It is common knowledge that valid insurance is required to operate a motor vehicle in a state like Colorado. However an astonishing amount of people still choose to drive without insurance. In fact, a recent Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association study found that 16.2% of motorists in Colorado are driving without insurance. This is higher than the national average of 12.6%! So why are so many drivers choosing to break the law and forgo insurance? We won’t speculate as to the reasons people are breaking this important law. Instead today we will look at the problem a little closer and list some ways you can protect yourself from Colorado Uninsured Motorists.
It’s Against The Law For A Reason
We all carry a degree of liability when we decide to operate a motor vehicle. Unfortunately there are times where we can get into an accident or even be the person that caused the accident. Auto insurance guarantees that the liable party and their insurance can pay for the damages they caused. After all, you shouldn’t be financially burdened for an accident that wasn’t your fault. However what happens if the person that hits you doesn’t have the insurance to pay for the damages they caused? Well this can leave many a law-abiding motorist in a tough financial place, something we’ll get into more shortly.
To combat this, Colorado has instituted some pretty tough penalties for those caught driving without insurance. These include fines, points off your license, a license suspension and community service. People often forgo insurance to save money, but what they don’t realize is it will end up costing them more in the long run.
How Colorado Is Protecting Motorists
Ideally the best way to stop an ongoing issue is to get to the root of the problem. Colorado has chosen to do just this and try to track and warn anyone who has a registered vehicle in Colorado and no active insurance. First off, valid insurance is required anytime you register a vehicle in Colorado. Basically you need insurance to get those new license plates. However, most Colorado uninsured motorists simply cancel their insurance policies right after they get their plates. Insurance companies can’t tell if the driver is switching insurers or just cancelling all their insurance outright, and even so it is the right of any motorist to change / cancel their existing policy.
Of course what is not legal is refusing to get a replacement auto insurance policy. In response, the state has stepped up to track Colorado Uninsured Motorists by comparing active insurance records to the list of registered vehicles. If they find your vehicle doesn’t have an active matching insurance policy, they will send you a warning. Currently the state does not prosecute based solely on this database match, but police can check to see if you’re on the list of potential Colorado uninsured motorists at any time.
What Happens When A Colorado Uninsured Motorist Hits You?
So what can you expect in the event you’re in an accident with a Colorado uninsured motorist? Frankly it is not a great situation for any law-abiding driver. First, there is a higher chance the driver will hit and run. You should always be weary of this possibility after an accident. Even if the driver doesn’t flee the scene, being hit by a Colorado uninsured motorist can be a tricky financial situation. They will be penalized by the attending officer for driving without insurance, and they will also be forced to post payment or security for the damages they’ve caused you. However this is where it gets tricky. People who risk driving without insurance generally have very few assets. So even though they are supposed to pay back damages, there is no guarantee they will actually be able to pay it. You also have the option of filing a civil suit, but even with this action, you may still not recover all your damages.
How To Protect Yourself From Uninsured Motorists
Simply put, it is a scary thought that almost 1 in 5 drivers are uninsured in Colorado. Car accidents can have life changing implications. If the liable party doesn’t have insurance, you could be left with extensive medical bills and other costs. Even with the law to protect you, there are no guarantees you’ll recover damages. You can however add an important and affordable coverage to your auto policy that will help. It is called uninsured motorist coverage, and it steps in to help protect you in the event the other driver does not have the assets to pay you. Unfortunately in a state like Colorado, it’s wise to add this coverage given the grim statistics.
As you can see, it’s not great news to learn there are a high amount of Colorado uninsured motorists on our highways and streets. However, it is reassuring to learn that you’re not powerless in this situation. Options like uninsured motorist coverage ensures that you can still protect yourself even if your fellow motorist is breaking the law. Contact us at Square State Insurance today to learn more or see how your policy stacks up as far as uninsured motorist protection goes.