You’ve probably seen more than one company advertising cheap auto insurance in Alabama. With so many providers vying for your business and promising the lowest rates, the process of finding the best deal can seem overwhelming.
To speed up your search, our team compared the rates of nine top insurance providers in AL to find the best quotes for these four driver categories:
Best Rates For Drivers With No Recent Accidents
If you’ve never caused a crash, you should certainly see that fact reflected in your car insurance premiums. Insurance companies charge low-risk drivers less for coverage since they’re statistically less likely to file a claim.
Our study found that Allstate offers the best cheap auto insurance in Alabama for drivers with a spotless accident history. If you were involved in a recent crash, try comparing car insurance quotes every few months to find out if you could save by switching to a different provider.
Best Rates For Teen Drivers
Insurance quotes for teen drivers are typically higher than those for adults because the latter tend to have more experience behind the wheel. Fortunately, some insurance companies offer low rates to young drivers who have a clean driving record. In our study, we evaluated the cost of insurance for an 18 year old and found that Allstate is the best choice for cheap auto insurance for teenagers in Alabama who need the minimum car insurance required by law.
Best Rates For Drivers With A DUI
You probably know that drinking and driving don’t mix, but all it takes is one drink too many to lead to DUI charges. If you were convicted of DUI, it is likely that your insurance premiums have increased. Some insurers are trying to boost their policyholder count by being lenient on drivers who were convicted of DUI. In our study, Allstate was found to offer the lowest rates, closely followed by State Farm.
Best Rates For Senior Drivers
Seniors tend to drive less than younger motorists. In our study, we compared rates for male and female drivers age 65 who traveled one-third the annual mileage as our 29-year-old driver. The senior driver in our study was also a homeowner.
The “DUI” and “No Recent Accidents” segments of our study involved a 29-year-old driver with a 2014 Toyota Corolla who traveled 12,000 miles per year. We averaged the insurance rates for males and females from five zip codes in Alabama. The teen driver in our study was purchasing the state’s minimum liability coverage, but all other driver categories were purchasing coverage for 50/100/25 liability and 50/100/25 uninsured motorist coverage.
What Are The Minimum Car Insurance Requirements For Drivers In Alabama?
In the state of Alabama, the minimum required coverage is as follows:
- Bodily Injury Liability Per Person: $25,000
- Bodily Injury Liability Per Accident: $50,000
- Property Damage Liability: $25,000
Penalties For Driving Without Car Insurance In Alabama
If you are ever involved in a traffic accident or pulled over, officers in Alabama will ask to see proof that you are insured. But they aren’t just trying to make your life difficult. Mandatory coverage helps protect other drivers and safeguards you against a potentially bankrupting lawsuit following a crash.
As a result, courts in Alabama do not pull any punches if you’re caught driving without insurance – even if it’s only your first offense. You will have to pay up to $500 in fines, may have to serve up to three months in prison and have your registration suspended for 45 days or more. Plus, your car could be impounded.
Caught driving without coverage again? The gloves are coming off. Courts have a history of making an example of repeat offenders, sentencing the uninsured to cough up as much as $3,000 in fines and serve up to six months in prison. Plus, you license will be suspended for a minimum of four months.
Alabama Car Insurance FAQs
Can I File A Claim If I Was Partially At Fault For The Accident?
Yes. Alabama employs a “fault” insurance system, which means that after an accident, drivers typically file third-party claims against the at-fault party or his/her insurance company. If more than one party is found to be at fault for a crash, Alabama’s comparative or contributory negligence law comes into play.
The insurance claims investigator will look at the police report from the accident, statements made by you and the other drivers, statements from any witnesses, information collected from the accident scene itself, the condition of the vehicles involved, and even weather conditions to determine if multiple parties share liability. If you are found to have been partially at fault, your damages award will be reduced by your percentage of fault. If you file a lawsuit, the courts can also assign a percentage of fault to each party involved and adjust damages awards accordingly.
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Filing A Car Insurance Claim In Alabama
1. Not Notifying The Insurance Company Right Away
You should collect evidence from the accident scene and take down witness statements to help support your claim. Even if you have strong evidence, though, you could still run into trouble if you wait too long to contact your insurance company.
2. Admitting Fault
Crash! You’ve just collided with another car. Your adrenaline is surging, your emotions are in overdrive and it looks like it’s your fault. But before you jump the gun and apologize, remember this: there are always more factors at play than you might think.
Yes, you were distracted and slammed into the other driver from behind, but he or she may have switched lanes without indicating or just finished making an illegal turn. Your confession may be all the encouragement the other motorist needs to file a claim against you, leaving your insurer scrambling to defend your statements. After a crash, call the police, take down information and any witness statements, and never admit fault.
3. Not Following Up
You took statements and filed your forms, now it’s time to sit back and wait for the money to roll in. Wrong. It pays to keep track of your claim every step of the way. Not only does this help eliminate any confusion and anxiety around the process, but you’ll also have a better idea of when your claim will be paid out and can budget accordingly.
How To Be Ready For A Car Accident
Every motorist hopes they never find themselves in a car accident. Unfortunately, for every mile you drive, you have a 1 in 447,000 chance of ending up in a crash. Next time you get behind the wheel, make sure you’ve done the following:
- Pack an emergency first aid kit;
- Stash important documents, such as your insurance information, health plan information and vehicle registration, in the glove compartment;
- Ensure that your phone is fully charged; and
- Stow away loose items in either your console, glove compartment or trunk.
