Less than three years ago, more than 900,000 Alabamans did not have auto liability insurance, and many Alabamans still lack adequate auto insurance.
When these drivers are the at-fault party in an accident, this puts Alabama residents without uninsured motorist coverage directly at risk. In such instances, uninsured motorist coverage (UM coverage) can be the difference between deserved compensation for injuries and receiving nothing for harms sustained.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage, or UM coverage, provides additional coverage for an individual’s car insurance coverage or the coverage of a relative with whom they share a residence. The insurance is designed to provide essential protection when a car accident occurs with an at-fault driver who either lacks adequate insurance to fully compensate the injured party or has no insurance coverage altogether. Without this coverage, injured drivers can find it exceedingly difficult to receive compensation for their injuries, making it an essential insurance option.
The state of Alabama already requires motorists to have mandatory liability insurance (MLI), and insurance providers must provide minimum liability policies as follows:
- $25,000 Coverage for Death or Bodily Injury to One Person
- $25,000 for Damage or Destruction of Property
- $50,000 for Death or Bodily Injury to Two or More Persons
However, motorists convicted of a MLI violation are subjected to fines up to only $500 for a first offense. Too many states have tacit fines like this, which may help explain why 1 in 8 Americans continue to drive without insurance. As a result, too many Alabama drivers continue to drive without insurance as well, which is why you need to know how to obtain UM coverage.
How to Obtain Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Alabama
Alabama’s uninsured motorist statute explicitly dictates that Alabama auto insurance companies must provide UM coverage on each and every car insurance policy sold in the state of Alabama. Even if the policy holder did not ask for UM coverage, the bare minimum of coverage must be included in an auto insurance policy.
However, the insured is allowed to sign a written waiver which expresses their decision to forego UM coverage. Some unscrupulous insurance providers will attempt to convince you that UM coverage is unnecessary. Avoid making this mistake since it only helps the insurance company and prevents you from receiving rightful compensation. Instead, ask yourself how much coverage you should obtain instead.
How Much Uninsured Motorist Coverage Is Ideal?
Understand that, where UM coverage is concerned, more is better. Car insurance policies on the whole may be expensive, but UM coverage is incredibly cheap compared to the coverage you receive. Often, a quarter of a million in coverage is less than $100 per every six months. The minimum coverage required in the state of Alabama, which is often not enough to cover significant property damage and long-term injuries. Err on the side of caution, and receive the essential protections that you might need.
Don’t wait until you are injured in an accident to lament that you did not have UM coverage. The time to act is now. But, if you have already been in an accident with an at-fault driver who lacked insurance, call 251-732-2701 contact Noel B. Leonard for a legal consultation. Noel B. Leonard has helped clients in Baldwin, Mobile and Escambia Counties receive deserved compensation from insurance companies and at-fault drivers alike.