Interviewer: How does one get compensated when the at-fault driver has no insurance?
Daniel Hoarfrost: That’s what’s known as an uninsured motorist claim.
Uninsured Motorist Claim: You Are Covered through Your Own Auto Insurance
And assuming you have insurance yourself, which you’re supposed to have, it’s basically automatic coverage. If you’re injured as a result of someone else’s negligence in a car accident and that other driver doesn’t have insurance—then your own policy provides coverage as if they were the insurance company for the other driver.
Frequently people are reluctant to bring those claims because it’s against their own policy and they think that it’s somehow going to affect their premiums and insurance rates. However, it doesn’t because, by definition, the accident was caused by the other driver and so your own company doesn’t hold it against you.
It’s just part of the coverage that you are paying for when you’re paying your own premiums. Some of the tricky aspects of uninsured motorist claims are that it is automatic coverage as far as personal injury goes.
If You Do Not Have Collision Coverage, Your Insurance Will Not Cover Property Damage
But if there’s property damage and you don’t have what’s called collision coverage which covers property damage, the policy doesn’t automatically cover an uninsured motorist situation for the property damage.
So it’s a little bit extra coverage that you have to purchase and it’s something that you should be talking about with your insurance agent when you’re lining up your insurance coverage.
Hit and Run Accidents Are Also Similar to an Uninsured Motorist Claim
Interviewer: What would happen in a hit and run situation? Would that be similar to the uninsured motorist claim?
Daniel Hoarfrost: That is basically an aspect of an uninsured motorist claim. The only real difference is that most policies, in fact all policies require that you file a police report in that situation. This is so the authorities have an opportunity to investigate the claim.
And if they can identify a perpetrator the insurance company basically has an opportunity to try to recover their money back from the other driver.