Car insurance premiums are expensive, particularly if you have an imperfect driving record. Most of the time, you receive nothing substantial in return—only the promise that your provider will cover you in the event of a catastrophe. Half the time, you need to contact an auto collision lawyer in order to force the insurance company to give you the compensation you deserve.
It’s no wonder many people (particularly good drivers) question the wisdom of car insurance. Isn’t it easier to skip the costs and ditch the expensive policy? According to the Insurance Information Institute, 1 of 8 drivers does just that. Want to know why that’s a terrible idea? Here are nine reasons you really do need car insurance.
It’s the Law
It’s illegal to drive a car without insurance. Laws vary by state, but every state in the country requires some form of coverage. Even New Hampshire, the only state that doesn’t compel residents to buy car insurance, still demands proof of financial responsibility (i.e., evidence that drivers are capable of paying for an accident).
The logic behind mandatory insurance statutes is straightforward. Accidents happen. Accidents are expensive. Someone must pay for them. Most people can’t afford the out-of-pocket expenses that come with crashes. Hence, the need for some sort of insurance pool.
Breaking the Law Is Expensive
Even if you’re lucky enough to avoid an accident, you could still face financial penalties for driving without insurance. If a police officer pulls you over and discovers that you’re uninsured, he could hit you with a ticket worth thousands of dollars. Not only that, but the state may suspend your license. Keep it up, and your license could be revoked.
Finally, the police may have the right to seize and even sell your vehicle at auction. If you do decide to add insurance at the last minute to satisfy the court, your premiums will be even higher after receiving such a citation.
Without Insurance, You’ll Be a Burden to Society
People who ignore the law and drive without insurance place a heavy burden on the rest of society. When at-fault drivers have no insurance, victims have to bear the full costs. There’s a reason so many of us have to pay additional fees for uninsured motorist coverage. Refuse to provide for your own coverage, and you force others to compensate for your shortcomings.
On the bright side, insurance will cover you if the shoe is on the other foot. Say, an uninsured driver rear-ends you on the freeway and then speeds off without providing contact information. As long as you have uninsured motorist coverage, your provider will most likely cover some or all of the costs.
It Could Save You from Financial Ruin
Car insurance isn’t just good for society; it’s also good for you. If you’re covered and get into an accident with another vehicle, your insurance will pay for the other party’s property damage and medical care.
Without insurance, you’ll be on the hook for those costs. According to the National Safety Council, the average cost of a car accident can range anywhere between $9,300 and $80,700, depending on the severity of the injuries and the extent of the property damage.
Without insurance, you’ll have to bear the full burden of those costs. Few Americans have enough money on hand to pay accident expenses up front. If you’re like most people, you’ll spend years working to pay off the injured party’s bills—and that doesn’t include your own medical and property damage expenses. For some, a single accident can spell financial ruin.
Without It, You Could Lose Your Assets
As if that weren’t bad enough, there are the legal implications. The other driver could sue you for damages. If they do file a liability lawsuit, the case may go to court and the authorities could seize your assets as well as your hard-earned money. An insurance policy that comes with liability coverage will help protect you in case a judge or jury decides that you’re at fault for the accident.
Without It, You’re Gambling Your Future
Insurance is one of those rare products. It’s intangible. You don’t reap the benefits until something terrible happens. Of course, there’s a chance that nothing terrible will ever happen, but do you really want to gamble your future on that possibility?
Even the best drivers have to share the road with under achievers. Every time you step behind the wheel, you risk encountering the teenager who simply must take a selfie while driving, the busy careerist who can’t wait to put on her makeup, elderly drivers who should have given up their keys years ago, and speed demons who think they’re at the Indy 500.
In short, you may have the best driving record in the world, but you can’t always control what others do. Remember: Just because you haven’t been involved in an accident yet, doesn’t mean you’ll never hit a patch of bad luck.
It Can Supplement Your Health Insurance
Accidents frequently lead to serious or even debilitating injuries. They can be temporary, or they can last a lifetime. If you’re injured in a car accident, your health insurance may or may not cover the full cost of treatment. Auto insurance that includes a personal injury/medical provision will help supplement your health care expenses.
Nature Is Full of Surprises
Reckless or irresponsible drivers aren’t the only hazards out there. Mother Nature isn’t always friendly, either. Falling trees, floods, fires, earthquakes, hailstorms, and other forces of nature can catch you by surprise and ruin a perfectly good automobile. You never know when a bear will wander out of the woods and sit on your car while you’re hiking through the woods, or when the next flash flood will sweep away your brand-new truck. As long as you have comprehensive coverage, you won’t be left high and dry by such sneak attacks.
Life Is Full of Surprises
People don’t have to be driving to pose a threat to your car. Arsonists, vandals, and thieves can also destroy your property. Without insurance, you’ll have to pay the repair bills or, worse, the cost of a new car. As long as you have sufficient coverage, you’ll rest easy knowing that life can throw you any surprise it wants, and you’ll still make it through without financial ruin.
Types of Insurance Coverage
It’s not just about having coverage. It’s about having adequate coverage. In order to protect yourself, you should know what a comprehensive insurance policy looks like. Coverage may include:
- Bodily injury liability covers the medical expenses of other people who may have been injured in an accident you caused.
- Personal injury protection covers your medical bills in the event of an accident.
- Property damage liability covers the costs of someone else’s expenses if you damage their property.
- Collision coverage protects your damaged property if you get into a crash with another vehicle, a pole, a fence, a tree, or anything else.
- Comprehensive coverage will cover your vehicle if it is damaged by anything besides a traffic accident (e.g., acts of nature and criminals).
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage covers you in the event that another driver doesn’t have any or sufficient insurance.
When You Need a Car Accident Lawyer
If you’re in a car accident, insurance is indispensable. Since you never know when or if a collision is going to happen, it’s important to be prepared. Of course, insurance isn’t a panacea. Insurance companies don’t always deal fairly. Sometimes they’re downright stingy, refusing to make a payout even when the case is seemingly cut and dried. When that happens, there’s no substitute for an experienced car wreck lawyer. An auto collision lawyer knows how to get the insurance company’s attention and negotiate an equitable settlement.
If you have to sue the other driver in order to collect damages, you’ll need an auto accident attorney to help you through the legal process. Even if the facts are clear, the law can be complex. Legal procedures can be a headache.
At the vehicle accident law firm of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., we can help you sort through the facts of the case, make sound legal decisions, and secure the most advantageous settlement. Whether you’re dealing with your own insurance company, negotiating with the other driver’s provider, or filing a lawsuit, we can guide you through every step of the process.
Contact Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P. at any time of the day or night to schedule a FREE legal consultation with one of our top car wreck attorneys.