Auto Bits: How to protect yourself from uninsured drivers

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Tip of the Week

Though most states require drivers to have car insurance, there are still motorists who take their chances and drive without coverage or with insufficient coverage. Nationwide, an estimated 14 percent of drivers are uninsured, and, in a handful of states, that figure tops 20 percent, according to the Insurance Research Council.

If you have an accident with a driver who doesn't have insurance or lacks sufficient coverage, you could find yourself on the hook for thousands of dollars in medical expenses and repair costs, regardless of who's at fault.

Buying uninsured and underinsured motorists' coverage can ease your fears and pay off if you have an accident. The insurance pays for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering from injuries sustained in a car wreck. If you purchase uninsured motorist property damage insurance, you also get coverage for vehicle repairs and damage to valuables that were in your car at the time of the accident.

Though states require drivers to have auto insurance, the liability requirements vary greatly from state to state. In states that have low minimum insurance requirements, drivers often don't have the coverage to deal with a serious car accident. If you live in one of those states, you should verify what limit of uninsured and underinsured motorists' coverage you have. Mississippi, Alabama, California, New Mexico, Arizona and Tennessee traditionally have had the highest percentage of uninsured motorists.

Depending on your state, it's possible that uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is mandatory on your policy. Talk to your agent to verify that you are adequately insured.

- Brandpoint

The List

According to, here are some late-model drop-tops you can get for less than $25,000:

2011 Chevrolet Camaro LT2 2011 Audi A5 2014 Ford Mustang 2012 Mini Cooper 2013 Volkswagen Beetle 2013 Fiat 500 Lounge 2012 Mazda Miata Grand Touring 2010 Chrysler Sebring Limited 2011 Chrysler 200S 2011 Volkswagen EOS 2011 Volvo C70 T5 2010 Infiniti G37 2010 Lexus IS250 2010 Nissan 370Z 2011 BMW 128i

Did You Know

General Motors Co. recently announced its ignition problem has caused it to take a $1.3 billion hit in the first quarter, according to CNN.

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