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Alabama Car Insurance

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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.

AVERAGE CAR INSURANCE RATES
by ZIP Code & City

MOST & LEAST EXPENSIVE ZIP CODES in Alabama

MOST EXPENSIVELEAST EXPENSIVE
35208- Birmingham: $1,542 36467- Opp: $1,146
35217- Birmingham: $1,540 35633- Florence: $1,161
35218- Birmingham: $1,533 36360- Ozark: $1,162
35211- Birmingham: $1,529 36574- Seminole: $1,163

Cheap car insurance in Alabama

Alabama car insurance requirements

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.

Minimum liability insurance requirements

Minimum bodily injury liability: $25,000/$50,000
Minimum property damage liability: $25,000

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.

Uninsured motorist

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.

Comprehensive coverage

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.

Recommended car insurance coverage

The cheapest car insurance may not provide sufficient protection, so how much insurance should you buy? Bare-bones coverage may be a good choice if you have few assets or have an old car and don’t drive much. But if you have a home and investments, consider buying more insurance. If you don’t, you’re at risk for having your money and house taken to cover the cost of an accident. If you financed your car you will be required to get additional comprehensive and collision coverage.

Use our How Much Car Insurance Do You Need? tool to get a recommendation.

AGE
STATE
VEHICLE MODEL YEAR
OWN RENT
OWNED FINANCED LEASED

Liability

We recommend you buy more insurance than is required to legally drive a car in your state, especially if you have savings and assets. The more money you have, the more likely you are to be sued following a car accident should your insurance be insufficient to cover all the expenses. If your net worth is:

  • less than $50,000, choose at least 50/100/50
  • between $50,000 and $100,000, choose at least 100/300/100
  • more than $100,000, choose at least 250/500/100

If you're leasing or financing your car, you must get coverage of 100/300/100 or higher.

Collision and comprehensive

Collision coverage pays for damage to your car after an accident that you cause. Comprehensive insurance pays to replace stolen cars and for damages from vandalism, flooding, hail, fire and animal strikes. If your car is:

  • less than 10 years old, you should strongly consider buying collision and comprehensive.
  • more than 10 years old, only buy collision and comprehensive if your car is worth $3,000 or more, if you couldn’t afford to replace your car if it’s wrecked, or if you just want more protection on your policy.

For drivers in Alabama, collision costs an average of $563 yearly, comprehensive is $155, according to CarInsurance.com rate data. If you buy comp and collision, check our guide to choosing a deductible amount.

Medical coverage (MedPay)

Medical payments coverage can help pay for the medical or funeral expenses of covered drivers and passengers after an accident, regardless of fault, up to $25,000. In most states, including Texas, it's an optional addition to your car insurance policy. MedPay does the following:

  • Covers you and your passengers’ medical expenses
  • Pays for expenses after health insurance limits are exceeded
  • Offers additional protection to insured drivers who are hit by a car while walking or biking

If you and your passengers:

  • Don’t have health insurance, or have a plan that doesn’t cover car accidents or has low limits, we recommend that you add medical coverage of at least $5,000 to your car insurance policy.
  • Do have health insurance, it’s still a good idea to have medical coverage if you want the best protection in your policy, as it can pay out after your health benefits are maxed out.

Gap insurance

If you don’t own your car outright and have an accident, gap insurance pays the difference between the cash value of your car and the current outstanding balance on your loan or lease.

  • If you’re financing your car, your car is less than one year old and you’ve put less than 20 percent down on it, you should buy gap insurance. If not, you don’t need gap insurance.
  • If you’re leasing your car, it’s a good idea to buy gap insurance if you aren’t already required to in your lease agreement.
  • If you own your car outright, you don’t need gap insurance.

*The table shows the average annual rate of nearly every ZIP code in Alabama from up to six major insurance companies. Rates are for a male driver, age 40, with a clean record and good credit for a 2016 Honda Accord. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.

Cheapest car insurance in Alabama by company

Below you'll see average annual rates for Alabama, ranked cheapest to most expensive, for three coverage levels:

  • State minimum liability requirements
  • Liability limits of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident and $50,000 property damage
  • Liability of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident and $100,000 property damage, with comprehensive and collision at $500 deductible

Low cost auto insurance for Alabama drivers with recent accidents

Filing an accident claim means you are likely to pay more for your car insurance coverage. However, how much more you pay depends on several factors, and your car insurance company plays is one of those significant factors. Each company assesses risk differently, so that's why the increase after an accident will vary among insurers. Here is how major carriers compare after at-fault accidents for the average Alabama driver with a full coverage policy:

Who has the cheapest Alabama car insurance for drivers with speeding tickets?

If you get a speeding ticket, chances are you'll see an increase in what you pay for car insurance, upon your policy renewal. Typically, you'll pay more for three years. But even with a traffic ticket, comparison shopping can save you money. For instance, you'll see that the difference between the highest rate and the lowest in the table below is more than $1,072, on average, according to CarInsurance.com's rate analysis. That's how much you can save by comparing car insurance companies.

How much does it cost to add a teen to your policy in Alabama?

No matter where you live, adding a new driver to your family policy will hike your rate significantly. In Alabama, you can expect your rate to go up by an average of 169 percent when adding a driver age 16 to your coverage, according to CarInsurance.com rate data. You'll see in the table below how much it costs, on average, to add a teen driver in Alabama, and how major insurers compare on price. GEICO Cas had the lowest auto insurance cost for adding a driver age 16 to a full coverage family policy, among insurers surveyed.

Cheapest Alabama auto insurance for young drivers: Ages 18 to 25

Enter an age from 18 to 25 to see who has the best rates for young drivers in Alabama, by company. You’ll see in the chart below which car insurance companies have the lowest rates for young drivers buying a full coverage policy. Average car insurance rates by age data shows that drivers typically pay higher rates until age 26, when rates begin to drop as drivers gain more experience on the road. But even young drivers can save money by comparing car insurance rates to see which company has the lowest rates, by qualifying for student discounts and by staying on their parents’ policy as long as possible.

Senior drivers: Cheap auto insurance for Alabama drivers age 65 to 85

Below you can see average rates by company for drivers age 65 and over, buying a full coverage policy. While comparing car insurance quotes is always one of the primary ways to save on coverage, you can also see if you qualify for a mature driver discount or if you can trim rates by taking a defensive driving course.

Car insurance for Alabama drivers with bad credit

Car insurance for drivers with bad credit costs significantly more than it does for those with good credit. Alabama ranks 12th among the worst states for drivers with bad credit, as CarInsurance.com's data analysis shows. Compared to good credit drivers, those in Alabama with bad credit pay 76 percent more, on average. The good news is that you can still shave some money off your coverage costs if you compare car insurance companies. You'll see below that the difference among major insurers is nearly $2,882 for a full coverage policy for a driver with bad credit. That's how much you can potentially save by comparing car insurance quotes.

Best car insurance companies in Alabama

Scores are based on Insure.com’s “Best Insurance Companies” customer review survey of 3,700 customers. Companies not in the top 10 of market share do not qualify. All scores are out of 100.

 

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Largest car insurance companies in Alabama

Source: A.M. Best; State/Line (P/C Lines)  - P/C, US; Data as of:November 28, 2018

Car insurance laws in Alabama

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.

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.

Average annual car insurance rates for major cities in Alabama

Below you'll see how average annual rates for several of the largest cities in the state compare to state and national averages. Rates are for coverage of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident in liability and $50,000 of property damage coverage, with comprehensive and collision carrying a $500 deductible.

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