We’re Number 3!! As usual, Alabama is leading the charge – in the wrong category. According to an article in the Birmingham News, Alabama ranks third in the nation in uninsured motorists. According to the Insurance Research Council, 26% of Alabama motorists do not carry liability insurance even though it is required by law and has been since 2000.
If it’s required by law, how come so many cars are uninsured? According to the article, the law is enforced in three ways: 1) if you are caught driving without insurance, you may be fined by the Alabama Department of Revenue in the amount of $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for a second, and your tag registration is suspended if you are convicted; 2) The Alabama Department of Revenue also sends out random surveys, and you will be fined $100 for not providing proof of insurance on the first offense and $200 for a second offense; and 3) the Alabama department of revenue sends questionnaires to motorists with suspended driver licenses, and if the vehicle is not insured, the registration is suspended.
While these efforts at least make an attempt to enforce the law, they are not enough. In this day and age, shouldn’t we be able to set up a system whereby your tag is suspended if you don’t have insurance, and if you drive without a tag, the penalty becomes more severe? Many individuals are significantly injured by uninsured motorists every year, and if these individuals are not abiding by the law, they should be penalized. Furthermore, the fines should be pooled together to help the victims of such unfortunate accidents and to help reduce the cost of insurance overall.
What can you do? Increase your uninsured motorist coverage. The cost is minimal, and the benefit could be enormous. Even if the driver abides by the law and has $25,000 in liability coverage, it may not be enough. Medical bills, lost wages, and other damages add up quickly. Be sure you have $100,000 or more of uninsured motorist coverage.
If you have any questions about uninsured drivers or uninsured motorist coverage, please do not hesitate to contact us. We want to know what you are thinking. Give us your comments.