There are far too many uninsured drivers in North Carolina, without a doubt. Although the reasons are diverse, it is important for those who do purchase the legally required liability insurance on their vehicles to know what they are buying for themselves.
It may not only be the protection of others they are purchasing.
Mandatory liability insurance
When a responsible driver buys the mandatory liability insurance, he or she is buying coverage for any bodily injury and property damage to others that he or she may become liable for. It also covers the liability for these kinds of damages that a family member may be liable for, or any other driver allowed to drive the listed car. Significantly, it does not cover any injury to the buyer for his personal injury or other damage.
There are other optional kinds of coverage one may buy. If the responsible driver becomes hurt due to the negligence of another driver, he will typically look to the other driver to pay for the damages he caused. Hopefully, that other driver has the resources or the insurance coverage to pay for those losses. If that other driver is one who failed to purchase the legally required liability insurance, as often happens, then the injured driver will not be able to get his damages covered that way.
Uninsured motorist coverage
However, the responsible driver who suffers injury by such an uninsured driver does have coverage. North Carolina law requires that all purchased liability policies include uninsured motorist coverage. This is a gift to the policy owner.
This coverage actually covers the responsible driver and those in his automobile should another driver cause the accident if that other driver did not have the required liability insurance that would otherwise apply. UI coverage will also cover property damages. Thus, if a person is responsible himself for liability to others, he in turn has coverage automatically for his own losses should an uninsured driver cause him or his passengers injury.