On behalf of Mike Clancy
In most jurisdictions, having at least personal liability coverage is mandated by law. Failure to obtain insurance could leave a driver with a fine, but one that may not be high enough claim some individuals — like the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America’s director of auto-insurance policy, Alex Hageli.
With a minimal coverage policy costing approximately $500 per year and fines for driving without insurance ranging anywhere from $100 to $500, Hageli said some drivers choose to take the risk that getting caught will cost less. That group of “some drivers” makes up approximately 14 percent of all drivers nationwide, according to the Insurance Research Council.
This same data from the Insurance Research Council showed that the percentage of uninsured and underinsured drivers in Illinois falls just above the national average, in the 14.0 to 15.9 percentage range. In order to protect themselves, insured drivers often purchase an added policy term for around $100 per year that covers accidents involving an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Why purchase this type of coverage? When an uninsured driver or underinsured driver causes injury to another, the injured driver is left with medical bills but no insurance payout from the negligent driver to help cover the costs. The sad truth is that sometimes, even purchasing this type of coverage doesn’t guarantee that a claim will be paid. This is when injured drivers can turn to a Chicago accident attorney that deals with these situations.
Some in the insurance industry argue that this burden shouldn’t be placed on the shoulders of those that purchase adequate insurance. These individuals argue that the states need to do more.
One solution that has been suggested, and one that three states have already implemented, is the authority to take away license plates from motorists that have not purchased automobile coverage that is considered adequate under the law. This is a possible solution, but is it the best? Of course, the responses vary.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Uninsured-Driver Dilemma,” Leslie Scism, Dec. 1, 2013