Two things to know about uninsured motorist coverage in Connecticut

Getting into a car accident is a frightening experience. Even a relatively minor fender bender can be frustrating. Those involved in these accidents may try to ease their frustrations with the comfort that the other driver is supposed to have insurance.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

The most recent data from the Insurance Information Institute shows that 8 percent of motorists in Connecticut are driving without any insurance coverage at all. That means the bill for the thousands of dollars to replace your bumper and align your tires plus the responsibility for the cost of the medical bill to check out the whiplash from the relatively minor car accident could fall on you.

Doesn’t Connecticut state law require drivers to have insurance?

The short answer is yes, state law requires drivers to have insurance. More specifically, state law requires $20,000 for bodily injury coverage, $40,000 for property damage liability and $10,000 for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

Unfortunately, not every driver abides by this law.

What’s a driver to do?

Fortunately, there are proactive steps drivers can take to protect themselves from financial ruin in the event of an accident with another driver who does not have proper coverage. One involves use of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

It is helpful to have a basic understanding of this form of coverage. Two of the more common things to be aware of involving uninsured and underinsured coverage in Connecticut include:

  • Uninsured and underinsured drivers in Connecticut are not uncommon
  • State law requires only minimal coverage

Uninsured and underinsured drivers are not uncommon

Unfortunately, as noted above not only are these drivers common – the number appears to be growing.

The rate of uninsured motorists reportedly increased significantly in recent years. A publication by the Insurance Journal discusses this issue. The piece points out that there was a huge increase in the amount victims had to pay to cover the costs associated with an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver. In 2012, $2.6 billion dollars was paid to cover these claims; this translates to a 75 percent increase over the rates studied from 2003 to 2012.

Uninsured motorist coverage and Connecticut state law

The costs associated with an accident, such as damage to your vehicle and medical bills if injured, can quickly surpass the minimum coverage requirements noted above. Drivers can supplement their insurance policies with uninsured/underinsured policies.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is defined by Connecticut’s Insurance Department as “coverage that covers bodily injury to you, your relatives who live with you and your passengers if they are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist, a motorist whose bodily injury liability limits are less than your uninsured/underinsured motorist limits or a hit-and-run driver.”

Essentially, this is coverage on your policy that provides coverage when the other driver cannot pay for the costs connected with the accident.

Victims can also negligent drivers accountable for the costs of an accident through a personal injury suit. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss this option.