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Uninsured Drivers and How to Protect Yourself

January 19, 2023 Personal Injury

Most people believe that because car insurance is mandatory, that almost all people have it. But that assumption is incorrect. According to a recent study, Alabama ranks among the top states in the nation for the highest percentage of uninsured drivers on the road.

Prevalence of Uninsured Drivers in Alabama

The study estimates that 19.6% of drivers in Alabama are driving without insurance. This means that almost one in every five drivers on the road in Alabama may not have the financial resources to cover damages in the event of a car wreck. Let’s be honest. If you aren’t paying for car insurance, you likely don’t have the money to pay someone else’s medical bills. This poses a significant risk for other drivers, as they may be left to cover the costs of a car wreck all on their own.

So how can you financially protect yourself from uninsured motorists in Alabama?

The Importance of Uninsured Motorist Coverage

To protect yourself, you have to purchase uninsured motorist coverage prior to being in a car accident. Uninsured motorist coverage is a type of insurance that protects you in the event of a car wreck with an uninsured driver. It can help cover the cost of medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and mental anguish. While this coverage is not required by law in Alabama, it is an important consideration for any driver.

Nuances of Alabama Law Related to Uninsured Drivers

In Alabama, you have uninsured motorist coverage by default unless you sign a waiver rejecting the coverage. Most insurance companies are good at getting you to sign a waiver, but even if you have signed a waiver, there is a chance that the insurance company could lose or misplace the waiver. If there is no signed waiver, Alabama automatically provides you with underinsured motorist coverage.

Uninsured motorist coverage is not only important for those who are in accidents with uninsured drivers but also underinsured drivers. In fact, the correct term for this type of insurance is “uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.”

Underinsured motorist coverage is an insurance policy that helps you pay for your damages and medical expenses when the other driver does not have enough insurance.  It’s possible that the value of your injury case exceeds the amount of liability coverage the other person carries. If that happens, you may be left paying the difference if you do not have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Another factor to know is that Alabama allows you to “stack” up to three vehicles worth of uninsured motorist coverage.  For example, if you have $25,000 in UM/UIM coverage but own three vehicles, you would have $75,000 in available coverage.

Get Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Now

In short, please pay the little bit extra to insure yourself against uninsured motorists. Most car insurance companies can provide this coverage for as little as $11 per month. Purchasing UM/UIM coverage may be one of the best decisions you ever make.

If you or a loved one are in a wreck with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, contact the attorneys at Siniard Law, LLC to further discuss your legal rights.