In the United States, motor vehicle accidents occur approximately once every thirteen minutes. According to Table 1067 of the United States Census Bureau, which tallies the number of occurrences and deaths attributed to motor vehicle accidents, from 1980 to 2007 there had already been over 10.6 million vehicular accidents in the United States, with more than forty three thousand lives lost to vehicular accidents in the year 2007 alone.
Next to the devastating loss of life associated with vehicular accidents, another major concern is automotive insurance. In the United States, it is mandatory and compulsory for auto insurance companies to cover liability for injuries and property damage done to others. This is the case in most states, although different states enforce the requirement differently. Penalties for not purchasing auto insurance vary by state, but often involve a substantial fine, license and/or registration suspension or revocation, as well as possible jail time and lengthy incarceration. The law often requires third party insurance at the very least in order to protect third parties against the financial consequences of loss, damage or injury caused by a vehicle.
Liability insurance covers claims against the policy holder and generally, any other operator of the insured vehicles, as long as they do not live at the same address as the policy holder, and are not specifically excluded on the policy. In the case of those living at the same address, they must specifically be covered on the details of the policy. Thus it is necessary, for example, when a family member comes of driving age that they are added to the policy as soon as possible. Liability insurance sometimes does not protect the policy holder if they drive any vehicles other than their own. When a motorist drives a vehicle owned by another party, the driver is covered under that party’s policy.
In the city of Seattle Washington, where transportation is primarily dependent on automobiles, auto insurance is one of any motorist’s top priorities. Motor vehicle owners in Seattle are required by law to purchase State minimum liability coverage, although having proof of insurance on hand is not required. In the event of a motor vehicle accident, the insurance normally covers the damages incurred to the vehicle in the mishap; unfortunately, this is not always the case.