If you’re caught driving in the Yellowhammer State while uninsured, it’s going to cost you. Your vehicle registration will be suspended and you’ll be charged a $100 registration reinstatement fee for the first suspension, once you can show evidence of liability insurance. This is in addition to administrative fees and ticket fines as issued by Alabama’s state or local law enforcement.
If you are caught driving without insurance a second time, in addition to administrative fees and ticket fines, you’ll be charged with a four month suspension and a reinstatement fee of $200.
All vehicles registered or operated in Alabama are required to be covered by Mandatory Liability Insurance (MLI) under Alabama law. Alabamans must demonstrate this coverage and if requested by an officer of the law, you must show proof of minimum coverage. You will be charged in violation of Alabama law, if you knowingly show insurance coverage that:
- Has been altered illegally
- Has been forged
- Is not in effect
- Is shown to be invalid, for any reason
For Alabamans, your insurance card as issued by your Alabama insurance company is the best evidence for showing proof of MLI. Carry your valid insurance identification inside your vehicle.
According to the Alabama’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), other acceptable documents showing evidence of insurance are the following: the liability insurance policy issued for your vehicle, the declarations page of your insurance policy, a temporary card issued by your insurance company or a certificate of MLI insurance issued by your auto insurance company.
Minimum liability insurance coverage
Alabama auto insurance law states the following required minimum amount of liability insurance coverage:
- $25,000 for bodily injury/death liability for one person in an accident
- $50,000 for all injuries/deaths in an accident
- $25,000 for property damage
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
Uninsured and underinsured drivers are liable when they cause an accident. The at-fault driver will be liable for all damages and will be fined $100, in addition to having their license suspended.
While Alabama does not require this coverage, Alabama insurance companies are required to sell Uninsured Motorist (UM)/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage to all drivers unless they decline coverage by signing a waiver. Uninsured motorist insurance is designed to protect you against damages that are not your fault.
Who is liable
Alabama is a Tort state meaning that the driver at fault must pay a victim’s medical expenses. The at-fault driver is also held responsible for damages to your vehicle and loss of wages as a result of the accident. If you are in an accident and found not to be at fault, the passengers in your vehicle as well as the at-fault driver’s auto may also sue for their medical expenses, their pain and suffering, as well as loss of wages.
Alabama auto insurance premium comparisons
The state of Alabama’s Department of Insurance now offers auto insurance shoppers the opportunity to compare auto insurance rates at www.aldoi.gov > Consumers > Rate Comparisons – Auto. It’s important to note that while the auto insurance rates are real, the information is provided for purposes of comparison shopping only. Rates will vary considerably depending on variables such as: the type of auto you are insuring, your driving record, miles driven, your credit score and of course, policy limits. At this time we do not have every insurance company’s rates, just a few. The website gives consumers a great place to begin the auto insurance shopping experience.
Average annual cost of Insurance
According to Insure.com, the 2011 average annual premium for Alabama auto insurers is $1,306, significantly lower than the national average of $1,561.00.
Insurance Information Institute www.iii.org
Alabama Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division
Alabama Department of Insurance
201 Monroe Street, Suite 502
Montgomery, AL 36104