From Mobile to Huntsville, Tuscaloosa to Columbus, Birmingham to Montgomery, Alabama has thousands of miles of roadways. The longest state highway at 367 miles is Interstate 22. The shortest is I-359, covering 2.30 miles. Another 3,800 miles of U.S. highways cross the state. On any given day, they’re used by the state’s 3.7 million licensed drivers, each of whom drive an average of 13,516 miles a year. Alabama’s drivers are involved in thousands of traffic accidents every day, including many that result in serious injury or death. Wherever you live and drive in the Heart of Dixie, carrying adequate car insurance is both a legal requirement and commonsense protection. This is your guide to Alabama’s basic vehicle insurance requirements and laws.
Alabama state law requires you to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties that may include monetary fines and jail time. Under Alabama’s tort system, you may also be liable for actual damages (expenses associated with property damage and medical costs), economic damages (lost wages and earning capacity) and emotional and physical pain and suffering.
The bare minimum car insurance requirement for Alabama drivers is:
$25,000 bodily injury per person per accident
$50,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
$25,000 property damage liability
Alabama law requires that you also purchase Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Bodily Injury Coverage in the minimum amount of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident, unless you tell your insurance provider in writing why you are opting out. Alabama does not require you to carry additional personal liability or Collision and Comprehensive. However, if you own property or other valuable assets, supplementing the minimum requirements can help you protect yourself from monetary loss.
Penalties for Failure to Carry Alabama Auto Insurance
Alabama law requires that you carry proof of Alabama auto insurance in your car and show it if a law enforcement officer asks to see it. The penalty for a first offense is a six-month suspension of your driver’s license and/or fines up to $1,000, plus a $200 license reinstatement fee. You must also provide proof of insurance to reinstate your license.
Altering, forging or counterfeiting proof of insurance is a Class C felony, subject to a fine of $500 to $5,000 and/or imprisonment of one to 10 years.
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Alabama Car Insurance Premiums
Vehicle insurance premiums are regulated by the Alabama Department of Insurance. Insurance companies are allowed to charge premiums and award discounts based on a number of factors that can include:
The type of car you are insuring
Prior auto insurance coverage
How much you drive
Your driving record
Your marital status
Your geographic location
How long you’ve been driving
Whether or not you use your car for business
Alabama also allows insurers to consider your credit history to determine your premium.
How to Get the Cheapest Alabama Car Insurance Policy
You may be able to lower the cost of your premiums in the following ways:
Ask about available discounts for good driving habits, anti-theft devices, multiple cars on one policy, bundling your car insurance with your homeowners or renters policy, automatic or online payments and driving a hybrid or electric car
Compare quotes from a variety of providers on this website
Eliminate unnecessary coverage
Check to see if you qualify for any low-cost auto insurance program your state may offer
New Alabama Driving Laws
Laws regarding driving and car insurance can change frequently. It is your responsibility to stay current about the legal requirements in Alabama. The following laws have recently been enacted in Alabama and may affect your insurance coverage decisions.
You are responsible for obeying all Alabama traffic laws. If you are arrested for violating Alabama driving law and convicted, you may, in addition to the punishment handed down by the court, lose your driver’s license through cancellation, revocation, suspension, or disqualification.
Your Alabama driver’s license can be canceled for a variety of reasons including failure to give required or correct information on your application or committing any fraud in making an application.
Your driver’s license can be revoked if you are convicted of certain offenses of Alabama traffic law. After the revocation period expires, you may apply for a new license.
Your driver’s license must be revoked if you are convicted of manslaughter or homicide resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle, a second or subsequent conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol, using a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony, failure to stop, render aid or identify yourself in the event of a motor vehicle accident resulting in death or personal injury of another person, three reckless driving convictions within 12 months, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle belonging to someone else.
Alabama has enacted a ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers; there is a ban on texting for all drivers.
License-plate issuing officials and law enforcement officers will attempt to verify liability insurance using the state online insurance verification system, which will immediately verify the insurance status of a vehicle at any point