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Are you protected if you collide with an uninsured driver?

You pay your motor vehicle insurance premium every month. Therefore, you expect to have adequate protection and coverage if you end up in a serious collision while driving. Many people don't understand that basic liability policies don't offer them any direct protection. Your motor vehicle policy won't repair your vehicle or pay for your medical bills. Instead, it covers any damages you are liable for if you cause a crash with another driver.

That means when another driver is responsible for a collision, your bills get paid by that person's insurance policy, not yours. If that other driver does not have an active insurance policy, however, that could leave you in a difficult situation. You may be unable to work and have medical bills stacking up.

Uninsured driving is a serious issue in Mississippi

According to state officials, as many as 25 to 30 percent of drivers in Mississippi are uninsured at any given time. That means that when you get into an accident, you have a serious risk of dealing with a driver who has no protection or coverage against the liability involved. An uninsured driver could cause you permanent damage and leave you without any compensation for your injuries, suffering and lost wages.

While Mississippi can crack down on these uninsured drivers, change in enforcement is slow. There are still thousands of drivers without insurance, and you pass many of them every day on your regular commute to work. It only takes a second for a bad decision by an uninsured motorist to change your day, and potentially, your life.

You may need to enhance your own insurance policy

One of the best ways to reduce your risk of unpaid collision-related expenses is to review your own insurance policy. Adding riders for uninsured and underinsured motorists can protect you if you ever collide with one. These riders are not very expensive, but the peace of mind they provide is priceless.

While uninsured drivers are the biggest risk, underinsured drivers are also a probmle you shouldn't ignore. Far too many people carry the least possible amount of insurance coverage the law allows. That can limit how much compensation you receive in the event of a crash. Many of these policies have property damage limits well below the cost of actually replacingI a car. The bodily injury coverage could fall short of covering your costs, especially if you require surgery, an extended hospital stay or physical therapy.

You shouldn't have to fight for compensation when someone else is responsible for a major collision. If you end up hurt by a driver without insurance, you shouldn't have to face overwhelming financial issues on top of medical ones.

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