Hopefully you can avoid a road collision with another driver, but if another motorist should hit you on the road, the other driver’s insurance should pay for your damages. If the other driver is not carrying liability coverage, you may have to file a claim using your uninsured motorist coverage if you have it.
With uninsured motorist coverage, your insurer will pay for the damages in place of the coverage that the at-fault driver should have possessed. Here are some basics on this subject that may help you to understand your chances for acquiring coverage if an uninsured driver hits you.
Pay attention to your policy
According to the state of New Jersey, you may have uninsured coverage if you have a Standard Policy. This policy provides you with coverage not only if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, but also if the other driver only has partial coverage and cannot pay your damages in full. However, if you only carry a Basic Policy, you do not have this kind of protection.
Start a claim as soon as you can
You also want to pay attention to when your insurance company wants you to notify them that you have an uninsured claim. Some insurers open claims once you produce written notification from the other driver’s insurer that they cannot fully cover you. However, you may want to start discussing an uninsured claim with your insurer if you perceive any sign that the other insurer will not compensate you.
Comparative negligence can be a factor
New Jersey has a comparative negligence policy under law. As a result, the state will look to see if you had any degree of fault for the accident. If so, your insurer can reduce how much coverage you receive. And if your degree of fault exceeds the responsibility of the other driver, you will not receive anything.
Your insurer may not agree on coverage
Be aware that your insurance company might not agree with you on whether you should receive the amount in coverage you want or any amount at all. In this event, you may write a letter requesting arbitration. A panel of arbitrators will decide your case. If the decision is not favorable to you, you might appeal the decision to the appeal panel of your insurer. From there, you may appeal once more to the Insurance Claims Ombudsman.
Keep in mind that uninsured/underinsured claims vary, so your circumstances may not be the same as other drivers in this situation. Different options may be open to you as a result.