Many people wrongly assume that if they have an active motor vehicle insurance policy, they have protection from the financial consequences of any kinds of crash, especially one they do not cause themselves. In reality, however, you could find yourself in a difficult position financially after a crash if it resulted from the actions of someone without an insurance policy or a policy without adequate coverage.
Even if you have basic liability insurance, you may need additional coverage, such as bodily injury protection, personal injury protection for passengers, collision coverage to offset damage to your vehicle and more. Reviewing your coverage regularly is a smart decision. Adding riders to your policy to protect you in case of a crash with an uninsured driver is also a good idea.
Laws are changing, but the process is slow
The state of Mississippi has struggled in efforts to reduce uninsured drivers on the road. In 2012, lawmakers created a new policy that required computer insurance verification for anyone stopped by law enforcement.
The system finally went live in September, 2017, only to have law enforcement realize there was an issue preventing any kind of enforcement action. Lawmakers have had to pass extensions on the law during software development.
Driving without insurance is a big issue in Mississippi
There was a mistake in the most recent extension that referred to uninsured driving violations as civil infractions instead of criminal infractions. This leaves law enforcement unable to take steps to enforce the insurance mandate. That presents a real issue, because the state estimates that between 25 to 30 percent of state drivers do not carry active insurance as required by law.
State lawmakers are already taking steps to correct this issue, creating a $300 fine for those driving without insurance for a first offense, a $400 fine for second offenses and $500 fines for all subsequent offenses. Driving without insurance is such a big issue in Mississippi that lawmakers estimate these fines could generate up to $10 million in revenue each year.
Uninsured drivers could leave you in a financial nightmare
Getting into a crash is a serious issue. There are concerns with medical injuries and costs, as well as the expense involved in repairing or replacing your vehicle. You may also lose out on wages while you recover from the collision. In some cases, you may not ever be able to return to work. Sadly, if the person who caused the crash does not have insurance, that could leave you with only a fraction of the protection you need.
The cost of riders offsetting your risk in a crash involving an uninsured or underinsured driver is minimal, especially compared to the potential risk involved in such a crash. Upgrading your insurance policy can give you peace of mind and reduce the risk of becoming financially vulnerable after an accident.