Check Your Uninsured Motorist Coverage to Ensure You Are Fully Protected Financially After an Auto Accident

Before You Are Injured in a Auto Accident, Check Your Uninsured Motorist Coverage Today Because of Coronavirus’ (COVID-19) Impact Because of Drivers Who Stop Paying for Car Insurance Coverage

(Updated July 2021)

Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer Chad Rankin Explains What Happens to YOU if an uninsured motorist hurts you in a car accident in Pennsylvania

People struggling financially often stop paying for car insurance. How do I protect myself? Learn About Uninsured Motorist and Collision Insurance.

Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney Chad Rankin with offices throughout Lancaster County PA wants you to call your auto insurance agent today to ensure you have enough car insurance coverage to protect yourself from an uninsured motorist during the economic downturn during the pandemic that is hurting people who’ve lost their jobs and income who may stop paying for their car insurance.

What happens to you if you are hit by a driver with no insurance, referred to as an uninsured motorist?  

When we were under a stay-at-home order in 2020 to help protect our communities from the rampant spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) because 50% of those infected who spread the disease show little or no symptoms, many automobile drivers dropped or lowered their auto insurance coverage to save money. We stayed home because data shows significant transmission of coronavirus by people not showing any symptoms. We Americans were not alone in our sheltering-in-place to thwart the spread of this vicious virus. Much of the world was in some form of stay-home or  lockdown order to impede the coronavirus pandemic, as governments urge social distancing to stymie the virus’ spread. During this time, many roads and highways appeared hauntingly empty since only essential workers were traveling to and from their workplaces. However, shockingly during 2020, car accidents and fatal accidents actually increased! The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated at least 38,680 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2020, a 7.2% increase from the 2019. This was the most traffic fatalities in the U.S. since 2007. (US NEWS).

Since non-essential workers stayed home, Pennsylvanians were restricted to venturing out only for groceries, medical appointments, exercise, and essential work. McKinsey reported that the total miles driven dropped by 40% among U.S. drivers in March 2020. Mobility data analysts who study traffic patterns at Arity show data that each car on the road in mid-March 2020 was taking 11% fewer trips and traveling 20% fewer miles each day compared to similar days in 2019. Americans drove dramatically less yet accident rates rose sharply.

The traffic decline unfortunately related to March 2020’s U.S. unemployment numbers which soared to 6.6 million lost jobs with businesses big and small suffering dramatic losses. A two trillion dollar stimulus package, the largest bill being the CARES Act, rolled out in April 2020 with another stimulus bill already in Congress. But, for many Americans who live paycheck to paycheck, this financial support was not enough to offset many families’ financial deficits.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused financial devastation for many Pennsylvanians. Pennsylvania’s projected job loss in summer 2020 skyrocketed to around 777,550, implying an unemployment rate of 16.6 percent. As a result, financially-distraught people must make tough decisions about which bills to pay and which bills they simply cannot pay due to their limited resources, even as the pandemic lessons its impact. Many people may choose not to pay their car insurance. Another driver’s painful financial decision to not pay for car insurance could negatively impact you should you be injured in a motor vehicle accident with an uninsured driver.

When people fail to pay for auto coverage, car insurance companies will quickly give notice that their policy will be cancelled. Shortly after the notification, the car insurance company will cancel their car insurance policies for non-payment.  

Unfortunately, many people who stop paying for auto insurance will continue to drive despite not having valid and current car insurance coverage. 

If you or a family member would be hit by a driver and/or a vehicle without current car insurance, you may be out of luck when it comes to making a financial recovery for the damage to your vehicle or your personal injury damages. Technically, you could go after the personal assets of the person who caused the accident. However, if they are not paying their car insurance, it is not likely that they have any assets from which you could recover.   

Now more than ever, you must make sure that your car insurance policy protects you and your family and includes uninsured motorist coverage. You may want to share this article with your auto insurance agent and discuss your coverages.

The specific auto insurance coverage benefits you need to protect yourself are uninsured motorist benefits (UM) and collision coverage

Uninsured motorist benefits, often called UM benefits, provide compensation for your car accident injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain & suffering from your own insurance company when the person who was responsible for the collision did not have car insurance in effect on the date of the collision.  You can purchase UM coverage up to the same amount of your liability coverage. I would recommend purchasing at least $100,000 in UM coverage. If you have to use the UM coverage on your car insurance policy, it will not raise your car insurance premiums when the accident was not your fault.

What is collision coverage and do I have to have that included in my auto insurance policy?

Collision coverage is a benefit that you purchase to get your vehicle fixed or replaced by your own insurance company when involved in an accident. 

I’d encourage each of you to call your insurance agent to discuss your coverages. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we may feel helpless to control the world around us. This is one small step you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones. We will get back on the road so please, protect yourselves.

Soon enough, we will be back to racing to and from work and school, kids’ sporting events, worship centers, sports, and entertainment events once we conquer coronavirus. In the meanwhile, join me in honoring our heroic healthcare and essential workers who are putting themselves at risk for all of us. I hope, like me, you will try to use this mandated time at home to be productive, rest, and enjoy your loved ones, Stay safe and healthy. 

Chad Rankin and the other personal injury attorneys Rankin & Gregory, LLC (RG Injury Law) have handled more than a thousand car accident cases against insurance companies. Call us for a free, no-pressure, car accident injury case consultation at 717.656.5000.

Chad Rankin, Personal Injury Lawyer Lancaster - Car Accident and Personal Injury Attorney

Very honest & there were no hidden agendas!!
★★★★★ The entire staff is very friendly, welcoming & professional. Especially Chad & Viviana, they are the best when you have any questions or concerns. They made sure we understood everything we read before committing to or signing anything. Very honest & there were no hidden agendas!! Highly recommend them.

Review by: Mai-ling Velazquez  Reviewing: Car Accident Law Firm RG Injury Law   Date published: 2/1/2020  Rating: 5 / 5 stars

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You may believe that car accident lawyers in Philadelphia are better qualified to win the highest compensation for your auto accident injury case. At RG Injury Law, we describe ourselves as big city lawyers with hometown compassion. Our winning record of maximum client settlements and verdicts are the result of personalized attention and communication with clients, thorough knowledge of vehicle law in Pennsylvania and experience with car insurance companies.

While we call Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, our home, our PA personal injury law firm fights for clients with injuries and disabilities in need of personal injury lawyers, and Workers’ Compensation lawyers throughout the mid-Atlantic region from offices in Lancaster County that include service in Harrisburg, Hershey, Middletown, Annville, Mt. Gretna, Elizabethtown, Columbia PA, Lancaster City, Neffsville, Hempfield Township, Manheim Borough, Manor Township, Manheim Township, Gap, Ephrata, Lititz, Leola, Mt. Joy, Marietta, Akron, Denver, Millersville, Willow Street, Strasburg, New Holland, Paradise, Refton, Quarryville, Reamstown, West Chester, Coatesville, Exton, King of Prussia, and Malvern. RG Injury Law also fights for people with disabilities in the counties of Lebanon, Philadelphia, Chester, York, Dauphin, Berks, and Montgomery.

Very honest & there were no hidden agendas!!
★★★★★ The entire staff is very friendly, welcoming & professional. Especially Chad & Viviana, they are the best when you have any questions or concerns. They made sure we understood everything we read before committing to or signing anything. Very honest & there were no hidden agendas!! Highly recommend them.

Review by: Mai-ling Velazquez  Reviewing: Car Accident Law Firm RG Injury Law   Date published: 2/1/2020  Rating: 5 / 5 stars

 

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