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Some techniques for dealing with un/underinsured drivers

In Virginia, all someone has to do to drive uninsured is pay the $500 uninsured motorist fee. It usually lets motorists drive for one year uninsured, and they acknowledge they will be personally liable in the case of a car crash. Of course, some drivers skip this step altogether and drive uninsured without paying $500. On the other hand, there are underinsured drivers, those who carry the minimally required amounts of insurance. They are known as underinsured motorists because in many situations, these minimum amounts do not cover actual costs.

For example, say that Driver A hits you, is at fault and has an insurance policy that gives you $25,000 in compensation for bodily injury. However, it could be that your injuries total more than $25,000. They could even run into the hundreds of thousands. Such a driver would be called underinsured. Many experts recommend that drivers have at least $100,000 worth of bodily injury coverage. If you find yourself in a situation with an uninsured or underinsured driver, there may be a few things you can do.

Your own insurance

Your own uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage should be available to help compensate you once the other driver's insurance has paid out. Of course, yours plus the other driver's might still not be enough.

You may also have other forms of insurance coverage that can help. Examples include collision coverage or medical coverage.

A third party's insurance

It could be that a third party is involved in the crash somehow. Perhaps the other driver was driving on the job, meaning that you could explore compensation from the employer. Alternatively, there could be problems with the road design or the placement of a sign, meaning that a transportation agency might have played a role in the crash.

The driver's assets

One reason why experts advise drivers to get at least $100,000 in bodily injury coverage is that they could lose assets such as their house if you sue them for inadequate insurance. If the other driver has assets, a judge may award them to you to cover your damages.

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Fairfax, VA 22030-7528

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