Will COVID-19 Mean More Uninsured Motorist Claims?

The novel coronavirus has affected virtually everyone living in the United States, whether they’re a U.S. citizen, a Green Card holder, or a non-U.S. citizen who has yet to go through the naturalization process. Needless to say, the people of Texas have felt the sting of COVID-19, especially since so many businesses have been shut down to slow the spread of the coronavirus. As such, millions of people have lost their jobs.

While “essential workers” may be safe when it comes to employment, countless non-essential workers have been laid off, and small business owners in a wide variety of industries are finding they can’t afford to lose a month’s worth of income and continue meeting payroll.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, servers, bartenders, nail artists, hairstylists, salon owners, massage therapists, personal trainers, gym owners, and many more have watched as their income streams came to a grinding halt. When the money runs out, non-essential bills, such as medical bills, credit card payments, personal loans, and eventually, car insurance stop getting paid because any funds people have are reserved for the basic necessities, such as gas, food, shelter, and cellphone service.

When People Can’t Afford Car Insurance

It is mandatory in all states for drivers to maintain auto insurance and for them not to allow their insurance to lapse. However, during economic emergencies and recessions, the percentage of uninsured drivers on the roads may increase significantly, increasing people’s chances of being in a crash with 1) an uninsured motorist, and 2) an uninsured motorist who flees the scene because they don’t want to get busted for driving without insurance.

As a licensed driver in the Lone Star State, your best weapon against uninsured motorists affected by COVID-19 is to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which “pays if you’re hit by someone who didn’t have insurance or didn’t have enough to pay your medical and car repair bills. It also pays if you’re in a hit-and-run accident,” according to the Texas Department of Insurance.

This coverage is not legally required, but insurance companies do have to offer it to policyholders. If you don’t want the coverage, you have to reject it in writing. So, if you did reject it, our advice is to contact your insurance company and add the coverage to your policy. Believe us, if you were to need it, you’ll be glad you did.

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