What Is Alabama’s Mandatory Liability Insurance Law?
The Mandatory Liability Insurance Law requires all motorists in Alabama to carry proof of insurance with them while driving. The law was enacted in 2017. A violation is considered a misdemeanor.
The law guarantees all licensed drivers in the state fair access to car insurance, but it allows insurance companies to withhold coverage from high-risk drivers. You may be considered a high-risk driver if you’ve been caught driving under the influence, speeding, or committing other traffic violations.
I Don’t Have Car Insurance – Is There Another Way to Prove Compliance?
The Alabama Department of Public Safety (DPS) may accept a certificate of compliance, which is issued by the Department of Revenue (DOR), but they will only issue that certification if you have a liability bond or you make a cash deposit.
If you apply for a bond payable for $75,000 – the amount an Alabama insurer would typically provide under a minimum liability policy – from a licensed surety company, the DOR may grant you a Motor Vehicle Liability Bond Certificate. This bond pledges that the surety company will pay for accident damages you cause in case you fail to do so.
If you deposit $75,000 in cash with the State Treasurer’s office and complete the necessary accompanying application, the DOR may grant you a Cash Bond Certificate. This deposit can be used to pay for damages you cause in an at-fault accident.
What Is the Alabama Auto Insurance Plan?
If you have a history of traffic violations or accidents and find it tough to find affordable car insurance in Alabama as a result, the Alabama Auto Insurance Plan (AL AIP) may be able to help. The AL AIP is an agreement between the state and insurance companies to share the costs of insuring high-risk drivers. It assigns high-risk drivers to insurance companies based on the insurer’s market share. For example, if Insurance Company X covers 5 percent of the voluntary insurance market, then that same company is required to cover 5 percent of the state’s high-risk drivers.
If you need assistance finding coverage, speak to a licensed insurer about how you can benefit from the AL AIP. By the terms of this plan, you might not be able to choose your insurance company and you will likely pay higher premiums than the average motorist, but you won’t be taking the risk of driving while uninsured.
How Do Car Insurance Companies Determine Premiums in Alabama?
Car insurance premiums are regulated by the Alabama Department of Insurance, which allows insurers to charge premiums based on specific criteria. Factors they are allowed to consider include:
- The age and model of your vehicle;
- Your history of auto insurance coverage;
- How often and how far you regularly travel;
- Your driving history and safety record;
- Your age, gender, and marital status;
- Your credit history; and
- Your deductible, or the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in.
Types of Car Insurance Available in Alabama
Alabama law requires drivers to carry liability insurance to help pay for damages they cause to other people in the event of an at-fault accident. However, liability coverage alone will not pay for your own damages in the event that you cause a crash. To protect your financial security, it’s a good idea to invest in addon coverage such as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and medical payments coverage.
Is an Alabama Insurance Company Allowed to Repair My Vehicle with Non-Original Parts?
Unless you had your accident after driving right out of the lot, yes. Alabama insurance law states that repairs must restore the vehicle to its value before the crash. This means the company responsible for your car’s repairs doesn’t have to use factory parts but can default to a manufacturer of like kind and quality. Ask your insurance company if they are prepared to offer guarantees on these parts.
Alabama Car Accident Statistics
In Alabama, 1,038 motorists were killed in road accidents in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Between 2003 and 2012, 3,190 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Alabama, according to statistics collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to NHTSA research, 98 pedestrians were killed in Alabama road accidents in 2015, and 96 motorcyclists were killed in accidents in 2016.
Alabama Drunk Driving Laws
It goes without saying that drunk driving is a dangerous practice that puts many lives at risk. In Alabama, a conviction for driving under the influence can have serious consequences.
First-time DUI offenders face up to a year in municipal or county jail, a fine of $500 to $2,000, and a 90-day license suspension. Those numbers skyrocket with each subsequent offense. A second DUI within five years, for example, could cost you a minimum of $1,000, and any convictions after that, if committed within a five-year period, could result in a fine of up to $10,000. A second conviction also comes with up to 48 hours’ incarceration, and subsequent convictions may result in up to five years in prison.
Legal blood alcohol content (BAC) levels vary according to your age and your driving purpose. It is illegal for anyone under 21 years old to drive with a BAC of 0.02% or more, while anyone operating a commercial vehicle must adhere to a limit of 0.04%. Regular passenger car drivers may not exceed the BAC limit of 0.08%.
Alabama Seat Belt Laws
The Alabama DPS may fine you up to $25 for not wearing a safety belt while you are in the front seat of a running vehicle. Children under the age of 15 are also required to wear a seat belt even if they are in the back seat.
Cell Phone Use Laws for Drivers in Alabama
In Alabama, it is not illegal to make a phone call while operating a motor vehicle. But Alabama’s DPS has taken steps to prevent distracted driving by making it illegal to send or read text messages, instant messages, or emails while driving, no matter how old you are.
Because a disproportionately high percentage of distracted driving victims and offenders are teenagers, the Alabama DPS also forbids people under the age of 18 who have been a qualified driver for less than six months from using a cell phone at any time while driving.