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Alabama car insurance laws require all drivers to carry bodily injury liability and property damage coverage. Driving without this minimum level of insurance can lead to expensive fines and jail time.
Alabama Car Insurance Laws
Alabama car insurance laws must be followed if you live in the state. Alabama laws require the following insurance minimums:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $25,000 property damage per accident
This may be listed as 25/50/25 and is the maximum amount that your insurance provider will pay if you are in an accident in which you are at fault. Additionally, Alabama laws require drivers to carry proof of insurance whenever driving. If a police officer pulls you over and requests it, you must have a copy.
According to einsurance.com, in addition to state laws that dictate how much insurance you must carry, it is important to know other laws related to driving:
- All drivers must follow Alabama road laws. If you violate these laws, you may also lose your driver’s license.
- The state of Alabama reserves the right to cancel your driver’s license if you give inaccurate information when applying.
- The state can revoke your driver’s license if you’re convicted of certain offenses. Once the revocation period is over, you can reapply for a driver’s license again.
- Alabama law prevents all drivers from texting and driving, and beginner drivers from using their phones in any manner.
- Law enforcement may check the validity of insurance using the online insurance verification system at any time.
Driver’s who want to opt-out of state insurance can do so with a liability bond certificate of $75,000 or a cash deposit of $75,000 to the state treasurer officer, according to ValuePenguin.
What Does Bodily Injury Cover?
Bodily injury coverage is a requirement in most states, including Alabama. It pays for injuries and lost wages of other drivers if you cause an accident. Property damage is also a form of liability insurance that is usually a requirement. It covers property damages, such as vehicle repairs, that you cause to other drivers. It is important to note, neither of these coverages pays for your damages or medical bills.
Potential Consequences for Driving With No Insurance in Alabama
Driving without car insurance in Alabama is illegal and can lead to the following consequences:
- Legal fines up to $1000
- Suspension of your driver’s license up to six months
According to The Zebra, these consequences vary depending on whether it is your first offense or if you have had previous offenses. If you continue to drive without insurance, it could also lead to an SR-22 requirement or even jail time. An SR-22 refers to a form you will have to file when registering your vehicle which ensures that you have insurance.
Other Types of Insurance to Consider
Bodily injury liability and property damage are the only requirements for insurance in Alabama. However, you may decide to carry additional coverage, including:
- Comprehensive: Comprehensive covers the damages done to your vehicle, not related to an auto accident. This might include vandalism, weather damages, or even theft.
- Collision: Collision covers the damages to your vehicle, even if you were at fault. This is important coverage to consider if you have an auto loan or drive a leased vehicle.
- Loan/lease payoff: Loan/lease payoff is additional coverage that pays off your loan or lease payments in the event that the funds you receive following an accident don’t cover it.
- Medical payments: Medical payments coverage pays for your medical bills following an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
- Rental car reimbursement: Rental car reimbursement covers the cost of a rental car while you wait for repairs or replacement following an accident.
- Roadside assistance: Roadside assistance covers costs incurred when someone comes out to replace your tire or tow your vehicle to a local shop.
- Uninsured motorist: Uninsured motorist covers your damages and medical bills if you’re in an accident with a driver who is at fault that does not have insurance or sufficient insurance.
- Physical damage: Physical damage combines comprehensive and collision coverage and covers the physical damages to your vehicle following an accident.
Evaluate your coverage needs when shopping for insurance. Having too little coverage can lead to out-of-pocket costs following an accident and too much coverage can mean higher insurance costs.
How to Get the Best Rates in Alabama
Auto insurance is a required cost in Alabama if you drive a vehicle. Insurance rates vary between drivers and takes into account:
- Your vehicle
- Whether you had prior insurance
- The number of miles you drive
- Your location
- Your driving record
- Your age
- Your gender
- Your marital status
Some factors are considered more heavily, but this often varies between providers. This is why it is so important to compare prices among different providers. You may find cheaper insurance with another provider for the same level of coverage that you already have. Other ways you can get the best insurance rates in Alabama include:
- Ask about available discounts: Insurance companies offer discounts for things like a good driving record and being a good student. Always ask if you are eligible for any available discounts.
- Combine policies: If you have more than one driver on your policy, or you also have insurance for your home or motorcycle, combining policies can lead to significant cost savings.
- Frequently compare quotes: In addition to comparing quotes among providers when first buying insurance, it is helpful to do it every six months. If your insurance company increases your rates, it is time to shop around.
- Evaluate your coverage: While you are required to carry Alabama’s minimum insurance levels, you can decide how much coverage you need beyond that.
The state minimum insurance is usually the cheapest. However, it is important to choose the right level of coverage for your needs.
Knowing Alabama’s car insurance laws can help you buy a policy with enough coverage. It can also help you save when shopping around.
Check this out if you need additional information, resources, or guidance on car insurance.
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