In a state where 900,000 drivers were uninsured in 2012 and a country where 1 in 8 Americans drives without auto insurance, opting in for uninsured motorist (UM coverage) is one of the wisest decisions you will ever make. This coverage will ensure you receive compensation if you are injured in an auto accident by an at-fault party who lacks insurance or lacks the adequate amount of insurance to fully compensate your injuries.
Egregiously, many insurance companies try to convince you otherwise. Fortunately, you can prevent the insurance companies from taking away your opportunity to collect compensation if you are injured by an uninsured motorist. Continue reading to learn more about how the auto insurance industry continues to discourage motorists from obtaining UM coverage and what you can do.
Alabama’s Uninsured Motorist Statute Requirements
In the state of Alabama, auto insurance companies are required by law to include uninsured motorist coverage with every car insurance policy that they sell in the state. This is common in many states but is often not required as part of a motorists minimum coverage. Currently only 18 states and Washington D.C. require uninsured motorist coverage as part of their minimum coverage. Even if a policy holder does not explicitly request UM coverage as part of their policy, the minimum UM coverage as outlined by Alabama statute must be offered in that policy.
This begs the question, then, as to how insurance companies can discourage you from receiving insurance protection that is required by Alabama law. Unfortunately, the law has an exception that insurance companies try to take advantage of when you get your policy.
How Auto Insurance Companies Exploit a Legal Exception
Insurance companies can only gain an exemption from providing uninsured motorist coverage with your signature. The legal exemption outlines that an insured individual may sign a written waiver in which the insured expresses the desire to go without UM coverage.
As you might expect, insurance companies pounce on this exemption, often attempting to convince unsuspecting policy holders that UM coverage is extraneous and unnecessary and even making the need for this coverage confusing to the point its easier to simply opt out. In addition, auto insurance companies may try to convince you to buy a lower amount of coverage than what is automatically required in Alabama before then signing a waiver that you were offered the higher amount required by law.
No matter how an auto insurance company tries to dupe you into thinking you don’t need UM coverage, don’t fall for it.
UM coverage is often some of the cheapest insurance you can protect yourself with, and given that millions of Americans continue to drive without insurance, it is the wisest choice you can make.
As such, beat the insurance company at its own game by refusing to sign any waiver, and it is probably best to take it one step further. In Alabama, the minimum UM coverage required by state law is $25,000. $25,000 of coverage may sound like a lot, but that figure might not even cover property damage to a valuable vehicle, not to mention any serious injuries sustained.
$250,000 UM coverage can often be obtained for under $100 every six months. So, for less than $200 per year you can protect yourself with $250,000 of UM coverage. Insurance companies know that by not discouraging uninsured motorist coverage they have the potential for a huge loss in revenue. Therefore they do everything they can to discourage this policy option.
According to recent statistics, Alabama is home to between 15 to 26 percent of drivers who are uninsured. You can’t afford to let the insurance company dupe you into giving up this essential protection.
Don’t wait until you are injured by an uninsured motorist to consider the importance this coverage holds. Your life and your health are your greatest assets. If you have been injured in an auto accident by an uninsured driver in Baldwin, Mobile or Escambia Counties and were convinced to sign a UM coverage waiver by a bad faith insurance company, call 251-732-2701 or contact Noel B. Leonard for a legal consultation.