Texas Uninsured Drivers — A Nightmare

The Dallas Morning News has just reported that 1 of every 6 motorists in Dallas County is uninsured, but in my practice, I see that this number is higher.

And so many people have insurance with such horrible companies with inadequate reserves and terrible claims adjusters and attorneys that they might as well be uninsured. We have to file lawsuits on more and more clear liability/documented injury cases that would be settled by reputable carriers.

How do these drivers get away with this?

Simple. They pay the first month’s payment to get their vehicle inspected and registered, then they stop paying. But they keep the insurance card in their glove compartments.

And noone’s doing much about this serious and well-known problem.

So we Texans are stuck with buying expensive uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage at an annual cost of $1 billion. That’s not fair.

Insurance companies naturally say that the only way for covered drivers to protect themselves from these deadbeats is to buy extra coverage.

Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, got the state’s House of Representatives to pass her bill to crack down on uninsured drivers so we wouldn’t have to. It was killed in the Senate.

At least we have the TexasSure vehicle insurance program as of four years ago. The state is finally sending out notices to drivers it suspects are uninsured, and they are requested to call back to verify that they have a valid insurance policy. Some probably do.

And several cities, including Dallas, have passed laws which require that uninsured vehicles stopped by police or involved in wrecks be towed. That is, if you can prove they are uninsured.

The fine for drivers without insurance is $350 for the first offense and increases to $1,000 and possible suspension of their license on the second offense. Drivers with multiple violations can be arrested. It’s obviously not working.

Mark Hanna of the Insurance Council of Texas admitted that it’s a nightmare for those who have been hit by an uninsured motorist. For those injured, it’s worse.”

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