With about 6 million accidents per year in the United States, there are bound to be a few without insurance. More than a few, about 13% of all drivers in the nation drive without insurance.
If you get into an accident, hopefully, you never do, with any of those drivers you will be glad you learned how the uninsured motorist property damage regulations work
How to Process Uninsured Motorist Property Damage
There are Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverage, each providing coverage to you and your passengers only changing dependent on those involved.
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) — coverage for any harm caused to a driver or passenger(s) by an at-fault driver with no proper coverage
- Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) — this is coverage for any damage done to car and property by a driver that is not properly covered by insurance
- Underinsured motorist bodily injury (UIMBI) — an at-fault driver that has coverage but can not cover costs and various charges
- Underinsured motorist property damage (UIMPD) – property damage caused by an at-fault driver that has coverage but not enough liability coverage
Because regulations change by the state you must verify any differences in coverage based on your state of residence.
Many states allow for uninsured motorist insurance to provide coverage for these types of accidents as a hit-and-run does not allow for the exchange of insurance information.
This is not a nationwide regulation and you need to confirm your details with your insurance provider. Often if a state does not follow this practice, collision coverage can be used for repairs and costs.
While you need to gather as much information as you can, if you can, safety is essential. There are a few helpful things to do to make the claims process go more smoothly:
- Write down all details that you can. The smallest pieces of information can always be helpful. The more the better!
- If there were any eyewitnesses do ask for contact information if you can
- Take pictures of everything that you can
- Contact both the police and your insurance company.
The process is fairly close to how you handle a standard accident of this type with the added difficulty of having to track the “at-fault” down.
- Contact Police
No matter the terms of the situation it is important that you notify the police of an accident, even if both sides have proper insurance coverage.
However, when dealing with someone that doesn’t have insurance or even simply underinsured it is much more important than a police officer is called and takes record of the situation.
A police report will help the claim process and help you recover expenses much easier.
- Do Not Accept Money on Site
This is a desperation method being made by the driver at fault. They may not know the exact penalties of driving uninsured but they know that they are in trouble, beyond simply getting into an accident.
By accepting money you take future claim chances off the table. At the moment quick cash may be tempting but your costs will likely be more than what the person wants to throw at you at the scene.
Wait for the process to finish with your insurance company.
- Collect as Much Evidence as Possible
Being parked and away from other traffic allows you to take a record of any details you need for photo evidence. The more of this you have the easier the claim process continues to be.
You will want to take pictures of; your car, their car, license plates, any signs surrounding the area, any damage to anything surrounding the incident, and most importantly many of the damage.
- Exchange Information
This does not just mean insurance information and in this case, there is no insurance information to share.
You must make sure to get contact information, address, and all details about the car that you can. That includes make, model, and license plate.
The police have all this information but it is important for the claim and can be useful to have in your record to ensure accountability.
- Verify Coverage and Contact Insurance Company
A strategy is formed with your insurance company dependent on your coverage and the circumstances of the accident. If you carry the proper uninsured driver coverage it will be easy to move forward.
However, without said coverage, the insurance company will still be able to aid you in what steps you should take next to resolve the situation.
- File Claim
The sooner the better when it comes to filing a claim with immediately after the accident is the best. You have all the information you will need when you leave the site the only question is how to use it.
While there are specifics that an agent from your company will be able to help you with, a large part of what is required for filing an insurance claim is standardized through the DMV
- Plan Consult With Attorney
An important step to take after all the administrative work is done is to contact an attorney about scheduling a consultation to determine if you require further services.
These property damage attorney services will include determining if further legal action would be a wise course of action or if there has been a settlement or claim that you were fairly awarded.
If you have any concerns as you near the end of the process it is a wise idea to get in touch with attorneys that specialize in property damage.
Education Makes Processing the Accident Easier
Dealing with any level of an auto accident is something no one wants to have to deal with and the trouble of dealing with police reports and filing claims only makes it worse. Adding on uninsured motorist property damage only makes it worse.
But when you know what to do and how to do it the process becomes so much easier, you can lift the stress off your shoulders. You already had the pain of the experience. Getting what you deserve shouldn’t be just as bad.
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