Uninsured motorist coverage in Alabama
Alabama does not require you to buy uninsured motorist coverage – but perhaps it should.
Alabama, along with its neighbors Mississippi, Tennessee and Florida, ranks among the states with the most uninsured motorists, according to the Insurance Research Council. If you don't have good health insurance and are hit by an uninsured driver, you are stuck paying your own medical bills.
With so many uninsured drivers all around you, we recommend you consider uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. Alabama law requires that your insurance company offers you the coverage and that you reject it in writing if you don't want it.
Alabama Car Insurance Laws
To drive legally in Alabama, motorists need to carry $25,000 of bodily injury liability per person (up to $50,000 per accident) and property damage liability of $25,000.
If you don't buy insurance and get caught, you can be fined up to $500, have your registration suspended and pay up to $200 to reinstate it. The penalties get worse if you are caught again.
- Total loss: Alabama law says that damage greater than 75 percent of a car's value means it can be considered a total loss. At that point, the insurer can total out the vehicle and instead of repairing it pay you its fair market value.
- Grace period: The Alabama Department of Insurance notes that to cancel your Alabama auto insurance policy a company must give you a 10-day notice for nonpayment of premium and 20-day notice for cancellation for any other reason.
- Uninsured motorist penalties for Alabama: You may be fined up to $500 and your registration may be suspended.
- No-insurance ticket penalty: In Alabama, driving without the mandatory liability insurance needed for a vehicle is termed a MLI violation. If the conviction is final, the court will notify the department of revenue, which will then suspend your license plate registration. For a first time license plate registration suspension in Alabama, you can immediately get it reinstated if you pay a reinstatement fee of $100 and show current proof of insurance. Any subsequent suspensions are 4 months and require a $200 reinstatement fee, plus proof of insurance. Beyond the registration suspension, MLI violations can cost you $500 for the first offense. If convicted again, the fine may be up to $1,000 or a 6 month driver's license suspension or both.
- No-license penalty: The fine for driving without a license in Alabama is no more than $100 at the discretion of a judge, plus a flat $50 fee.
- Seat belt ticket penalty: The maximum seat belt ticket penalty in Alabama is $25.
- No age restriction on owning a vehicle: In Alabama, there's no age restriction on owning a car and having the title and bill of sale in your name. Most car insurance companies require drivers under 18 to have a parent or guardian on the policy.
Severe Weather in Alabama
Alabama also ranks among Weather.com's top 10 states for tornadoes, and its coast is hit once every 7.5 years by a hurricane and once about every 1.5 by a tropical storm. If you want your vehicle covered for damage from hurricanes and tornadoes, such as winds blowing an object onto your car, hail damage or flooding, then you will want to carry comprehensive coverage on your vehicle.
Largest car insurance companies in Alabama by market share
||Company / Group
||Direct Premiums Written ($)
||Market Share (%)
||State Farm Group
||Alfa Insurance Group
||Allstate Insurance Group
||Berkshire Hathaway Insurance
||Progressive Insurance Group
||Farmers Insurance Group
||Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies
|Source: A.M. Best market share rankings are based on direct premiums written in 2013.