Before buying car insurance in Alabama or even getting a car insurance quote, learn what coverage to buy, what price range to expect and what quirks are specific to Alabama car insurance.
How much does car insurance in Alabama cost?
The average car insurance premium in Alabama is $1,299 per year, making Alabama the 27th most expensive state for car insurance, and $56 below the national average. Of course, there are many factors that affect each individual driver's car insurance rates, and the only way to know exactly what you'll pay is to get quotes from insurance companies.
In Alabama, you are required by law to have insurance that covers at least the above amounts of liability insurance. When you have these minimum requirements, if you are at fault in an accident that causes injuries, your insurance will pay up to $25,000 for your own injuries and up to $50,000 for anyone you injure. If you damage someone else's car or other property, your insurance will pay up to $25,000. These numbers are often shown like this: 25/50/25.
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 coverage. Alabama law requires that your insurance company offers you the coverage, and if you don't want it, you need to reject it in writing.
Alabama 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.
Penalties and fines
Driving without insurance
In Alabama, driving without insurance is termed an 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.
Driving without a license
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
The maximum seat belt ticket penalty in Alabama is $25.
Car insurance laws in Alabama
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.
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.
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.
Proof of insurance via smartphone
Alabama is one of 31 states that allow drivers to show electronic proof of insurance during a traffic stop.
Car insurance companies in Alabama
These are the 10 largest car insurance companies in Alabama by market share. Source: A.M. Best