According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 33,000 people died and another 2.3 million people were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2009. These accidents cost Americans over $99 billion according to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and are a significant public health concern.
Regardless of fault, a single car accident can change a person’s life. Property damage, medical bills and lost wages can cripple a family financially if they are not protected by liability coverage. All states require drivers to have motor vehicle insurance, and Connecticut is no exception.
Under Title 14 of the Connecticut General Statutes, all registered motor vehicles must have liability insurance and this insurance must be maintained at all times when there is an active registration. If a person fails to insure or maintain insurance, their vehicle registration can be suspended and fines can be imposed. Specifically, the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) mandates that minimum liability coverage limits of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident for bodily injury liability, and $10,000 per accident for property damage liability. This coverage can either be comprehensive or simply collision coverage as long as it complies with liability limits.
It can be expected that some drivers may not maintain any or inadequate insurance. As a result, the state also requires its drivers and motor vehicle owners to maintain uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance coverage. Uninsured and Underinsured motorist coverage is a benefit which protects against property loss or personal injury caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist’s malfeasance. Minimal limits of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident must be maintained.
While Connecticut drivers have specific coverage limits, state law does not mandate all common practical and optional benefits, such as towing or glass repair. Medical payments coverage that covers accident-related medical expenses for your own injuries – personal injury protection (PIP) – are not a mandatory requirement as well.
Driving is a privilege which requires motor vehicle operators to obey more than just the rules of the road. Connecticut and her sister states mandate that their registered drivers maintain some form of liability insurance or pay statutory waivers and fines. Maintaining adequate insurance may not prevent harm, but it can reduce the financial and emotional burdens that a motor vehicle accident can cause.