As the New Year approaches, and hope of a brighter economy grows, San Antonio (and all Texas) drivers should be aware that when economic times get tough one of the expenses that many people cut is their automobile insurance. Even though most states, including Texas, require licensed drivers to maintain minimum limits of automobile liability insurance, when jobs are lost or bills pile up in bad economic times many drivers simply cancel or stop paying for insurance.
A study that is set to be released soon by the Insurance Research Council estimates that several hundred thousand drivers nationwide have dropped liability insurance in the past year.
Driving without insurance not only places a driver at risk of a hefty fine if ticketed by police, but if you cause an accident and damage another’s car, or worse, injure someone, without insurance you expose your personal assets to a lawsuit and potential judgment. While many assets are protected from being taken from you, if a judgment is obtained it can be filed with the deed records of your home county and can be kept viable indefinitely. If you ever acquire assets that are not protected, or try to sell a home, or obtain a loan, the judgment will show up against you.
Further, if you are the victim of a wreck caused by an uninsured driver, you may be in the position of trying to obtain a judgment against a person that has no assets to pay for your damages and injuries, and may never be in a position to compensate you for your losses. The only protection against this scenario is to purchase uninsured motorist protection along with your regular liability insurance coverage. Uninsured motorist protection will pay for losses caused by a negligent, uninsured driver. Recoverable compensation under Texas law for persons injured in an automobile accident can include lost wages or salary, medical bills, compensation for the pain caused by injuries such as broken bones or damaged tissue, and other compensation that can be determined in individual cases.
If the economy has hit your family, dropping automobile insurance in a cost-saving measure may lead to many more consequences and this decision should not be made lightly. However, since it is clear that many do make this decision, one way to protect yourself from an uninsured driver is to add extra coverage on your own vehicle.