You know they’re out there – negligent and uninsured drivers causing accidents and driving up your insurance rates. Every time you get behind the wheel and hit the road, they’re a threat. And when one of them accidentally injures or kills someone in an accident, who pays for the damages?
Here in Hawaii, every driver is required to carry auto insurance with these minimum coverages:
- Residual Bodily Injury (RBI): $20,000 per person / $40,000 per accident
- Property Damage (PD): $10,000 per accident
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): $10,000 per person per accident
But those with a record of accidents, DUIs, or other violations can run into serious roadblocks when it comes to getting insurance, and many choose to risk driving without it – putting everyone else on the road at risk.
How do you protect yourself?
Your first line of defense is your own defensive driving. But you should also be carrying Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage. Here’s a quick rundown of how those coverages work:
- Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage pays for injuries you and the occupants of your vehicle sustain in an accident caused by a hit-and-run, unidentified, or uninsured vehicle. It does not cover damages to your vehicle.
- Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage pays for injuries you and the occupants of your vehicle sustain in an accident caused by an at-fault insured driver whose bodily injury liability limits are less than the damages you’re entitled to recover. It does not cover damages to your vehicle.
Although these coverages are optional and not required under Hawaii law, they’re inexpensive, making them a small price to pay for peace of mind against negligent drivers. As a general rule, you should get the same amount of UM and UIM coverage as your Bodily Injury (BI) coverage.
What if you’re one of those uninsured drivers and you need insurance?
Then Hawaii’s Joint Underwriting Plan (JUP) could be for you. What is it? It’s basically a risk pooling or cost-sharing arrangement. All car insurance companies in Hawaii share the risk of covering drivers insured through this plan. You can apply through any insurance agent or broker that’s licensed to sell automobile insurance in the state. To determine whether you’re eligible for coverage under the JUP, an insurance agent will look at your driving record for the past three years, looking for things such as a suspended or revoked license, convictions for driving without insurance, involvement in accidents that caused bodily injury or property damage, or permanent disability. If any one of those applies to you, you’re probably eligible. Coverage options are the same as those offered to other drivers, though it could cost you more than it would on the private market.
To learn more about Hawaii’s Joint Underwriting Plan, talk to your independent agent or call FICOH at (808) 527-7413. We’re an authorized servicing carrier for the JUP program.