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cars lined up in rowImagine this. You're driving along and another vehicle runs right through a stop sign and hits the passenger side of your car. Once you stop shaking, you can at least breathe a sigh of relief that the accident wasn't your fault, and the other driver's insurance should take care of things. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case.

Despite laws in nearly every state requiring auto insurance, one in seven drivers in the USA goes uncovered. That's according to an industry group that estimates 13.8 percent of motorists are uninsured, a number that has climbed during the economic downturn as many financially-pressed Americans allowed their insurance to lapse.

That's where supplementary uninsured motorist coverage kicks in. By adding this to your policy, you protect yourself against drivers that either leave the scene of an accident, or just don't have insurance.

This insurance also covers you if the other driver is simply underinsured. When the at-fault driver's limits are too low to cover the property damage or medical expenses, your own insurance will step in to cover the difference.

Many drivers already have uninsured/underinsured coverage because it is required in 21 states. If it's not required you can easily add it to your policy to protect yourself against this type of situation. It will be more expensive in states that have a higher percentage of uninsured drivers. Florida, Oklahoma, Mississippi, New Mexico, Tennessee and Alabama all have uninsured rates close to 25 percent. In contrast, New York, Massachusetts and Maine are all below five percent.

For questions about uninsured/underinsured coverage, talk to your independent insurance agent. If it already exists on your policy, then you can rest easy. For those that need to add it to their policy, the peace of mind is worth it knowing you are protected even if the person causing the accident is not.

We’re here to assist you. Call Auto Insurance Express at (417) 206-3733 for more information on Springfield MO auto insurance.

Posted 6:57 PM

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