Albuquerque’s poor reputation when it comes to traffic safety isn’t the only challenge drivers face on New Mexico roads. On average, chances are one in seven that if you’re involved in a collision, the at-fault driver will be uninsured. In New Mexico, your chances may be even higher considering we live in the state with the highest uninsured motorist population—29% of drivers don’t have minimum liability insurance, even though it’s required by law.
Why are uninsured motorists such a problem?
When the driver responsible for causing the accident is uninsured, there’s no one else to cover the cost of the damage…except you. That’s right. If you are hit by an uninsured motorist, your insurance company has to pony up the money for your car repairs (and towing and rental car if needed). And that can mean that your premiums can go up.
That’s if you’re insurance policy will cover the damage. Some insurance policies do not cover damages resulting from accidents caused by uninsured drivers. That leaves you, and you alone, to cover the entire bill for towing, repairs and rentals. That’s big bill, one that can grow even more if you have out of pocket medical expenses from accident-related injuries. Ouch!
Yes, it totally sucks that some people are on the road illegally, that is, without the mandatory minimum liability coverage. But, there is a way to reduce the financial risk you take everyday by driving on New Mexico roads: uninsured motorist insurance.
You can get add an insurance policy that covers damages caused by uninsured motorists. If you have this coverage, your deductible for damages is likely less than the deductible for accidents you may have caused. For example, if your “regular” automobile insurance policy requires a $500 deductible in the event of an accident, if you have uninsured motorist insurance and your accident was caused by an uninsured motorist, you may only have to pay $250.
Uninsured motorist insurance may also protect you from increased premiums following an accident caused by an uninsured driver.
Yes, it would be better if everyone carried the minimum liability insurance required by New Mexico law. But since we don’t live in a perfect world, the best we can do is find a reasonably priced adaptation. And for the few dollars uninsured motorist insurance coverage may cost, it’s a wise investment given the statistics.