Do I Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Alabama?
For those who drive in Alabama, maintaining car insurance isn’t just compliance with the law, it also protects you in the event that you’re in a car accident. If you cause an accident, your liability insurance pays for damages sustained by those in the other car, so that you don’t have to cover these expenses from your own pocket.
Alabama requires its drivers to carry three types of coverage: bodily injury liability coverage per person ($25,000), bodily injury coverage per accident ($50,000), and property damage liability coverage ($25,000). In Alabama, the law also requires that all liability policies that are offered provide for uninsured and underinsured motorist benefits, although this type of coverage can be rejected by a policyholder in writing. Here’s why keeping uninsured/underinsured benefits as part of your policy may be a smart idea.
The Rate of Uninsured Drivers in Alabama
According to the Alabama Department of Revenue – Motor Vehicle Division, the rate of uninsured drivers in the state was 22 percent in 2011, making Alabama the sixth worse state in the nation for its percentage of uninsured drivers. A more recent estimate, published in 2016, suggests that the rate has dropped to 12.9 percent. While the decrease is huge, 12.9 percent is still a big number. This means that more than one out of every 10 drivers on our roads in Alabama doesn’t have the liability insurance that’s required.
Why This Matters to You
The rate of uninsured drivers in Alabama should matter to you – if you are hit by one of them, there will be no insurance coverage available to cover your damages. While you could file a lawsuit against the driver, if they don’t have the ability to pay for insurance in the first place, it’s unlikely they’ll have the cash on hand necessary to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage Keeps You Protected
While you are allowed to reject coverage of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in writing, purchasing uninsured motorist coverage keeps your protected in the event that you are involved in a crash. If a driver who is uninsured, or who does not have enough insurance to pay for your injuries, hits you, your own policy’s coverage will kick in to make up the difference.
What Other Types of Insurance Are Available?
The damages that result from a car accident can be absolutely devastating, which is why you want to protect yourself as best you possibly can by having the necessary insurance in place. In addition to purchasing uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to help you pay for accidents that you don’t cause, you may also purchase
- Medical payments coverage. Medical payments coverage pays for your medical expenses after a crash, regardless of fault.
- Collision coverage. If your vehicle is damaged in a car accident, collision coverage will help to pay for any repairs.
- Comprehensive coverage. While this type of insurance coverage does not apply for damages caused in an accident involving another vehicle, it does help you to pay for damages if your car is injured by a storm, natural causes, an animal, vandalism, fire, or theft.
Getting Your Full Compensation Amount after a Crash
If you are involved in a car crash in Alabama, filing a claim for damages as soon as possible is important. If the other driver involved in your accident doesn’t have insurance and was at fault for the crash, our experienced Alabama car accident attorneys at the law office of Smith & McGhee, P.C. can help you to explore options for filing a claim and will negotiate with your insurance adjuster to obtain a fair settlement amount. Contact us today to request your free initial consultation!