How to protect yourself from uninsured drivers

When you buy auto insurance, you probably assume it's sufficient to cover your losses in the event of a car accident. You may also assume that other drivers on the road likewise have insurance. But what if you get into accident with a driver who's not insured, or who doesn't have enough coverage?

These situations present a whole new ballgame. Unless you have the right type of coverage, you might end up empty-handed, despite the fact that you had auto insurance.

Uninsured drivers are more prevalent than you think

According to some estimates, approximately 1 out of every 8 drivers does not have adequate insurance. This is a scary number for any responsible driver. Not only do other drivers have the ability to seriously harm you in the event of an accident, but they can also expose you to significant financial loss.

How do you protect yourself from the risk of uninsured drivers? The answer is to make sure you have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.

How UIM coverage works

This add-on to your regular policy will fill in the gaps of the other driver's insufficient (or nonexistent) coverage. In other words, whatever amount the at-fault driver can't pay, either out of pocket or through their insurance, will be covered up to the policy limit. The benefits of this coverage also extend to family members and passengers, so long as they don't have a conflicting insurance plan.

Why it often gets overlooked

Many drivers don't get UIM coverage simply because they aren't aware of it. They don't realize the risk posed by uninsured drivers, and they don't understand that their regular auto insurance won't be enough in these unfortunate situations.

Ohio law doesn't require drivers to have UIM coverage. However, given the low average price tag for this coverage, it's well worth it to make sure you're protected.

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