By Alice Yao | Updated June 23rd, 2020
In Washington, to legally drive on the roads, you are required to carry the state minimum Bodily Injury Liability coverage of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per occurrence and Property Damage Liability of $10,000.
But did you know? The Insurance Information Institute estimated that 17.4% of drivers in Washington State drove without insurance in 2015. This percentage is significantly higher than the national average of 13%, and ranks Washington at number 7 in the country with uninsured drivers.*
If you are on the road with only the state minimum coverage requirement and is in an accident with an uninsured driver, your insurance company will not pay for the repair of your car nor injuries resulting from the accident, regardless who's at fault.
If you happen to be in an accident where the other driver is responsible but he or she does not have an active insurance policy in place, the Uninsured Motorist coverage on your insurance policy will cover for your car repairs and your injuries from the accident.
Uninsured Motorists coverage will also take care of you if the other driver does not carry enough insurance, such as a driver who only carries the state mandated minimum requirement.
Take Washington State as an example, drivers are only required to have $10,000 minimum coverage for damages to another person's property. If you have a late model luxury sedan, $10,000 is likely below the cost to fix significant damages to your car, and certainly below the cost to replace your car if it was totaled.
Without Uninsured Motorist coverage, your insurance company will only be responsible for the specified limits on your Collision policy to fix your car. If the other driver is at fault, and the total cost to repair your car exceeds combined total of your own coverage and the other driver's coverage, you will have to independently pursue the difference with the other driver.
For all Uninsured claims, there will be a standard $100 deductible which is your out-of-pocket expense for the claim.
You may receive a reimbursement for the $100 deductible if your insurance company is successful in recovering the funds used in your payout from the responsible driver.
Uninsured Motorist coverage also provides the peace of mind of protecting you in a hit-and-run accident.
Hit-and-run happens most commonly in parking lots during a trip to a store or restaurant. It can be very frustrating to return from a store and find damages to your car, and then realizing that the other driver had taken off without leaving a note.
If this happens to you, take a deep breath and contact your insurance agent to file a claim. With Uninsured Motorists coverage, your insurance company will take care of the repair of damages to your car.
Do keep in mind that for all hit-and-run claims, there is a standard $300 deductible as your out-of-pocket expense to fix the damages to your car.
Per Washington State law, insurance professionals are required to offer Uninsured Motorist coverage to all customers. If you choose to opt out of this coverage, you will need to sign a waiver acknowledgement form.
Talk to your agent today for a comprehensive review of your policy to make sure you are properly covered.
*”Facts + Statistics: Uninsured motorists” https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-uninsured-motorists Retrieved 5.28.2020
By Alice Yao |