you are only going to receive $15,000 from the other driver’s insurance company, resulting in a net loss of $35,000 to you (without even factoring in pain and suffering and other harms and losses). Once again, most of our clients unfortunately do not have underinsured motorist coverage either. To give an example-assume that in the example above you have $100,000 in underinsured motorist coverage. In that situation, you will be able to recover the $15,000 from the other driver's insurance and then recover up to an additional $100,000 from your own insurance company through this coverage, depending on the value of your claim. In this situation you would likely be fully protected.
We will address the issue of limited tort vs. full tort coverage another day. Suffice to say that for now, we encourage each and every one of you to contact your insurance agent and find out whether you have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, and if not, how much additional money it will cost to obtain this coverage. The answer will likely surprise you (in a good way). Protect yourself, and your family and make sure you have the proper coverage.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of motor vehicle accident, or have questions regarding the coverage you presently have under your car insurance policies, please call one of the experienced attorneys at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC for a free consultation. We are just a phone call away at (215) 875-7030.