When the bumper of a car traveling
at a 90-degree angle to you as you enter an intersection plows into the side of
your car, spinning your car like a top and causing you to bang your head
against the doorpost, you count your lucky stars if you can walk away with only
a headache. Then you ask yourself the questions, what type of auto insurance does this erratic driver have?
Proper Auto Insurance Coverage
However, the real headache sometimes
then strikes you: The other driver was uninsured.
To some people who drive their cars
on public roads, buying auto insurance
is optional. They buy the license plates and get their vehicles inspected and
otherwise outwardly comply with the law. But they decline to carry the
insurance that most states require to reduce the risks of someone not being
able to pay for vehicular and personal damages incurred in an accident.
Some of the risk is alleviated in
states that require car owners to buy uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
However, that is just deferment: The policies are made more expensive for those
who buy the required auto insurance by those who won’t buy it.
The percentage of drivers without
insurance varies from state to state, according to the Insurance Research Council.
Drawing from 2007 data, the Council reported that New Mexico drivers were the
biggest offenders with nearly 30 percent of them neglecting to carry insurance.
On the eastern side of the United States, Florida was where car operators most
flagrantly declined to carry proper Florida auto insurance:
23 percent of motorists in the Sunshine State were uninsured.
Massachusetts drivers were the best
about buying auto insurance; just one percent lacked it, the Council reported.
Maine drivers were nearly as good, with four percent uninsured, and North
Dakota right behind with five percent.
So if you are among the majority of
Americans who buy auto insurance, good for you. The only other headache you might
experience comes during the process of filing an accident claim. The pain of
that process can be greatly reduced in advance of an accident by wisely
choosing an insurance company, the premium not always being the deciding factor
in the choice.
A responsible car owner should
thoroughly explore his choice of insurers. Examine each company’s reputation
about the speed with which claims are paid and the quality of assistance its
agents give during the traumatic period right after a collision. These factors
are at least as important as the auto insurance premium, because they represent
what is being purchased with the premium payment.