Alaska law requires the owner of a registered vehicle to have a liability insurance policy in effect that complies with Alaska statute 2822101. The minimum amounts for this policy are $50,000 per person and $100,000 per collision for bodily injury or death, and $25,000 for property damage.
How Much Insurance Coverage Should Someone Carry?
A lot of people simply cannot afford to purchase more than the very minimum coverage. It’s a fact. However, if you are asking this question, it implies that you are not in that category. I would get to the answer by asking you a question – How much insurance would you want if a mistake turns into something terrible? Every day, automobile accidents kill and permanently disfigure people because drivers simply fail to pay attention. We all know of tragic auto accidents in Alaska. How much insurance should you carry? I don’t think you can have “too much.” As a personal injury lawyer in Anchorage, Alaska, I am constantly reminded of what is at stake. Even crashes that seem less serious sometimes result in surgeries that can lead to big medical costs, not to mention lost pay because of time missed from work.
Are Most People Surprised At The Amount Of Insurance Coverage They Actually Have?
The term “full” coverage is deceptive. A lot of people are surprised to learn that the “full” coverage they have been paying for doesn’t always include coverage for injuries to themselves when someone else is at fault. People naturally think “full” coverage means they have all of the different types of coverage that are available – it doesn’t. “Full” coverage means that you have coverage for your liability for causing a crash – including coverage for your car. It does not mean that you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage “UM/UIM”. If you do not have UM/UIM in Alaska and you are hurt in a crash caused by someone who doesn’t have insurance, you don’t have coverage.
Does Alaska Require Mandatory Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Alaska auto insurance requirements do not force motorists to purchase underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage – but the insurance company has to offer it to everyone. Insurance companies do have to make it available and if it’s rejected, the motorist must sign and check a box on a form that says that he or she is rejecting the coverage.
What Does Uninsured Or Underinsured Motorist Coverage Actually Cover?
Uninsured motorist coverage covers you for an injury caused by someone else who doesn’t have insurance. This would include everything from top to bottom including your property damage, what it costs to fix your car, and also bodily injury coverage. It covers the cost of medical care that is required after a crash as well as replacing lost wages as a result of an injury. Additionally UM offers other recoveries that are available under Alaska law including pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and inconvenience caused by being injured by someone else’s negligence.
The underinsured motorist coverage is the same as uninsured coverage, except that it is another layer of coverage for you that rides on top of the other driver’s coverage. For example, if someone has a $50,000 policy and there are $100,000 worth of medical bills, your underinsured motorist coverage is going to pick up at $50,000 where the other policy drops off.
Is The UIM Automatically Added To Someone’s Policy Or Do They Have To Request It Specifically?
The UTM is not automatically added to someone’s policy. Technically, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) must be requested from the insurance company. In other words, it is not automatically added to a policy. The insurance company isn’t necessarily going to advise you of the amount that is available either. The most UM/UIM coverage that you can buy in Alaska is $1 million/$2 million and you have to ask for that if you want it. Most people are completely unfamiliar with the concept of UM/UIM and it’s something that Attorney Banker finds himself explaining to almost everyone that comes into his office.
For more information on Alaska auto insurance requirements, arrange a free initial consultation today. Get the information and legal answers you need by calling our Anchorage attorney (907) 312-2006 or contact us online.