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Uninsured Motorist Policy: Why It Pays To Have One

If you’re in a crash caused by an uninsured driver or you’re involved in a hit-and-run crash, it pays to have an uninsured motorist policy. Uninsured motorist coverage, or UM, helps you pay for damages, including injuries you or your passengers suffer, caused by a driver who doesn’t have car insurance.

Americans are driving more and more. Meanwhile, the percentage of uninsured drivers is crawling upward. Did you know 1 in 8 or about 13 percent of drivers are uninsured? Crashes, injuries, and fatalities all saw at least a 4 percent increase in North Carolina from previous years.

The possibility of being hit by an uninsured motorist is a very real concern. While collision coverage will likely pay for damage to your car if an uninsured driver hits it, your claim check will likely be reduced by the amount of your collision deductible. Health insurance will also pay for medical treatment after a car wreck, but again, it depends on your policy. It’s unwise to wait for an accident or emergency to worry about who and how everything will be paid for.

Cost of a Car Accident
Wondering how much a car accident will cost? Of course, it depends on the damage, but here are some averages that may help:

  • A windshield replacement ranges from $200 to $900.
  • A damaged bumper ranges from repair to replacement and will cost anywhere from $400 to $1,500.
  • Typical dents and dings cost about $50 and $150, but accident damage will likely be thousands of dollars.
  • Labor costs range between $75 and $150 per hour, which means labor alone can significantly inflate the cost of auto body repair.
  • The average auto liability claim for property damage was $3,231.
  • The average auto liability claim for bodily injury was $15,443.
  • Americans spend more than 1 million days in the hospital each year from crash injuries.
  • On average, each crash-related emergency department visit costs an individual about $3,300.
  • ER visits that lead to hospitalization cost about $57,000 over a person’s lifetime.

Uninsured Motorist Policy Requirements in North Carolina

North Carolina requires drivers to have uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI) as well as uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD). While this may seem like an inconvenience, it’s actually a proactive way to protect yourself, your passengers, and your property. These are relatively minor costs compared with the extensive repair or medical bills from the result of a crash. Anywhere from 20-50 million people are injured or disabled as a result of car accidents each year.

Opting into an uninsured motorist policy doesn’t drastically increase your overall bill and think about it: if an uninsured driver isn’t paying for insurance, do you think he or she will be able to cover damages after an accident? Probably not. NerdWallet analyzed car insurance rates in several states for 30-year-old motorists with clean driving records. They found that California had the highest rate increase after adding these coverage options, roughly $9 per month and Illinois had the cheapest, at around $3 extra per month.

If you think you’re a great driver and an accident will never happen to you, think again. There are a host of reasons why automobile accidents happen every day. Most accidents are caused by distracted, intoxicated, and hurried drivers. Just because you are a great driver does not mean you are able to avoid the 250,000+ accidents that happen in our state each year alone. You actually have a likelihood of being involved in four car accidents over the course of your life.

 

Main Causes of North Carolina Crashes

  • Consuming alcohol or drugs Kelly and West advice about uninsured motorist policy in North Carolina
  • Reckless driving
  • Improperly changing lanes
  • Lane departures
  • Overcorrecting
  • Crossing the centerline
  • Distracted driving
  • Tailgating
  • Improper turns
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Disregarding traffic signs

 

Most Recent North Carolina Traffic Crash Statistics

  • 1,441 persons killed per year
  • 130,137 persons injured per year
  • 267,494 traffic crashes reported per year
  • Out-of-state drivers were involved in 6.6 percent of all reported crashes

Uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory in North Carolina for limits of $30,000. There is hardly a week that goes by that we do not have clients that do not have a desperate need for uninsured motorist coverage and/or underinsured motorist coverage. We recommend to all our clients that they purchase $1 million of combined uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage. The cost of the premium is very reasonable for $1 million of coverage. That way you are protected whether the responsible driver has no insurance or simply does not have enough insurance. Either way, you and your family would then be protected up to $1 million for your injuries, death, or damages. Being involved in an automobile accident is stressful enough. Before the inevitable happens, make sure you’re properly covered.

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When Reggie Kelly and Thomas West opened their Lillington law practice 37 years ago, neither guessed they’d be in business so long. Our team is proud and thrilled to be celebrating 37 years in business this month!

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