08202017Headline:

Birmingham, Alabama

HomeAlabamaBirmingham

Email Jon Lewis Jon Lewis on LinkedIn Jon Lewis on Twitter Jon Lewis on Facebook Jon Lewis on Avvo
Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis
Attorney • (888) 295-7409

Alabama Uninsured Motorist Coverage – Unbelievable!!

Comments Off

Here is a little example of Alabama law which would probably irritate most people if they found themselves in the same situation. It involves a case decided by the Supreme Court of Alabama on May 15, 2009: Kendall v. United Services Automobile Association. The Supreme Court of Alabama ruled according to the law and found in favor of United Services Automobile Association (USAA Insurance).

In Kendall, an employee of Elmore County ran a red light and collided with Mrs. Kendall. Mrs. Kendall had substantial injuries and damages. In fact, her medical expenses exceeded $100,000. Mrs. Kendall made a claim against Elmore County and settled for the $100,000 cap which one may recover from a county in Alabama. She then proceeded to make a claim on her uninsured motorist portion of her insurance policy with USAA.

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if the defendant does not have enough insurance or has no insurance. This was the case in Kendall because the $100,000 available from Elmore County was not enough to cover Mrs. Kendall’s damages. However, the law says you must be "legally entitled to recover" from the defendant in order to recover on your uninsured motorist portion of your insurance policy. Since counties are capped at $100,000, you are not "legally entitled to recover" more than $100,000 from a county. Consequently, you cannot recover any of your uninsured motorist coverage on your insurance policy – which is what the Supreme Court said.

Does this make sense? You are paying premiums every month for uninsured/underinsured motorist protection, and yet, the insurance company is protected if the defendant is protected. This is also true if you run into a deer or a State vehicle. There are other situations as well. Does your insurance agent explain this to you? Of course not. It seems ridiculous, but it’s true.