Uninsured Motorists Becoming A Roadway Fact of Life – What To Do If One Crashes Into You
Protect You and Your Motorcycle From Uninsured Motorists
It’s summer, and summer means road trips, lot’s of road trips.
You’re odds on not to be involved in an accident, but if you are, you have an entirely new challenge to face which is becoming more and more common.
If you happen to have the bad fortune to be caught up in a crash, the chances are something like one in seven that at least one of the drivers involved is uninsured, and those numbers come from the Insurance Research Council.
Hard times and the ongoing economic recession have driven the numbers of uninsured motorists ever higher as drivers look to save a few pennies here and there, and that makes the roadways more dangerous and unpredictable for us all. The estimated percentage of uninsured motorists was on a downward trend, declining four straight years before 2008, but since that time, the number of uninsured drivers has risen to 14.3 percent in 2008 and and saw a slight drop to 13.8 percent through 2009.
“The (higher) percentage of uninsured motorists is an unfortunate consequence of the economic downturn and illustrates how virtually everyone is affected by recent economic developments,” said Elizabeth A. Sprinkel, senior VP of the IRC. “Despite laws in many states requiring drivers to maintain insurance, about one in seven motorists remain uninsured.”
According to Sprinkel, the rest of us who carry insurance now bear the burden of paying for injuries caused by drivers who can’t afford to insure their vehicles.
The latest study, “Uninsured Motorists, 2011 Edition,” looks at the total number of uninsured drivers nationwide and in individual states for 2008 and 2009 based on the number of uninsured motorist insurance claims and the number of bodily injury claims.
The latest figures show that the five states with the highest uninsured driver numbers were Mississippi at 28 percent, New Mexico at 26 percent, Tennessee at 24 percent, Oklahoma at 24 percent and Florida at 24 percent.
It seems that the odds of meeting up with an insured driver are much better on the east coast. The five states with the lowest uninsured driver rates were Massachusetts at 4.5 percent, Maine at 4.5 percent, New York at 5 percent, Pennsylvania at 7 percent and Vermont at 7 percent.
Illinois checks in somewhere in the middle with at total of 15 percent of all drivers operating their vehicles uninsured. Though Illinois has a mandatory insurance law, it doesn’t mean all the drivers in the Land of Lincoln are insured.
“If you are involved in an automobile accident, no matter how minor, always ask the other party for their insurance information,” said Missy Lundberg, with State Farm Insurance Public Affairs. “Jot down pertinent information if they do not have an insurance card with them such as name, address, phone number, make and model of the vehicle, and the license plate number. Ask them directly if they have insurance. Call the police and make a police report no matter how small the loss appears.”
And by all means, complete the Illinois Motorist Report provided by the police officer. The form records any loss with the Illinois Department of Transportation, and that’s a good thing. Keep in mind that in Illinois, as in many other states, a motorist or cyclist who suffers property damage or bodily injury will ask both parties to provide proof of insurance, and that protects you if the other driver is uninsured. If other driver can’t prove they’re insured, they are required to post a bond or pay for the loss, and the state can suspend the driver’s license.
According to Lundberg, if a driver has collision, medical payments or uninsured motorist (insurance) coverage, those coverages will reimburse you for your property damage and injury claim. It’s up to the insured motorist’s insurance company to seek damages from the uninsured driver.
When you’re confronted with the need for the correct and comprehensive insurance, it’s too late to backfill. That’s why you need to make sure your coverage protects you and your motorcycle to prevent you from being left holding the bad if you suffer a dustup with an uninsured driver.
We’re the gang at Motorcycleinsurance.com, and that’s what we do.