What Happens if you Get Hit by Someone Without Insurance?Return to FAQ Videos
Sometimes we get questions from potential clients who come in and say, “Well, the other driver didn’t have insurance”. And we see this from time to time, despite that it’s a state law that all drivers have insurance.
There’s a couple things that are very important to remember. First of all, you have to look at whether the driver actually owns the car because the insurance on the car itself is going to be primary. But, secondarily, we need to look at your own insurance policy, what we call UIM coverage. A lot of people ask me, “Well, I don’t want to make a claim against my own insurance company, the wreck wasn’t my fault.” And I remind them, well that’s the whole reason you’re purchasing UIM insurance is for that circumstance where the other side is not playing by the rules and has not purchased insurance.
When you have purchased UIM insurance, your insurance company will step in and take the shoes over, take the place of the at-fault driver who failed to get the right insurance. So, it’s critically important that you evaluate your own insurance, to see if UIM coverage is available to you. And that can be, not only on your own policy but through any member of your household in Texas. So, this is an option that your agent has presented you with, whether you want to purchase such things as PIP or UIM, and it’s very important to know whether or not you have it.
Now, there are some hoops you have to jump through in order to obtain a UIM recovery. For instance, UIM means uninsured motorist protection, meaning the other side doesn’t have insurance. And It also means underinsured motorist protection, meaning they don’t have enough insurance. And in the case of the latter, where the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance, that’s when your UIM carrier or someone in your household’s carrier will step in and pay the additional damages.
Now, there’s some hoops you have to jump through in order to be eligible for that payment. And first off, you have to get written permission to settle from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Without that, your UIM carrier can actually deny the claim. And secondly, what a lot of these UIM carriers are saying is, “Look, we’re not going to pay you until your damages are set, in other words, until a jury has set your damages.” This is a matter of negotiation with the insurance company. We’re experienced in doing that and trying to get that insurance company to go ahead and make the UIM settlement, even though a jury hasn’t set the damages.
So, again, UIM can be a very tricky subject matter, an insured motorist protection. And, It’s very important before you make any big moves or decisions about what you’re going to do with your claim, that you evaluate whether or not you have it, or you’re eligible to it from another member of your household or the owner of the vehicle that you were in before you make a decision to settle with the at-fault driver’s company, if there is one.