With a mix of large cities and rural charm, Alabama is a melting pot of cultures and personalities. This is no more apparent than it is on the roads, as drivers of all types battle traffic together. In Alabama, you must have auto insurance according to the Alabama Liability Insurance Law (32-7A). If you drive a registered vehicle in Alabama, you must have insurance that meets the law's minimum requirements. The Alabama minimum requirements are as follows:
- $25,000 for injury/death to one person
- $50,000 for injury/death to more than one person
- $25,000 for damage to property
Starting in early 2013, Alabama license plate issuers and law enforcement will try to verify liability insurance in real time using the State of Alabama’s Online Insurance Verification System. Vehicle owners who can’t get their insurance verified though the online system must provide proof of insurance to license plate officials.
If you're caught on the road without insurance, you'll potentially receive fines and a license suspension. The most common way you can prove that you have a policy is with an insurance card. A valid insurance card includes the policy's effective date, the insurer's National Association of Insurance Commissioners number, the vehicle identity number, and the policy number.
Sample of Annual Alabama Auto Insurance Rates
Huntsville Auto Insurance
Huntsville is the fourth-largest city in the Cotton State with a population of more than 180,000 people. Known as "Rocket City," Huntsville hosts NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.
Interstate 565 connects Huntsville with Interstate 65 just outside of town. From there, Interstate 65 runs north into Nashville, and south toward Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile.
Dauphin Island Auto Insurance
Dauphin Island is situated in the Gulf of Mexico. Many tourists confuse the name with "Dolphin Island." The town has a population of more than 1,200 people.
Bienville Boulevard is the main street that stretch across the island. Alabama State Route 193 connects Dauphin Island with mainland Alabama, running north toward Interstate 10, which connects with Mobile.
Mobile Auto Insurance
Mobile is the third-largest city in Alabama with a population of more than 195,000 people. Mobile was the original home of Mardi Gras, before the celebration moved to New Orleans.
Beginning in Mobile, Interstate 65 runs north through Montgomery and Birmingham on the way toward Nashville. Interstate 10 crosses through Mobile, running west toward New Orleans and east into Tallahassee, Fla.
Montgomery Auto Insurance
Montgomery is the state capital of Alabama, and was at one point the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War. It is the second-largest city in the Cotton State with a population of more than 201,000 people. It is known as the "Birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement." The Gump
From Montgomery, Interstate 65 runs south toward Mobile, and north through Birmingham on the way into Nashville. Interstate 85 runs northeast, passing through Auburn on the way into Atlanta.
Birmingham Auto Insurance
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama with a population of more than 212,000 people. Several famous rock-n-roll songs make references to Birmingham, including "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Black Betty." Birmingham is known as Pittsburgh of the South.
From Birmingham, Interstate 20 runs east into Atlanta, and west toward Dallas. Interstate 65 runs north into Nashville, and south toward Montgomery and Mobile. Interstate 59 runs northeast into Chattanooga, and southwest toward New Orleans. Interstate 22 connects Birmingham with Memphis in the northwest.
Dothan Auto Insurance
Dothan is known as the "Peanut Capital of the World," because of the large role it plays in the industry. The town takes its name from a Bible verse. It is the seventh-largest city in Alabama with a population of more than 65,000 people.
U.S. Route 431 begins in Dothan and runs northeast toward Columbus, Ga. U.S. Route 231 runs northwest toward Montgomery and Birmingham, and south into Panama City on the Gulf Coast. U.S. Route 84 runs west toward Waco, Texas.
Eufaula Auto Insurance
Eufaula is a small town on the Alabama-Georgia border. It has a population of more than 13,000 people. The nearby Lake Eufaula has been called the "Big Bass Capital of the World."
From Eufaula, U.S. Route 82 runs northwest toward Montgomery, and crosses the Lake Eufaula, which divides Alabama and Georgia to the east. U.S. Route 431 runs north into Columbus, Georgia, and south into Dothan.
Tuscaloosa Auto Insurance
Tuscaloosa has a population of more than 95,000 people, making it the fifth-largest city in the Cotton State. Tuscaloosa is the former state capital of Alabama. The college town is home to the University of Alabama.
From Tuscaloosa, Interstate 20 runs east through Birmingham and into Atlanta, and west toward Dallas. Interstate 59 follows Interstate 20 to Birmingham, where it splits off and runs northeast into Chattanooga; it also heads southwest toward New Orleans.
Opelika Auto Insurance
Opelika is an eastern suburb of Auburn. The city has a population of more than 28,000 people. Opelika's motto is "Rich in Heritage with a Vision for the Future."
From Opelika, Alabama State Route 14 runs straight into Auburn. Interstate 85 connects Opelika with Atlanta to the runs northeast, and Montgomery to the southwest. U.S. Route 280 runs northeast toward Birmingham, and southeast into Columbus, Ga.
