Motor vehicle insurance is a requirement by law, but unfortunately not everyone plays by the rules. Uninsured Motorist, or UM, covers your vehicle damage and injury costs if you are hit by someone without insurance. Underinsured Motorist, UIM, covers you if you are hit by someone who may have insurance, but not enough to cover your property damage or injury expenses.
Alabama law requires every driver to have at least $25,000 in liability coverage. That is so if you hit someone, your insurance will pay up to $25,000 toward the injury or property damage of the vehicle or person you hit. Unfortunately, many people do not have insurance. A recent study showed that one in four vehicles are not insured. If one of them hits you and causes damage, you will be left with the bill. Also, many times we see where injury costs and vehicle damage total much more than $25,000. Cars and trucks are heavy and can do tremendous damage quickly. You may get hit by a vehicle that has the Alabama minimum, but that may not be enough to cover your hospital bills.
Many times we are asked if uninsured motorist is a requirement on your policy. You do have the option to waive UM/UIM coverage when you purchase your auto policy. However, if you choose not to have it, you might find it difficult, if not impossible, to cover your losses from an accident with an uninsured motorist. It is some of the least expensive insurance you can buy, and depending on your policy, many times it only costs you an additional $15-20 every six months.
To make sure you are protected from uninsured drivers is of course make sure you have included UM/UIM coverage on your auto policy. The higher the limits, the better. The next thing you can do is practice defensive driving. Always be cautious of other drivers. Plan ahead for the unexpected, watch your speed, always use your turn signals, and keep a safe distance. If you have any further questions, or would like one of our attorneys to review your auto insurance policy, please feel free to stop by our office anytime, or give us a call at (251) 300-2000.