As a responsible driver, you are not only careful when you are on the road, but you carry insurance in the event of an accident. In most states, including Mississippi, you are legally required to carry at least liability insurance. You are also well advised to carry full collision insurance to cover expenses that could result from an automobile accident.
However, not everyone is as conscientious as you are when it comes to either driving carefully or carrying the insurance required by law.
A study by the Insurance Research Council noted that the numbers of uninsured and underinsured drivers has undergone an increase, mainly thanks to the current, ongoing economic downturn. Unfortunately, Mississippi has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the nation, at 22.9 percent as of 2012.
Another person's irresponsibility can become your problem if that person involves you in an accident, and he or she is at fault. If the driver who is at fault does not carry insurance, you could be stuck with the repair and medical bills that result from the accident out of your collision insurance, minus the deductible and other expenses, such as car rental. Therefore, you are well advised to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage as part of your regular automobile insurance policy.
Uninsured motorist coverage helps makes sure that your costs are taken care of if you get into an accident with an uninsured driver. The coverage will pay for your medical expenses and, sometimes, lost income, as well as pain and suffering. In some states, uninsured motorist coverage will pay for property damage, as well, though it often only covers the deductible for your collision coverage.
Underinsured motorist coverage kicks in when the driver who is at fault does not carry sufficient insurance to cover your expenses. This coverage will cover any damages that the other driver's insurance does not pay for.
Carrying uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance costs a small fraction of your overall automobile insurance bill. The cost is low, considering the peace of mind that it brings. An auto accident can happen at any time, so it is good to be prepared for it.