Uninsured Alabama Motorists to Face Penalties

serve-and-protect-300x114

Beginning November 2017, Alabama motorists should be prepared to incur stiff penalties if they are caught without liability insurance on the state’s roadways. Although Alabama motorists have been required to carry liability insurance on their vehicles since the Alabama Mandatory Insurance Act was initially passed in 2013, the Alabama Legislature recently enacted a bill which gave the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency a procedure to levy civil penalties against drivers found to be in violation of the previously enacted Alabama Mandatory Insurance Act. The bill, which was passed by the Alabama Legislature in 2016, gave drivers a grace period in an effort to allow motorists time to obtain proper coverage.

With the grace period expiring on November 1, 2017, all motorists are now effectively responsible to be properly insured when taking to Alabama roadways. Applicable fines include the following:

  • $200 for the first offense,
  • $300 for the second offense, and
  • $400 for the third offense and all subsequent offenses.

Additionally, failure to pay within 45 days could result in a 90-day suspension of the motorist’s license. Should this happen, reinstatement is another $100.

The Alabama Mandatory Insurance Act “provides that no person shall operate, register, or maintain registration of a motor vehicle designated to be used on a public road or highway unless it is covered by a liability insurance policy.” Passed to protect those involved in motor vehicle accidents, liability insurance policies must be issued by insurers licensed in Alabama for no less than the following:

  • $25,000 for death or bodily injury to one person,
  • $50,000 for death or bodily injury to two or more persons, and
  • $25,000 for damage or destruction of property.

Some vehicles that are exempt from the law include trailers, government-owned vehicles, and vehicles covered under a commercial automobile policy. Section 32-7A-5, Code of Alabama 1975 provides a list of other vehicles that are exempt from the law.

A recent study shows that some 18 percent of Alabama’s motorists are uninsured, which is the sixth highest percentage in the nation. Given this fact, and the fact that the minimum required amounts are not enough to cover many accidents, the reality remains that drivers injured in accidents through no fault of their own will likely find it difficult to receive just compensation for their injuries, pain, and suffering. The competent Alabama accident injury attorneys at Hollis Wright can help and will provide you with a FREE and confidential consultation. You may contact us here or call 844.LAW.TALK.

Should you be traveling and are curious, below are the five states in front of Alabama with the highest percentage of uninsured motorists:

  1. Florida, 26.7 percent,
  2. Mississippi, 23.7 percent,
  3. New Mexico, 20.8 percent,
  4. Michigan, 20.3 percent, and
  5. Tennessee, 20 percent.

The Alabama Mandatory Insurance Law will be enforced in the following ways:

  • Law enforcement will verify insurance during traffic stops and crashes.
  • County license plate issuing officials will verify insurance prior to vehicle registration or renewal.
  • The Department of Revenue may send requests to vehicle owners who:
    • have had suspended registrations,
    • have been convicted of Mandatory Liability Insurance violations, or
    • have had driving privileges suspended.

Should you have insurance but are unsure if you meet the criteria, contact your insurance agent for advice. If you or a loved on has been involved in an accident with an uninsured or insured motorist, call the experienced Alabama accident attorneys at Hollis, Wright, Clay and Vail, P.C. to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us here or call 205.324.3600 or 1.844.LAW.TALK.