Oklahoma has some of the highest numbers of uninsured drivers in the nation. The number of uninsured motorists has declined in recent years but is over 10 percent. Auto insurance is in place to cover medical and auto body costs if an accident occurs. But what if the driver who hits your vehicle doesn’t have insurance, what to do?
If there are none or minor injuries, steps should then be taken to determine and address an uninsured driver. First, note the time of the accident and either write it down or take a photo with your phone’s camera. Also, the same should be done to record location of the accident.
Next, gather information from the driver. If they reveal they are not insured, you should ask for a full name, birth name, current address, employer, phone numbers, email address and finally take a photo of their driver’s license. And if they do not own the vehicle, collect the same information for the owner of the vehicle.
If there is a hit and run, try to capture the car on your phone and at the very least be sure to remember their plate number.
It is always best to involve the police when your vehicle is hit by an uninsured driver. After determining the other driver is uninsured, call the police as quickly as possible so the police can help to gather information, but most importantly, make a report of the incident.
As you wait for the police to arrive, you can gather any contact information from any witnesses that stayed around to assist. This is also a good time to take photos of the surrounding area and the vehicles involved, including damage photos. All information collected will answer questions and help to resolve any issues with your insurance or any civil suits.
Now is the time to discuss your insurance coverage with your agent…after reading this and BEFORE an accident happens. Get to know your coverage. How much damage is covered if you are at fault? How much medical do you have? Ask about uninsured motorist coverage and what is covered. Also, is your coverage enough for the average accident? Car prices go up quicker than state minimums for coverage. Are you going to come up short?
If you are unfortunately involved in an accident with an at-fault, uninsured driver, your vehicle can still be repaired with your insurance coverage. Your insurance provider will help you file a claim. Any claim will result in a loss of deductible and other costs such as a rental car. These costs can possibly be recovered by suing the other driver in civil court.
It is Oklahoma state law to have auto insurance. When a vehicle is financed or leased, the banking institutions will require more coverage, but a vehicle that is paid off is only required to carry liability insurance. Not all drivers follow the rules, so protect your investment with adequate insurance and collecting all relevant information after an accident.