Road Safety: How To Protect Yourself Against Uninsured Motorists3 min read
Picture this: You’re driving your shiny car at a leisurely pace; nothing to fear since it’s night and traffic is nonexistent. As you cross an intersection on a green light, a speeding rider comes out of nowhere and T-bones your vehicle.
While you’re unharmed, save for a few scratches and disorientation—because you’re a law-abiding citizen and you strapped yourself in before driving—you can’t say the same for your car.
You step out, approach the driver, and after the needless complaining and fault-finding (although it is clear who’s at fault), you find out the one thing that horrifies you:
The other party doesn’t have car insurance.
Unfortunately, buying car insurance in the Philippines isn’t mandatory, as most people step in their vehicles winging in the risks that come with the Philippine traffic.
What will happen if you get involved in an accident and the other party doesn’t have a motor vehicle insurance coverage? And how do you steer clear of their way?
However you look at it, the driver proven to be at fault in a car accident will be the one liable to shoulder the expenses arising from car accidents.
By extension, the erring party should shoulder the expenses.
In the Philippines, the case remains the same. Not every car owner in the Philippines has a comprehensive car insurance, though, which will make the process much more troublesome for all the parties involved.
“The party at fault will have to shoulder for the repairs of the other vehicle,” says eCompareMo in-house insurance expert Dodie Ignacio. “Good on them if they have an active policy—the insurance company has got their back. But if not, the erring party will have to pay for the damages from their own pocket.”
Should there be claims to be made following an accident, the insurance company shall require the following documents:
- Copy of OR and CR of vehicles involved
- Copy of driver’s license of both parties
- Police report
- Certificate of no claim coming from the third party
- Picture of damaged vehicle/s
- Repair cost estimate
Once the requirements have been submitted to the insurance company, the application process for repairs on vehicles and other claims due to a car accident starts; no more back and forth with the rest of the people involved since the insurance will need only the said documents.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for uninsured drivers deemed at fault in a car accident.
An inconvenient truth
Trading paint with an uninsured driver is not just messy; it will also cost you even more money aside from the damages to your car and/or hospitalization due to injuries.
Without the insurance company acting as a mediator between parties, it is up to the claimant to take it upon himself to accelerate the process of getting compensated for the damages.
Once the police have determined who’s at fault, the claimants can now escalate the issue of getting compensation from the guilty party directly.
While some people won’t have any problems paying up easily for the damages they caused to other motorists, other are more than willing to play hooky just to get away with their responsibilities.
In case you get involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, here are the proper channels where you can make a proper claim:
Small Claims Court. If you’re looking for inexpensive ways to make claims in cases such as car accidents, the Small Claims Court is more than willing to settle cases involving payment of money.
However, keep in mind that the Small Claims Court only takes cases where the claim is at P200,000 or less, exclusive of interests and costs.
Regional Trial Courts. It’s up for the Regional Trial Courts to try cases with an amount higher than P200,000. Unlike the former where the presence of attorney isn’t required and a decision will be made after only one hearing, Regional Trial Courts will proceed as usual.
This means you need a lawyer, countless presentation of evidence, testimonies, and other things you have to do to win a claim.
Getting involved in an accident is already a hassle. Couple that with uninsured drivers who may run off from their responsibilities and things get worse.
As part of your responsibility to yourself, your finances, and other people, it’s in your best interest to get a car insurance.