What is uninsured motorist coverage, and do I need it?

Drivers in Alaska are required by law to carry auto insurance, which provides compensation for bodily injury and property damage for those who suffer injuries in an accident. This insurance coverage can be vital for crash victims, helping them to obtain the care and compensation they need to recover as fully as possible. In addition, it can be used to repair or replace the vehicle involved.

Unfortunately, not all those behind the wheel follow the law. According to the Insurance Information Institute, about 15 percent of Alaska drivers are uninsured. When these drivers are responsible for a car accident, what happens to the injury victims? While it can be possible to sue the at-fault driver directly, this is typically ineffective. Most drivers who do not have auto insurance do not have the money to pay the expenses related to an accident out of pocket. Instead, injury victims are forced to foot the bill themselves or look to their own insurance policy using coverage known as ininsured motorist (UM) coverage.

What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured motorist coverage is an additional part of your auto insurance policy that pays for your accident-related expenses when an uninsured driver causes a crash. Uninsured motorist coverage typically provides compensation for:

  • Property damage
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages

It can also cover injuries sustained by drivers and passengers in a hit and run accident, bicycle accident, or pedestrian accident.

Should Drivers Purchase Uninsured Motorist Insurance?

If you’re involved in a car accident, you may be facing serious injuries, a difficult recovery, and significant time away from work. The last thing you should have to worry about is finding a way to pay your expenses during such a difficult time, especially when the person responsible has failed to uphold their duty to be a safe, lawful driver. UM coverage can provide injury victims with vital benefits for typically just a few dollars a month.

If you have suffered injuries in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you may need help to obtain the medical care and compensation you deserve to move forward. Even if you carry uninsured motorist coverage, it may be necessary to negotiate with your own insurance company to obtain a fair settlement. Attorney Ben Crittenden helps Alaska accident victims be successful after a car accident, making sure they obtain all the tools they need to recover as fully as possible. Call Ben in his Anchorage office today to learn more about your rights and how he may be able to help.