Imagine that you are injured by a negligent driver on an Alabama roadway. Alabama law requires the other driver to carry liability insurance coverage. The accident report even lists the other driver’s insurance carrier. At least there is insurance coverage for your injuries. Or, so you think. Unfortunately, things are not always what they seem.
Despite a law requiring drivers to carry liability insurance coverage, it is estimated that 25% of the drivers on Alabama roads do not currently have insurance. How is this possible? It is possible because many people purchase the required coverage, receive their insurance card, and then promptly cancel for a refund. Although the driver does not possess current coverage, they do possess an insurance card which indicates that they possess coverage. That card is all the person needs when insurance information is requested by law enforcement.
What can you do to protect yourself from a driver who fails to carry valid or sufficient liability coverage? The most important thing you can do is to make sure you have adequate uninsured motorist coverage on your policy. This coverage is fairly inexpensive and it provides coverage for injuries caused to you by a negligent driver who does not possess sufficient liability coverage.
What can the State of Alabama do to help with the problem of uninsured drivers? The State can create a system of instant verification. It would be simple to create this system. Law enforcement can already immediately verify the status of your license with its database. Simply require insurance carriers to report the issuance or cancellation of coverage so that this information can also be part of the database. That way, insurance coverage could be immediately verified by law enforcement as well. One member of Alabama’s legislature, Senator Arthur Orr of Decatur, is proposing the creation of such a system.
Uninsured drivers cost the rest of us greatly. Instant verification is a great proposal to help law enforcement protect us from uninsured drivers on our roadways.