Posts Tagged ‘uninsured’

Do I Have A Claim If I Was Injured By A Driver Without Insurance?

Friday, October 30th, 2009
money for car insurance

Does Your Car Insurance Protect You?

The Brutscher Law Office often receives questions regarding the ability to maintain a claim for injuries received in a car accident when the offending driver does not have insurance.  Often, the person will assume that since the other driver didn’t have insurance, they do not have a claim.  They are later surprised to discover that they not only have a claim, but that they may have a source of insurance recovery.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) is coverage that is provided by your insurance company in the event you are injured by a motorist driving without insurance.  You pay a premium for this coverage to your own insurance company.  If you are hurt by an uninsured driver, your own insurance company will step into the shoes of the other driver’s insurance and provide a source for your recovery.

Kentucky law requires that insurance companies offer this type of coverage, which is mandatory.  However, be aware of agents offering to reduce your premiums or lower your rates at the expense of UM coverage.  In order to reject this mandatory coverage, Kentucky law requires that you execute a rejection in writing, evidencing your intent to do so.  Many people mistakenly reject this coverage, thinking that the money they save in premiums is worth it.  Only after they are struck by a motorist without insurance do they realize they have made a mistake.

The chance of being struck by an offending driver who lacks insurance is far greater than any premiums you pay for the coverage.  It’s a sure bet that someone is driving on the roads today without insurance.  During economic  downturns the chances only increase.  Someone who is reckless enough to drive without insurance is reckless enough to cause an accident.  Don’t be a victim of someone’s selfish behavior.  Beware of agents selling you car insurance without UM coverage.  Make sure your policy has UM coverage.

Do You Have To Insure Your Moped Or Scooter?

Monday, April 27th, 2009

When gas prices hit an all time high last summer, many people purchased a moped or scooter for transportation. Scooters have since become ubiquitous. With the recent explosion in popularity has also come a larger variety of styles and models.  Scooters are now bigger and faster than ever before.  If you own a moped or scooter or are thinking of buying one, you should know whether or not your moped or scooter needs to be insured.  If you fail to insure your moped and you are injured you might not be entitled to certain compensation and you might be subjected to criminal penalties as well.

Motorcycles are specifically exempted from Kentucky’s no fault reparations scheme.  Is you moped also exempted?  Well, it depends.  Kentucky law provides for the payment of certain PIP benefits if you are injured while operating a motor vehicle.  However, Kentucky law excludes mopeds from this definition. Kentucky courts have interpreted this to mean that since mopeds are not motor vehicles, the occupants injured while riding the moped are pedestrians.  Pedestrians are entitled to PIP benefits from the car that hit them. This is true whether they are at fault or not.

However, the definition of moped does not include every type of scooter or moped.  The statute specifically defines moped as a certain type of motorized bicycle that has no larger than a 50cc engine and capable of traveling no faster than 30mph.  This definition includes only the smallest of the mopeds seen on the road today.  75cc or higher motorized scooters that travel above 30mph do not fit this definition.  They are therefore considered motorcycles not mopeds.  If you are in an accident while using one of these “motorcycles” you would not be entitled to $10,000 in  PIP, unless you purchased it as optional benefits.  You would also be uninsured and responsible personally and legally for any damages you caused.

If you own or operate a scooter or moped that has an engine larger than 50cc, shifts gears, or travels faster than 30 mph you are operating a motorcyle, not a moped.  You are required to have that vehicle insured.  Other laws pertaining to motorcycles may also apply.  You should consider purchasing optional PIP benefits. Otherwise you or your family member might not be protected in the event of an accident.

Economy Leaves Millions Of Drivers Uninsured

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

MSN reports on an insurance industry study that warns that 1 in 6 won’t be covered by the end of the year.  According to one analyst; “When you see a multi-car collision on the freeway … if there’s more than three or four cars there, at least one of them is likely to be uninsured.”  Apparently, motorists are choosing to drop their coverage to offset tough times due to the economic recession.

According to law enforcement officials and insurance industry representatives, “dropping your auto insurance is one of the worst steps you can take.”  “Uninsured motorists face legal fees, fines (and)penalties, including a suspended license,” said Elaine Zeinner, a spokeswoman for AAA.”

Liability insurance is mandatory in Kentucky, but that doesn’t mean that everyone has it. As the article suggests many chose to break the law and forgo buying insurance to cover them in the event they cause an accident. Not only does this subject the person to criminal charges, but it is financially ill advised.  Injuries received in car accidents can result in thousands of dollars of damages. Many people simply could not afford to pay those damages out of their own pocket.

What can you do to protect yourself in the event you are injured by an uninsured driver? Purchase uninsured motorists (UM) coverage through your own insurance company. This coverage protects you in the event you are injured by someone who is driving without insurance.

In Kentucky UM coverage must be offered by your insurance company.  However, you can reject this coverage in writing. Often Kentucky citizens will reject the coverage to save a few dollars a month in premiums off their insurance bill. This is not wise. As the article suggests, by next year 1 in 6 drivers will likely be uninsured. Don’t rely on someone else. Protect yourself. Check your policy and make sure you have UM coverage. If not contact your agent and request it.