The Legal and Moral Reasons You Should Have Car Insurance
by Gary Geldart
If you have never been involved in a car accident, consider yourself very lucky. Every year in the United States, there are approximately 5.6 million vehicle accidents, resulting in more than 33,000 fatalities. The rate each driver pays for car insurance fluctuates based on a number of factors, including the vehicleís value, how and where the car is stored, and the insuredís driving record. For some drivers, insurance may be cheap, while for others it is expensive. But, for everyone, insurance is required. Even if it wasnít a legal requirement, however, maintaining insurance on your vehicle is a sound financial and ethical decision. How so? Humans are not infallible, and we are all capable of making mistakes when driving. If you make a mistake that causes damage to another personís property and injury to their person, you are morally and legally obligated to compensate them for their losses. Enter car insurance.
Protect Pedestrians and Bicyclists
If you are involved in an accident, it may not even be another vehicle that you hit. Pedestrians and bicyclists are more likely to die as a result of a collision with a vehicle, simply because they donít have the protection afforded to occupants of a car. So, do not believe you are infallible, even if you only ever drive in town, and at low speeds. One moment of inattention on your part can ruin the financial future of an entire family. If you arenít insured, it could ruin your financial future as well, because the victim and his family may end up suing you in civil court. Your assets, including bank accounts and property, could end up being seized. All because you chose to drive uninsured.
Protect Your Passengers
Insurance protects your vehicle in the case of an accident, but insurance can also protect your passengers. When you drive with occupants in your car, you are assuming responsibility for their safety. If you are involved in an auto accident, and the other driver was at fault, he may or may not have insurance on his vehicle that covers your occupantís injuries. However, if you have uninsured/underinsured coverage on your vehicle, your passengers will likely be protected from having to pay their own medical expenses.
Protect Your Vehicle
As mentioned above, an at fault collision could end up costing you for a long time to come, but what about damage to your car that was not caused by a collision? Well, if you donít have car insurance, you are on the hook for any and all damage to your vehicle, regardless of the source of the damage. For example, falling or flying objects, and acts of nature, such as fire and storms, can total a vehicle. However, by adding Comprehensive coverage to your Collision coverage, you would not be liable to pay for such damages, minus any applicable deductible, of course. The decision to add Comprehensive insurance to an insurance policy is a wise financial move for your family, even if you rarely drive your vehicle. Remember, the vehicle does not have to be in motion for it to be damaged.
Car insurance is a legal requirement, but for vehicle owners the obligation should be moral, as well. If you are insured, you are protecting others who are sharing the road and passengers in your own vehicle. You are also protecting your family from potential financial ruin. The insurance you carry will prevent you and your family from having to pay to repair or replace your vehicle, and you will avoid having to potentially pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical costs, should you be declared at fault in a car accident.