The basic automotive insurance required in most states is liability coverage. To legally register a vehicle and drive on public roads, licensed drivers need to present proof of insurance to the state. The liability coverage that they carry will pay for any expenses if they cause a crash. Damage to someone else’s vehicle or hospital bills from a hurt cyclist are examples of costs that liability coverage will pay.
A liability-based insurance system makes a lot of sense. It passes responsibility on to the party responsible for causing the crash and minimizes everyone’s risk of financial hardship due to driving. However, there is a real issue with the practical consequences of liability-based insurance.
You are at the mercy of the other driver
If you get hurt in a car crash despite your own pristine driving record, you might assume that insurance will pay for your hospital bills and lost wages. What you may not realize is that drivers often carry as little insurance as the state allows. Others may drive around without any coverage at all.
Whether you get hurt in a wreck caused by a driver with just $25,000 with bodily injury coverage or a driver with no coverage at all, you may have tens of thousands of dollars in expenses and no way to pay them. If you have uninsured and underinsured motorist protection on your policy, you can protect yourself from such losses.
You can make a claim against extra coverage you have paid for, but it will likely increase your premiums costs even though you were not at fault.
What if you don’t have supplemental coverage
Many drivers only come to understand the limitations of their policies after they get into a crash and discover they don’t have enough coverage. If you have already gotten into a collision caused by another driver, changing your coverage now will not help. What might help is a personal injury lawsuit. You can potentially hold the other driver accountable for any of the expenses that their insurance policy would have had to cover.
Learning more about how car insurance works and your rights after a wreck can help you manage the complexities of an insurance claim and get the compensation you deserve.