All motorists are required to carry insurance by law. However, not everyone follows the law. A study conducted by the Insurance Research Council found that close to 15% of all California drivers are currently uninsured. Furthermore, it’s estimated that roughly 50% of all car accidents in California involve an uninsured or underinsured driver. If you’re involved in an accident with a driver who has no insurance coverage, there are two avenues of recourse.
One option would be to sue the uninsured at fault driver directly to go after their personal assets. While this is an option, it’s not always a viable option. Often, drivers who don’t have insurance also don’t have very many assets. The best course of action is usually to file a claim against your own insurance policy with uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UIM).
All auto insurance policies are required to include uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in California, unless the policy holder waives the coverage. Typically, UIM coverage cannot exceed the amount of your standard liability coverage. UIM is also helpful in situations where the at fault driver has insurance, but the coverage is too small to pay for all of your damages. In those scenarios, UIM will cover the difference.