Protect Yourself Against Underinsured & Uninsured Drivers


In the last week there have been several very bad car accidents on interstate 95 and interstate 91 in the New Haven CT area.  If you have spent any time driving in the area then you know that these roads are heavily congested with cars, buses, trucks and motorcycles.  Combine that with constant construction and/or bad weather conditions and you have a recipe for trouble.  It’s a safe bet that not everyone driving these highways have enough insurance to pay for damages and injuries in the event of an accident.  Our team decided we should discuss how to protect yourself from drivers who do not have enough insurance as well as uninsured drivers in CT.

Generally speaking, when you are in a car accident and someone else is at fault; that person is responsible for paying for your losses.  Most of the time that means the other driver’s insurance company will pay your bills for any property damage and medical expenses. That all works great as long as the other driver is carrying car insurance but unfortunately not everyone does. In fact across the U.S an estimated 1 in 8 motorists is driving without auto coverage, or is underinsured.  In some states this is an even bigger problem. In Oklahoma, twice as many drivers are uninsured. Every time you begin driving you are at risk of being hit by an underinsured or uninsured driver.

What should you do to protect yourself, your family and your property?  What happens if I am the victim of an uninsured or underinsured driver crashing into my car? Action Law Group is here to tell you don’t fret. . There is coverage available to protect you, your family and your passengers as well as your vehicle from drivers who don’t have enough coverage, or worse, none at all.

Connecticut law states that all vehicles need insurance but you are only required to carry liability and uninsured/underinsured coverage.  In Connecticut you are required to carry $20,000 per person and $50,000 per accident on both liability and uninsured/underinsured coverage.   The truth is this is not a lot of coverage and it can be exhausted very quickly.  Medical bills can quickly surpass $20,000 if there are serious injuries.

Let’s consider this example: Someone is driving without insurance and he or she crashes into your car.  The loss and injury caused by the other driver will be covered up by your insurance, but only up to $20,000 per person or $50,000 per accident.  If the other driver does have insurance but only the the minimum required by Connecticut state law then your insurance covers the difference.  This is the part of your insurance known as underinsured coverage.  If your medical bills, and/or liability are over the amount that is covered by both policies then you are on the hook for the remaining balance.

You should sit down and talk with your insurance agent to fully understand your current level of coverage, and figure out what coverage options are best.  If you went with the bare minimum required by Connecticut law then you are putting yourself at risk.  If you have ever been involved in a car accident then you know it doesn’t take much to surpass your coverage especially if you only have the required minimum.

If you have been involved in an accident it is best you speak to an attorney to understand your rights and obligations under the law.  Without proper legal support you may not understand what your current insurance should cover, or what the other driver’s insurance should cover. It’s also important to note that insurance companies are going to be quick to offer a settlement in their own best interest.  They are a business and like any other business they are trying to make profits.  Make sure you have someone looking out for your best interests.

To recap:

  1. Speak to your insurance rep to determine what coverage you should have on your policy to minimize risk. We recommend speaking to an independent agent as they will provide you with the best coverage at the best rate since they are not tied to one insurance company.
  2. If you are involved in a car accident speak to an attorney to understand your rights and obligations under the law. Often there are time limitations on claims so it is best to act quickly.
  3. Be sure to review your insurance policy at least once a year.  You will want to check that you have enough coverage for underinsured and uninsured drivers.
  4. Follow these steps to avoid rear-ending another car while driving on heavily traveled highways like 95 and 91.  
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