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Why are there so many underinsured drivers in Oklahoma?

Motor vehicle collisions can cause thousands of dollars of expenses in a matter of moments. Property damage to the vehicles involved and the injuries generated can have lasting financial consequences.

People assume that insurance can cover those expenses. The liability insurance required in Oklahoma helps people offset the financial responsibility for crashes. Those injured in a recent collision likely expect to receive compensation from the insurance of the other driver. They may discover upon filing a claim that the person at fault for the wreck is underinsured.

Why is it so common for drivers to lack adequate coverage in Oklahoma?

Mandatory insurance requirements are too low

Lawmakers have to balance a variety of needs when setting the standards for modern car insurance coverage. Obviously, the average person doesn’t have enough personal property to fully cover the cost of a crash out of pocket, but lawmakers also need to consider how much insurance the average person can actually afford to carry.

Even state websites readily recognize that the current insurance requirements in Oklahoma are too low to protect someone from crash expenses. The state requires $25,000 in property damage coverage. There are also two policy limits for crashes that cause injury to others. A driver should have at least $25,000 of coverage for incidents in which one person suffers an injury. The state also requires at least $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per crash if an incident leads to the injury of two or more people.

That amount of coverage is frankly inadequate if the people involved in a collision incur significant injuries or if someone dies. Drivers usually need several times that amount of coverage to truly offset the average cost of a collision.

What happens after a crash with an underinsured driver?

There are a few options available to those involved in a crash caused by someone with a low amount of insurance coverage. Some drivers in Oklahoma have underinsured motorist protection that they can use to cover the gap between available liability coverage in their total costs. People can also potentially take legal action against the underinsured driver when they can reasonably claim that negligence or violations of the law are to blame for the crash. Occasionally, there might be a third party, such as a business, that has a degree of liability for the incidents.

Understanding the limits of mandatory insurance coverage can help victims to better understand what to expect in the aftermath an Oklahoma car crash. Drivers who know their rights may have an easier time pursuing compensation for their losses.