Depending on where you live in the country, the auto insurance minimums required by law can be very low. If you are driving an expensive vehicle or sustain a permanent disability, it can be almost impossible to recoup full value for your property damage and injuries. The caps may be as low as $20,000 per accident in some states. This does very little to help you after attorney fees when you add up how much healthcare costs alone.
And when you consider that 58 percent have less than $1,000 in their banking accounts, there may not be a lot to sue for if the auto insurance doesn’t cover it. In addition, it is easy to understand why the older vehicles in disrepair are more likely to cause an accident. It makes sense to add this coverage onto any auto insurance policy.
A recent study suggests that your chances of getting into an accident with an uninsured driver are 1 in 8. In fact, in 5 U.S. states, the number of uninsured motorists is 20 percent. You don’t have to live in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Florida, or Tennessee to get into an accident with one of them. They can be driving down your street and traveling into your community from anywhere.
Is Underinsured or Uninsured Really that Big of a Difference?
Unless you are involved in a fender-bender accident, it really doesn’t matter whether the other driver has insurance or not. The cost to repair even a fender-bender on a late-model luxury car such as a Mercedes-Benz can cost more than the total value of this vehicle. This means that even the maximum payment of basic coverage from many motorists would not cover the expenses. In such a case, you may be forced to drive an old vehicle simply to get by until you have paid off that totaled car.
And Mercedes-Benz vehicles aren’t the only vehicles that are being destroyed at low-impact speeds of even 8 mph. At 8 mph, the airbags can go off and inflict bodily injury like broken ribs and concussions. An accident that is even 5 mph can crush the whole front fascia, the bumper, the subframe, and twist the entire front end of the vehicle. By the time everything is done, you’ll be lucky if you can salvage any parts out of the wreck.
This is because late-model cars all have crumple zone technology. You won’t see large bumpers on these vehicles like the old Cadillac’s back in the day. Instead, they have plastic or fiberglass front fascias that hide tiny little bumpers that do almost nothing. Instead of using a bumper to deflect the crash, newer vehicles absorb the energy to prevent those invisible shock waves from transferring into the occupants.
Mercedes-Benz had invented this technology back in the ’70s. However, it was due to regulations that were concerned about bumpers hitting pedestrians that led to their demise over the following decades. The placement of the bumper is too high and can transfer heavily into the pedestrian instead of causing the pedestrian to skid up the hood in an impact or being thrown out of the way from the brunt of the force.
In fact, German manufacturers are now producing vehicles that are made of exotic steel alloys. These exotic metals require special SmartWeld technology and cannot even be penetrated by the traditional Jaws of Life tools that emergency rescue workers use to cut trapped people out of damaged cars.
The basic minimum coverages are not keeping up with the true costs of an accident. IN order to offset the high risks, you should always request additional underinsured and uninsured coverage. Although you may not think you’ll ever need it, most accidents occur close to home and catch you when you are off guard.