Uninsured motorists are in for a surprise with new “no pay/no play” law

Car Accident StatisticsKansas set to join the growing number of states adopting the “no pay/no play” insurance law in an effort to reduce the number of uninsured drivers. States across the nation are enforcing new laws in an attempt to get drivers to obtain and keep insurance.

The latest statistics show around 13 percent of Kansas drivers are uninsured. While not good, it is still lower than several states, including neighboring Oklahoma, whose uninsured drivers rank over 20 percent. The property and casualty insurers’ support the no pay/no play laws and feel they are an effective means to protect motorists that are insured.

If an insured driver is in an accident with another motorist who is not insured (and not at fault), the uninsured driver is no longer allowed to sue for pain and suffering damages. They can still be compensated for economic damages, but the opportunity to sue for additional non-economic damages will be forbidden.

Drivers who are involved in an accident with a driver who is uninsured are typically forced to go back on their own insurance and make a claim under their uninsured motorist coverage. This may cover lost wages, medical bills and the loss of future wages. However, this may not cover damage to your vehicle or punitive damages.

Most states prohibit insurance companies from raising your rates if you have to make a claim on your uninsured motorist coverage. The stipulation of this is that the accident was not your fault. Senate Bill 136 excludes uninsured drivers from suing at fault, insured drivers for more money than strictly economic.

Mainly, this is because, if the uninsured driver were at fault, the other motorist would not have the same opportunity to recover additional damage compensation. Legislators are hoping this will act as an “incentive” for drivers to have insurance; or at least carry the minimum coverage required by the state.

Other states that now enforce this law are Alaska, Iowa, Oregon, California and North Dakota, to name a few.

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