Even though the law requires people to have insurance in Texas many drivers on our roads drive without it. If one of these uninsured drivers causes you to have an accident you can’t make a claim to their insurance company because they don’t have one. So what happens if they wreck your car or worse wreck you car and hurt you. Do you have any options. Well, one is to sue the other driver but as the old saying goes “you can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip”. Yes, you will probably win a judgement but you will never see any money.
According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), nearly 13% of motorists, or about one in eight drivers, were uninsured in 2014. Most don’t get it because they can’t afford it.
The states with the highest portions of uninsured drivers are:
- Oklahoma: 26 percent
- Florida: 24 percent
- Mississippi: 23 percent
- New Mexico: 22 percent
- Michigan: 21 percent
- Tennessee: 20 percent
- Alabama: 20 percent
- Rhode Island: 17 percent
- Colorado: 16 percent
- Washington: 16 percent
The good news is that due to a recent law the number of uninsured drivers is going down in Texas. For decades about 20-25% of drivers were uninsured. But thanks to a new program that rate has fallen to about the national average of between 13%-14%. Its called TexasSure which is cleaning up the database on the state nearly 20 million licensed drivers. Now, to get your inspection sticker and vehicle registration you have to show proof of insurance. Still, 13 percent of motorists is still about 2.6 million Texans that are driving without minimum insurance coverage in violation of state law.
So What Can You Do To Protect Yourself and You Family
It’s called collision coverage and uninsured motorist protection or in the insurance business it’s known as UM/UIM coverage. The UM stands for uninsured and the UIM stands for underinsured. It works like this…
Say you go out and purchase both collision coverage and $100,000 in UM/UIM coverage. Then one day, you are hit and hurt by an uninsured driver. Usually you would make a claim against their insurance company to fix your car and pay your personal injury damages but the other driver does not have insurance. So, you make a claim under your collision coverage with your own insurance company to fix your car and a claim under UM/UIM to pay for your personal injury damages. Now that doesn’t mean in any accident where you are hurt that your insurance company is going to pay you $100,000. That means that you can collect up to $100,000 in damages from you own insurance depending on the nature and extent of your injuries that were caused by the fault of the uninsured driver.
I carry UM/UIM coverage on my family vehicles. I complain about the premium payments sure. But I sleep better knowing me and my family are protected in case we are hit by an uninsured driver.