If you crash with an uninsured motorist, what happens? Who pays for medical and property damage? Insurance companies will still seek you for compensation if you don’t have insurance. If you drive without insurance, you need to know the repercussions. Insurance companies can pursue uninsured drivers for damages in many ways. In this post, we’ll examine how insurance companies target uninsured drivers and How do insurance companies go after uninsured drivers?.
How do insurance companies go after uninsured drivers?
Unfortunately driving without insurance is a reality in many states. As per the Insurance Information Institute, about 13% of drivers in the United States didn’t have insurance in 2019? This situation not only puts law-abiding drivers at risk but also creates a challenge for insurance companies who have to shoulder the financial burden caused by uninsured drivers.
Now, insurance companies do have a way to address this. They use a legal process called “subrogation.” Sounds technical, right? Let me explain it in simpler terms. Imagine you’re in a car accident and the other driver who is at fault doesn’t have insurance. Your insurance company will step in to cover your medical bills and car repairs. But they don’t just absorb these costs. They attempt to recover the money from the uninsured driver through subrogation. This process helps the insurance company to reduce its losses and ensuring that the premiums for insured drivers don’t skyrocket.
However, it’s not always smooth sailing. Going after uninsured drivers can be tough and sometimes costly, so insurance companies weigh their options carefully before pursuing this route. It’s all about finding a balance and ensuring that responsible drivers are not unfairly burdened.
When do insurance companies go after uninsured drivers?
When it comes to uninsured drivers, insurance companies often have to make some tough calls.
So, when do insurance companies decide to take action? Mainly in two scenarios:
- Collision Coverage: If you’re in an accident and it’s not your fault, this coverage helps pay for the repairs to your car. Now, if the other driver is uninsured then your insurance company will cover the costs initially. But they might go after the uninsured driver to get back the money spent on fixing your car.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage: It steps in when you’re hurt or your property is damaged by a driver who doesn’t have enough (or any) insurance. Your insurance company covers your medical bills, lost wages, and more, and then they might try to reclaim these costs from the uninsured driver.
Even if you have these coverages, your insurance company might not always take legal action against the uninsured driver. Why? Well, sometimes the other driver might not have enough money or assets to cover your damages. In such cases, your insurance company might settle for a lesser amount or even decide it’s not worth the effort to pursue the payment.
It’s all about weighing the pros and cons. Insurance companies want to make sure that responsible drivers like you aren’t left holding the bag, but they also have to be practical about what they can realistically recover.
What can you do if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver?
If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being in an accident with an uninsured driver, don’t worry!
- Ring up the Police: Call the police right after the accident. This isn’t just about following the rules; it’s about getting an official record. Make sure to get a copy of the police report and jot down the other driver’s details like their name, address, phone number, and license plate number.
- Snapshot Time!: Whip out your smartphone and start clicking pictures. Capture the accident scene, the damage to your car, and any injuries you might have. These photos will be super handy later on. Also, if there are any kind souls around who witnessed the accident, get their statements and contact details. The more info, the better!
- Call Your Insurance Buddy: Next up, reach out to your insurance company and file a claim. Share all the details and evidence you’ve gathered. If you have collision coverage or UM/UIM (Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist) coverage, your insurance company will cover your losses and handle the tricky part of getting the money back from the uninsured driver.
- Lawyer Up?: Thinking about suing the uninsured driver for extra compensation? It’s a good idea to have a chat with a lawyer. They can give you the lowdown on your case and what steps you should take. Just keep in mind, though, suing someone without any assets or income might end up being more hassle than it’s worth.
Remember, while it can be a bit of a headache dealing with accidents, especially with uninsured drivers, following these steps will make sure you’re well-protected and on the right track to getting things sorted. Stay calm, and you’ll navigate through it just fine!
What steps do insurance companies take to locate uninsured drivers?
1. Checking DMV Records
Insurance firms can examine DMV details, including vehicle registration and driver’s license status. They can check for uninsured drivers using this information.
Check Police Records
Police reports are the first place insurance companies look for uninsured drivers. After an accident, the police will report all drivers’ identities and contact information. This allows insurance providers to contact the uninsured driver and acquire their insurance details.
2. Utilizing License Plate Recognition Technology
License plate recognition technology can help discover uninsured drivers for insurance firms. The driver’s insurance status is determined by comparing license plate photos to a database of registered automobiles.
3. Working with Law Enforcement Agencies
Insurance companies and law enforcement regularly work together to find uninsured drivers. If a driver is uninsured, police can check their database using license plates and driver’s licenses.
4. Conducting Surveys and Market Research
Insurance firms may conduct surveys and market research to discover locations with high uninsured drivers. They can target uninsured drivers with this information.
5. Offering Incentives for Reporting Uninsured Drivers
Policyholders who report uninsured drivers may receive incentives. This may involve discounts on insurance premiums or other perks.
6. Using Social Media and Public Records
Insurance firms can find uninsured drivers using social media and public information. They may look up the driver’s car or contact info to check insurance.
7. Using Private Investigators
Insurance companies may use private investigators to find uninsured drivers. These investigators can monitor the driver’s location and insurance status.