If you cause a serious motor vehicle collision, you have liability under Wisconsin law for any injuries you may cause to other people, as well as property damage that they suffer as a result of the crash. That financial liability is why you carry an insurance policy.

Motor vehicle insurance protects the policyholder from the financial stress that could come if they cause a crash that results in losses for other people. Unfortunately, the liability insurance system as it currently exists leaves drivers vulnerable to the bad decisions of other people.

Specifically, drivers can wind up without any sort of insurance compensation after a crash caused by a driver who doesn’t have an active insurance policy. If you get into a crash caused by a driver without insurance, will you have any protection?

Do you have uninsured and underinsured protection in your policy?

When you purchase your automobile liability insurance, you have the option of selecting coverage that fits your specific needs. You can increase or decrease your coverage and even add extra protection for special situations. Insurance companies typically offer special riders or addendums to their policies that protect you from financial losses in the event that an uninsured driver causes a crash.

Compared with the overall price of your policy, such additional protection doesn’t cost very much. More importantly, it often also includes underinsured driver coverage, which means that if you get into a crash with a driver whose policy only has $25,000 worth of medical or $10,000 of property damage coverage, your policy can help cover any expenses that exceed the other driver’s coverage.

Are there options for those without uninsured driver protection?

Knowing about the ability to add coverage to your policy in the event of a crash caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver only helps those who haven’t already gotten into such a crash. Although it’s better to have the coverage and not need it than the reverse, people dealing with a crash caused by an uninsured driver still have rights even if their policy doesn’t protect them.

For those facing the very real financial hardships that can come from a collision caused by a driver without insurance or without enough insurance, the only option for offsetting those losses may be pursuing a personal injury claim against the driver whose irresponsibility has negatively affected their lives.