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Top Tips for Handling an Uninsured Driver Accident
Although a minimum amount of liability car insurance is legally required in most states, there are still drivers behind the wheel without insurance. According to the Insurance Research Council, about 1 in 8 drivers doesn’t have auto insurance. And even though you’re a driver who follows the rules of the road, you’re still vulnerable to accidents with uninsured drivers.
We’ve laid out how to handle accidents with uninsured drivers and the best practices for filing an insurance claim — giving you the confidence and know-how to take the right steps in the event of the unexpected.
Uninsured Driver Accident: What You Should Do
Say you’re sitting at a stop light patiently waiting for the green light when suddenly you’re hit from behind — causing you some serious whiplash and probably some damage to your car. After pulling to the side of the road, you get out to assess your vehicle and talk with the driver who hit you.
The back of your car is smashed in and you’re sensing a doctor visit in the future for your aching neck. The at-fault driver looks panicked — and when you ask them for their insurance information, they tell you that they don’t have any.
No need to panic, just follow these tips on what to do if you get into an accident with an uninsured driver:
1. Call the police
If you get into a car accident, whether the other person has insurance or not, it’s always a good idea to call the police. But if you’re dealing with an uninsured driver, calling the police is even more important, since their report will help get your expenses covered and make the claims process smoother.
2. Don’t accept money
Since the other driver doesn’t have insurance, they could face some hefty fines and fees — which means they might try to offer you money to avoid legal repercussions. At this point, you have no idea what your damages or injury costs will come to, so even if it seems like a good deal, hold off and don’t accept money.
3. Swap information
Sure, they don’t have insurance information to give you, but you’ll still want to get their contact and vehicle details. Don’t forget to ask for the contact information from any witnesses as well, since their statements can also be beneficial during the claims process.
4. Gather details
Get the make and model of the vehicle involved, time and location of the accident, and the name and badge number of the responding officer. Write down any pertinent details you think could help you when working with your insurance company.
5. Take pictures
You’ll want to capture any damage done to your car and the other vehicle, the other driver’s VIN number, license plate, traffic signs and the direction each vehicle was traveling. All of these are important details that will come in handy when filing a claim.
Insurance Claims Against Uninsured Drivers
Now that you have the information you need, you’ll want to contact your insurance company to inform them of the accident. As an initial step, make sure you tell your insurance company you were hit by an uninsured driver, since that insight will affect the entire process.
Here’s where the information you collected will come into play. Have the following on hand when you call your insurance provider to make a claim:
1. Your insurance information
You’ll need your policy number handy.
2. Your notes from the accident scene
Remember all those details you wrote down? Good! You’ll be asked to provide a detailed report of how the accident occurred, so have those with you to make your report as descriptive as possible.
3. The other person’s information
In this scenario, you won’t have the other driver’s insurance information, but you can provide their name, contact information and anything else the at-fault driver gave you.
4. Police information
Since you did the right thing and called the police, now is the time to provide your insurer with the name of the police department, police officer and the police report number.
At American Family Insurance, we’ll work diligently to make sure the claims process is as smooth, convenient and hassle-free as possible. And since we think it’s best to be a step ahead, check out our in-depth guide to the claims process after an accident to help you better understand what happens when you file a claim.
Easily File and Track a Claim with the MyAmFam App
Filing and monitoring the status of your claim is simple and convenient with the MyAmFam app. Download the app today.
Were You Hit by an Uninsured Driver in a No-Fault State?
If you’re hit by a driver in a no-fault state, things will be a little different come the claims process. A no-fault state means that no matter who was at fault for the accident, it will be your insurance provider who will pay some or all of your medical bills and lost earnings. So, whether the driver has insurance or not, you’ll file the claim with your insurance company.
The Best Coverage for Accidents with Uninsured Drivers
You never know when or if you’ll have a run-in with an uninsured driver — but it could happen to anyone, at any time. The good news is there’s a way to be proactive about your protection in the event you were to be hit by someone without auto insurance.
What is uninsured motorist coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage provides protection if you get into an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance. If you have this optional coverage — it’s required in many states, but not all — your insurance provider will step in and help cover costs for bodily injuries to you and your passengers — which is typically what someone’s liability insurance does. It’ll help cover your medical costs and loss of income, among other expenses.
What if you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage?
If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, you could take the at-fault driver to court to sue for these incurred expenses. But this could take time and money with no guarantee you’ll win a settlement — so you very well could be stuck paying out of pocket for any injuries. Collision insurance coverage can be used to help fix your vehicle.
Stay Protected When the Unexpected Happens
Having uninsured motorist protection gives you peace of mind when you hit the road. Connect with an American Family Insurance agent to learn more about adding this coverage to your policy today.
You can also check out how our underinsured motorist protection can provide you with a financial safety net in the event of the unexpected.
Did you find this article helpful? You can get more helpful tips and articles all about car accidents all in one, easy-to-find location so you can be better prepared for the unexpected. Check it out here!
This article is for informational purposes only and includes information widely available through different sources.
Related Topics: Car Insurance , On The Road