The Insurance Research Council (IRC) estimates that 16% of drivers in Kentucky were uninsured in 2007. IRC Vice President David Corum projects that for every one percent increase in unemployment nationwide the percentage of uninsured motorists increases three quarters of a percentage point. Sadly, unemployment rates are climbing.
If you are in an accident caused by an uninsured driver you may have trouble collecting compensation for your damages. The at-fault driver is personally responsible for damages but often will not have the money to pay you even if you take the step of suing that driver and getting a judgment.
Medical bills after an accident can be financially devastating, even for people with health insurance. Injuries can keep you from working and cost you the ability to support your family.
You can protect yourself by having both collision and uninsured motorist coverage (UM). Collision coverage pays your own property damage, usually regardless of how the damage occurs. UM covers your bodily injury claim, which includes medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. UM applies when there is an impact with an uninsured at-fault driver. (Unlike PIP and collision, UM does not apply when no other driver is at fault and it does not typically apply if another driver causes you to wreck without his vehicle making contact with your vehicle).
In Kentucky UM must be offered as part of every policy covering a car or truck. (UM does not have to be offered as part of policies covering motorcycles). You do not have to purchase it, but every company selling policies in Kentucky has to offer it. In order to exclude it from your policy you must acknowledge in writing that you do not wish to buy it.
You may save some money on your premium by declining UM, but consider where that will leave you if you are hit by one of the many uninsured drivers on the road today.