The state of Alabama has thousands of miles to travel. From Mobile to Tuscaloosa to Gulf Shores to Birmingham and beyond, there are countless backroads and highways to explore throughout the state. Alabama’s longest highway is U.S. Route 31 which spans 386.449 miles. The shortest is I-359 covering only 2.76 miles. These roads are used by over 3.7 million licensed drivers throughout the state with each averaging about 13,000 miles every year! So, needless to say there’s a lot of driving that is done in our state. If you are a licensed driver, there are a few Alabama state laws that you should familiarize yourself with regarding auto insurance. Keep reading as we discuss auto insurance requirements in Alabama.
Alabama Auto Insurance Requirements
Under Alabama state law, drivers are required to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Those who fail to do so could be subjected to serious penalties which could include paying money and doing jail time. Under the tort system, a driver could also be liable for actual damages, economic damages, emotional damage and physical pain or suffering. In the state of Alabama drivers are required to carry the bare minimum for car insurance:
- $50,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
- $25,000 bodily injury per person per accident
- $25,000 property damage liability
Drivers are also required to purchase Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Bodily Injury Coverage with a minimum amount of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident—unless an individual opts out in writing. Not obtaining un/underinsured motorist coverage is one of the biggest mistakes a driver can make. Although it is “the law” for motorists to have automobile insurance coverage, the sad fact is that many don’t – it has been estimated that in excess of 25% of all drivers have no insurance coverage and these uninsured drivers cause more than their fair share of wrecks (which just might explain why they have no coverage). Un/underinsured motorist coverage covers you if you are injured by one of these un/underinsured drivers – and, it doesn’t matter what you are doing. In other words, your own un/underinsured motorist coverage protects you even if you are not driving your car – for example, it covers you when you are bicycling, running walking etc. and you are injured by a vehicle. Further, we strongly recommend that you have more than minimum limits – you should have at least 100/300 – not only to cover you if you injure someone while driving (bodily injury) but also on UM/UIM so you are protected if an un/underinsured motorist injures you. A car that hits you and leaves the scene is called a phantom vehicle” and un/underinsured coverage applies if you are injured by a phantom vehicle.provides their insurance provider in writing why they are opting out. You are not required to carry additional personal liability or Collision and Comprehensive. But, it could be a good idea if you own property or valuable assets in order to protect yourself from monetary losses in the event of an accident.
Penalties for Failure to Carry Auto Insurance in Alabama
In the state of Alabama, the law requires you to carry proof of auto insurance on your car if a law enforcement officer asks to see it. For your first offense, you could receive a six-month driver’s license suspension and (or) fines of up to $1,000. In addition, you’d have to pay a $200 license reinstatement fee. If an individual chooses to forge or counterfeit proof of insurance, they could receive a fine anywhere from $500 to $5,000. They could also be imprisoned anywhere from one to 10 years.
Our Birmingham, AL, personal injury firm can analyze your case. If you believe you have suffered as a result of someone else’s actions, contact us, Lewis and Feldman, LLC, at
(205) 254-6060 or toll free at (888) 295-7409 for a free, no-risk consultation about your injuries.
No representation is made that the quality of legal services performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.