Auburn Auto Insurance
Auburn is the ninth-largest city in Alabama with a population of more than 62,000 people. The college town hosts Auburn University. Auburn is known as the "Loveliest Village on the Plains."
From Auburn, Interstate 85 runs northeast into Atlanta, and southwest toward Montgomery. U.S. Route 280 connects Auburn with Birmingham to the northwest, and Columbus, Ga., to the southeast.
Finding Auto Insurance Resources in Alabama
You have many resources available to learn about Alabama insurance requirements. To start, you can go to the Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You can also talk with local insurers to learn about policies and coverage options.
If you have an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, there is no need to panic. Alabama's Uninsured Motorist Statute requires insurers to provide you with uninsured coverage on every policy. When an uninsured or underinsured driver collides with your car, your policy will cover damages and injuries without raising your rates.
If you have trouble buying car insurance, you can obtain proof of financial responsibility with a Motor Vehicle Liability Bond or a Certificate of Cash Bond. For these bonds, you'll need to fill out an application and bring your Alabama certificate of title and VIN.
Saving on Your Alabama Auto Insurance Policy
Although a car insurance plan that fits your needs is important, you should also consider options that work with your budget. Some companies charge very different rates for similar plans. You should get quotes from at least three insurers in your area to find the best rate. Some other money saving tips include:
- Insuring multiple cars on one plan
- Getting good grades (students that maintain a B average or higher qualify for a discount)
- Completing a defensive driving course
- Having a car that passes vehicle safety inspections
You can also raise your deductible to save a bit of overall cost. Higher deductibles result in lower monthly payments. If your car is old, you should fix minor damage yourself and let your insurer take care of the more expensive issues.
The best way to save on your policy is to have a good driving record, as that greatly affects what you pay.
Moving to Alabama: Important Information
When you move to Alabama, you have 30 days to get your Alabama driver's license. You'll need to visit an Alabama Department of Public Safety office to obtain your new license. Make sure that you bring a valid copy of your out-of-state license, birth certificate, Social Security card, and proof of address. If all of your information is accepted, you won't have to take an eye vision exam or a written test.
Additionally, you have 30 days to register your vehicle. To register your vehicle, you must do the following:
- Have a county licensing official inspect the vehicle
- Provide proof of car insurance
After these two requirements are met, a licensing official will collect fees and then issue a license plate. The state of Alabama doesn't require an emissions test.
Understanding Driving Laws in Alabama
While driving in Alabama, you must be aware of Alabama's unique driving laws.
The state of Alabama has strict laws regarding cell phones use. Text messaging is forbidden for everyone. If you are 16 or 17 with an intermediate driver's license, you cannot talk on your cell phone. Additionally, Alabama is part of the "Click It or Ticket" program, so you must wear your seatbelt at all times.
Like most states, Alabama has very strict and serious driving under the influence (DUI) laws. If you're caught with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over 0.08 percent, you'll face large fines, a jail sentence up to a year, and license suspension. Multiple offenses result in increased penalties. Alabama police officers can issue underage drivers a DUI with only a 0.02 percent BAC.
Frequently Asked Questions About Alabama Auto Insurance
1. What determines your insurance premium?
There are many factors that affect the price of your premium. Some of these factors include:
- Type of car you drive
- Purpose of your vehicle (personal use only or business use)
- Driving record
- Age (drivers under 25 often pay more)
- Marital status
2. What is SR-22 insurance?
If you are considered a high risk individual or you have a DUI on your record, an SR-22 insurance policy is required by the state. This policy proves that you have taken financial responsibility for your vehicle if your license has been suspended or revoked.
3. Do you need auto insurance for an older car?
Even though the cost of your premium may be more than your car is worth, you still need to purchase auto insurance. If repairs cost more than the car, the insurer will total the car and give you a check worth its value.
How to Get Great Rates on Alabama Auto Insurance
Finding an auto insurance quote can seem overwhelming – but insuranceQuotes.com helps you find the best car insurance policy at the best price. Every year, we match 15 million consumers to the nation’s biggest auto insurance companies, including State Farm, Allstate and Liberty Mutual.
insuranceQuotes.com connects you with local and national insurance companies that give you free car insurance estimates by phone or email within minutes. By comparing multiple quotes, you can be sure that you’re getting the best price for car insurance.
insuranceQuotes.com Auto Rate Methodology
Rates are based on one vehicle and one driver who has state minimum coverage with $500 deductibles. The hypothetical driver is 35 years old, female or male, employed, a college graduate, and has good credit. She has no traffic violations, claims, or lapse in coverage. The vehicle is assumed to be a sedan that is garaged on premises, used primarily for commuting, and driven 16,000 miles per year. Rates include commonly available carrier discounts and are estimates and not guaranteed.