Policies Are Mandatory For A Reason
Car crashes and other roadside collisions account for around 35,000 deaths each year, making auto accidents a leading cause of accidental deaths. In 2013, the number of reported traffic collisions was around 5.7 million, and that’s not counting all the minor fender-benders and all the accidents which weren’t significant enough to demand police attention.
Car insurance is mandatory throughout the United States because of this frequency of accidents and because of the cost of repairs which individuals may not be able to bear. A car can be a fairly major investment, after all, second only to a home mortgage. Adding car insurance payments to the rest of your bills is unwelcome at the best of times, but if the worst should happen you’ll be glad to have someone ready and able to cover the often surprisingly expensive repair costs of a collision.
The Added Cost Of No Insurance
On the flip side, you’ve got more to worry about than a ticket and a possible suspension should you get caught by the police without valid insurance. While a car owner’s insurance provider will usually cover their own car’s damages if it turns out the at-fault party has no coverage, the provider will then have the right to take the offender to court and have him or her pay them back for the repair bill. And since this person doesn’t have any insurance of his or her own, that would mean that he or she would have to pay the entire amount out of pocket.
Meanwhile, when it comes to accidents involving uninsured motorists, insurance companies tend to increase premiums whether or not you’re the party at fault. If they have to pay out, then you have to pay extra – it’s as simple as that. Thus, uninsured motorists tend to raise the cost of insurance premiums universally, which makes them everybody’s problem.
Occasionally, drivers have been known to carry a false or fraudulent insurance policy. These cards are easy enough to prove as fakes if the driver gets into an accident and has to pass the information on to someone else, but often it’s enough to squeak through a routine traffic stop since the police officer usually doesn’t have the time or equipment necessary to run a full check on whether or not the policy is valid.
However, some police departments are starting to address this fraudulent paperwork problem. Several departments in South Florida recently collaborated with insurance providers to provide instant policy checks to see whether drivers had insurance which was both real and up-to-date. These checks were only available for a few hours on a single day, but it was a good first step towards further coordination between police departments and insurance providers. Florida is one of the most expensive states when it comes to insurance premiums, so keeping fraud to a minimum helps everyone who keeps up to date with his or her insurance payments.
Still, if you find yourself having trouble getting the full amount you need from your insurer or the at-fault party’s insurer, you should consider hiring an auto accident lawyer. A personal injury firm which has experience with auto accidents will be used to dealing with insurance providers who often put their bottom line ahead of their clients’ peace of mind. If you choose a reputable firm, the insurer may even speed up the settlement process without much extra prodding, since the alternative to paying out has suddenly become an expensive court battle they might not win.
If you live in or around St. Petersburg, Florida, you should choose the St. Pete Lawyer. Whether you’re dealing with your own insurance or someone else’s, we’ll do everything we can to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.