Protecting Ourselves From Uninsured Drivers

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The laws in New Hampshire do not require that vehicle owners maintain automobile insurance.  Setting the wisdom of that policy aside, many individuals in New Hampshire unexpectedly have this problem when they are injured by negligent drivers who don’t have insurance.  Where does one turn when they are faced with such a scenario? 
 
The answer is that you file a claim under the “uninsured motorist coverage” on your own auto policy.  While it seems inherently unfair to the not-at-fault driver, this is the most practical way to ensure that you are covered by insurance.  Also by law in New Hampshire, the limits of liability that you select on your auto policy will be the same as your uninsured motorist coverage limits.  Therefore, the amount of coverage that you select is not only protecting others from harm that you might cause, but also from harm that others may cause you.  For that reason, it is critically important to you, your family, and anyone else that might use or ride in your vehicle, that you carry adequate limits.
 
Determining the “ideal” limits to carry on your policy is an impossible task.  However, one might consider factors such as the cost of medical care if you were seriously injured and needed surgery, required an extended stay in a hospital, and/or had to recover lost wages due to missed work.  These costs alone can quickly exceed $100,000.  Another consideration is the relatively low cost to carry significantly more insurance.  You might ask your insurer what it would cost to increase your limits of insurance from, for example, $100,000 to $250,000.  Often, it is a matter of a few extra dollars.
While our “Live Free or Die” motto in New Hampshire comes with certain advantages, it also requires that we use extra care to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and anyone else on the road.
 
By:  Brenner G. Webb
Attorney Brenner G. Webb practices Personal Injury, Business, and Criminal Law at Winer & Bennett, LLP. To connect with Brenner and learn more about matters like this, visit www.winerbennett.com.
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