Ohio roads are ripe for auto accidents. Whether it’s driving on I-75 at rush hour or taking backroads to get home, there’s a risk of an accident anytime you get behind the wheel of your car. You probably have even had a few close calls yourself!
Even if you’re an excellent driver, you can’t trust every other driver on the road, but with the right auto insurance coverage and the right knowledge, you can protect yourself financially.
Uninsured and Uninsured Motorists
In 2021, 1 in 8 motorists were without auto insurance in the United States. Ohio law requires all drivers to carry a minimum of liability coverage, but that doesn’t mean everyone does, making them a financial risk to you in the event of an accident. For most accidents, minimum liability coverage is also not enough to cover damage to vehicles and medical bills.
What To Do If You Are In An Accident
Picture this: you’re stopped at a red light, patiently waiting for your turn, when you’re rear-ended by another driver talking on their cell phone.
Upon assessing yourself and your car for damages, you learn the other driver is without insurance or has bare-bones coverage, and they’re offering to pay for the damage to your vehicle, and requesting to not involve the police or insurance companies. So, what should you do?
- Don’t Accept Cash Payments
Do not accept cash, check, or other promises of payment from the other driver. First, you can’t guarantee the amount they’re offering will cover the full cost of the seen and unseen damages. Second, you might not bodily be feeling the physical effects of the accident until the next day, meaning you may have unexpected medical bills on the horizon.
- Call The Police
Even if the accident is a minor fender-bender, it’s vital to have an official accident report, regardless of whether you’re in an accident with an insured or uninsured driver.
A police report will also help when you file a claim with your insurance company, making it easier to get expenses covered and helping the claims process run more smoothly. Be sure also to get the name of the responding officer and their badge number in case you or your insurance company needs to follow up with them.
- Document The Events
Use your phone’s camera to take photos of the damage to both vehicles, the other driver’s license plate and VIN, their driver’s license, nearby traffic signs, and any injuries to your body. These photos will be helpful when filing your claim. On your phone’s notes app, jot down some quick notes of other factors while your memory is still fresh. Even if a detail seems small, it’s never too small in a situation like this.
SFM Insurance Can Help
How else can you best protect yourself financially while you’re on the road? Having auto insurance that includes uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and liability coverage that goes beyond the state minimum can help protect you in the worst-case scenario.
SFM Insurance wants to make sure you and your family are safe and protected on the roads. We can help find the best auto insurance policy to protect you from covered and non-covered drivers. Visit our website or call 937-382-2546 for more information. For more tips and our latest updates, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn!