Few things are as frustrating as getting in a car accident. To make matters worse, imagine getting in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance! What a nightmare. Fortunately, there is hope. We asked insurance industry veteran Larry Trapani, owner of Brooks Waterburn Insurance, for his insights on this unfortunate situation. Mr. Trapani suggests the following:
In New York State, 1 out of every 6 drivers have no insurance or state minimum limits. There is a very easy way to protect yourself when choosing your insurance policy. Make sure that you have adequate “Uninsured/underinsurance. (UM)” This type of coverage will provide you benefits in the event that you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver or an underinsured driver. If you don’t have this coverage, it is very likely that you will not be able to collect damages from the other party. Most attorneys will not even take a case if the other party does not have insurance, or you don’t have sufficient uninsured/underinsurance (UM).
It is our recommendation that your Uninsured/Underinsured limits match your bodily injury limits. For example, if you have a Bodily Injury Limit of $250,000/$500,000 your UM limits should be the same. Coverage is very affordable. The additional premium to increase your limits is only about $150 a year.
Sometimes, having an accident with an uninsured driver may work out to your benefit. In that situation, if you are properly insured as recommended by Mr. Trapani, you can immediately by-pass the court system and file for arbitration. Arbitration is much faster and significantly cheaper than a lawsuit. So take Mr. Trapani’s advice, increase your UM coverage today!