Auto insurance requirements in Alabama
If you plan on driving in the state of Alabama, the Alabama mandatory liability law requires drivers to carry insurance. Furthermore, drivers must also carry proof of insurance while driving, which must be shown to law enforcement officials when requested. Have a look at the insurance required in Alabama as well as a breakdown of what it covers.
Liability coverage in Alabama
Liability coverage is the only legally required car insurance in Alabama. This coverage is usually split into bodily injury and property damage coverages. Bodily injury coverage pays for injuries and lost wages that you cause to another driver or their passengers, while property damage coverage takes care of damage you cause to the other driver’s vehicle. Keep in mind that liability insurance never pays for your injuries or damages to your car. For this, you would need to consider adding further coverage.
What are state-mandated car insurance limits?
Nearly every state requires a certain amount of insurance coverage for all motorists. These coverage limits are determined by each individual state and normally split into three categories. In Alabama, the minimum is listed as 25/50/25. The first two numbers refer to bodily injury per-person and per-accident, respectively, while the last number refers to property damage.
- Per-person coverage is the most that a car insurance company will pay for a single person that you injure in an auto accident.
- Bodily injury coverage per-accident is the most that your insurer will pay for all injured parties in an accident in an accident caused by you.
- Property damage per-accident refers to the maximum dollar amount an insurer will pay for damage that you cause to another party’s property in an accident.
These numbers reflect the minimum limits required in Alabama. Higher coverage amounts are available via most companies.
Do Alabama’s required insurance minimums provide enough coverage?
Only carrying the state-mandated minimums is never recommended, as this leaves you and your assets at risk. Alabama’s liability limits are higher than some states, but this does not mean that you are adequately covered. Considering how quickly medical expenses can stack up, especially if you injure more than one individual, raising your limits is almost necessary. This goes for property damage coverage as well, as the $25,000 limit doesn’t even cover the average cost for a new vehicle should you be on the line for replacing one.
It’s highly recommended that all drivers increase these limits in order to avoid being stuck footing the bill out-of-pocket. Also, if you want to protect your vehicle, adding physical coverage is the only option.
Alabama’s penalties for driving without proof of insurance
Those who choose to forgo insurance while driving are in violation of state law and can face the following consequences.
|1st offense||2nd (or subsequent) offense|
|Registration suspension||45 days (with $200 reinstatement fee)||
Four months (with $400 reinstatement fee)
Up to six months
Depending on the severity of the offense, further penalties could include jail time as well as the requirement to carry an SR-22.
Optional car insurance coverage in Alabama
Alabama law only requires liability coverage in order to be legal. However, consider these additional coverage options to expand your insurance coverage and gain more protection.
- Comprehensive: This coverage protects your vehicle from non-collision perils such as theft, weather damage, and even hitting an animal.
- Collision: If you collide with another vehicle or object, this coverage will cover damages to your vehicle.
- Loan/Lease Payoff: This coverage is often referred to as gap coverage. It can be very helpful for those financing a vehicle that has been totaled, as it covers the difference between your vehicle’s actual cash value and the amount you still owe on the loan.
- Medical Payments: Medical payments coverage (med pay) steps in to help with medical expenses accrued by you or those in your vehicle in an accident.
- Rental Car Reimbursement: If your car is unable to be driven, this coverage helps cover costs associated with getting a rental until your vehicle is fixed.
- Roadside Assistance: The companies that offer this coverage may differ in the types of coverage provided, but roadside assistance usually helps with things like battery jumps, towing expenses, and flat tire fixes.
- Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury: Unfortunately, there are still a number of motorists who get behind the wheel without carrying any insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage helps cover your bodily injury expenses if you are injured by a driver who has no insurance and cannot pay for your damages.
Why adhering to Alabama’s car insurance requirements is important
No one ever expects to be in an accident, but being prepared for one is the best way to protect you and your family. If you choose to go without insurance, you can expect to face legal penalties and will be liable for any damages you cause. To avoid this, not only should you get liability insurance, but you should increase those limits as much as you can reasonably afford. Not only that, consider adding some of the above coverages to help with another of other possible expenses after an accident.
Shopping around is the best way to find an affordable policy that fits your particular needs. You can get free insurance quotes from The Zebra that allow you to compare prices and coverage options side by side, making the search much easier.