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If you’re going to be out on the road, auto insurance is a requirement. However, with the recent economic downturn, people have had to make some tough choices in their budgets and changes to their spending habits. Unfortunately, important expenses—like insurance—may sometimes get cut. What happens if you get into an accident with someone who has had to cut auto insurance coverage?
What to do in case of a car accident—no matter what
If you’re in a car accident, these steps should always be followed first, even if the other party doesn’t have insurance and would prefer you not call the police. There is too much money at stake to risk making a misstep. Hidden damages can be discovered after the fact, and you want to have a police report to back your claim.
When you have an accident with someone who has insurance, the law and terms of your insurance policies will determine who is at fault and how damages are paid.
But if the other driver does not have insurance, you will need to have supplemental uninsured/underinsured motorists (SUM) coverage on your car insurance policy in order to best handle the situation.
What is SUM coverage?
SUM coverage protects you (and your passengers) in the case of injury, property damage, or death as a result of an accident with a driver who doesn’t have liability insurance. This coverage also protects you if a driver’s insurance isn’t sufficient to cover him or her. Additionally, uninsured motorist coverage protects you in case of an accident with a hit-and-run driver.
If you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver, you may initially think you’re going to be on the hook for the costs. However, some states have laws that will protect you. Here in New York, for example, it is mandatory that your auto insurance policy includes SUM coverage, which can save you from a financial hardship—the very purpose of insurance.
For this reason and many more, it is important to understand your auto insurance policy and review your insurance policy to ensure you are adequately protected in case of a car accident. Call your agent today!
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Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.