In a recent report from the Insurance Research Council found that 1 in 8 drivers in this country do not have auto insurance. If you are involved in a crash with the “1,” the ramifications can be substantial.
Under NH law, even if the at-fault-driver has no insurance, your auto insurance will reimburse you for out-of-pocket medical bills, up to the Medical Payments (MedPay) portion of your policy, with typical limits of $1K, $5K, or $10K. In addition, all NH auto policies carry with it automatic Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM) protection in the reciprocal amount that you purchased to cover your being the at-fault driver. So if you have a $100K bodily injury limit for crashes you may be deemed at-fault, if an uninsured driver hits you, and deemed at-fault, your insurance pays you up to $100K, and then chases the uninsured dirtbag for reimbursement – that is why you have insurance, to be protected either way. So while you CAN drive without car insurance, it’s not a good bet.
Another thing to keep in mind is that, if you are a good driver, having the NH minimal insurance limits of $25K/$50K (1 person is capped at $25K, multiple persons can only collect in the aggregate of $50K) is also a fool’s bet. A rule of thumb in most NH emergency rooms is that for every 1-hour you are there the bill goes up $1,000. So in and out, expect at least $1K in medical bills. 2-hour, expect the bill to be at least $2K. Overnight – forget about it, that $25K is gone. And say you are in a crash in Boston and rushed to Mass General, the billing will be on steroids that will melt the plastic off a Black Card. So to increase your liability protection, as well as reciprocal UM, to $100K/$300K, or even $250K or $500K is usually under $100 more in premium per year, or 8-10 Starbuck coffees per year. Call your agent and ask.
Some of you may ask, well I have health insurance that should pay my medical bills, well yes and know – will discuss this in a later newsletter.
Have a crash with an insured driver, and you have good insurance – you’re well protected. Got a question, give us a call.