When compared to the national average, Alabama auto insurance rates fall a little on the lower side, ranking at number 30 for 2017. The average rate in the state was around $100 less than the national average, and Alabama drivers that take the time to do their research can pay even less.
The Basics of Auto Insurance in Alabama
Alabama’s state law requires that all drivers provide insurance coverage in order to ensure financial responsibility in the event of an accident. Under the law, the minimum amount of insurance needed to comply is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident to pay for bodily injury, and $25,000 for property damage.
These limits are about average when compared to other states, with the property damage limit being a bit higher than some. Unlike many other states, Alabama does not have additional requirements for car insurance outside of basic liability coverage.
Drivers may have to comply with other insurance requirements, however, if the vehicle has been financed or is leased. Lender requirements vary, but most mandate both comprehensive coverage and collision coverage. They may also have limits on how high your deductibles can be to ensure you can cover your share in the event of an accident. Check with your financial institution to verify what they require you to carry.
Specifics of Alabama Auto Insurance
There is not anything about Alabama car insurance that is unusual compared to other states. The requirements are similar to many and simpler than most.
It is worth noting however that Alabama is a tort state. This means that accident claims can be taken to court, where the at-fault driver can face a lawsuit. For drivers that choose to carry only the legally required minimum, this type of lawsuit can result in a financial hardship. The cost of even a moderately serious accident will quickly exceed the legal minimum coverage; Alabama drivers can avoid being underinsured by carrying higher limits.
The first requirement for all of the insurance companies we recommend is that they live up to their promises. That means that we looked for car insurance companies that provide great service across the board, but especially when there is a claim. We used trusted consumer research sources and our own research into customer reviews to determine which Alabama companies are stepping up when their customers are in need.
Since everyone shops for insurance based on rates, we also took into account the pricing of the company’s policies. Our choices did not just have the lowest rates, however – we looked for companies that offer a good, solid product with comprehensive coverage, and offer it at a competitive rate. An insurance policy that is inexpensive is not worth the savings if the company does not stand behind it, so the good price also had to be from one of the companies that meet our standards for reputation.
We want our recommendations to be useful to all Alabamans, so we also looked to companies that offer their policies in all parts of the state and to all drivers. As a result, our list only includes companies that offer insurance to the general public and not those that have limits on eligibility. We always recommend that military members look at USAA, but it is not listed here because it is not open to everyone.
Our Top Picks
All of these companies can be counted on to give Alabama drivers great service along with affordable and comprehensive coverage.
It is not surprising to see GEICO make the top of the list; thanks to a great reputation for serving customers along with low rates, they have climbed to the second place in the country for car insurance market share.
J.D. Power ranks them in the top three car insurance companies for the region, and the promise of low rates holds true for the state of Alabama. For the best combination of price and service, GEICO is difficult to beat.
This homegrown company was born from the Alabama Farmers Federation, but they offer coverage well beyond the farmlands of the state. ALFA ranks well for customer service and provides policies to all Alabamans regardless of where they live.
They also have competitive rates across the board for all kinds of drivers and also have a lot of extras in their auto policy at no extra charge, giving them the combination of service and price that adds up to value.
Ranking well in the regional survey of overall satisfaction, Allstate has a solid reputation and is one of the best-known names in car insurance. They are a big company, which means financial stability, but they also offer the personal service of a local agent.
Tying that together is Allstate’s competitive rates for Alabama drivers, even for those with a less-than-perfect record. Allstate is a top pick for anyone that prefers to work with an agent and wants a national company.
Shopping for Car Insurance in Alabama
Alabama’s minimum limits are average compared to other states, but that does not mean it is what you should carry. Before you start the process of looking for car insurance, it is important to know exactly what coverage you want and need. Getting quotes that do not meet your needs isn’t helpful and can even make the choice harder – list the coverage levels you want including liability limits and deductibles, and request all of your quotes to match that list.
Be wary of any company that offers a rate that’s considerably lower than any you have seen elsewhere. It is often a sign the company is quoting low limits or increasing your deductibles to make the rate look good – read the details before you buy.
Of the companies that made our list for the top picks, two are major national insurers. This does not mean you should skip getting quotes from smaller, local companies. Insurance needs and rates can vary widely, so the best deal for you may not be one of the companies on this list. The more quotes you look at, the more confident you will be in the final decision you make.
The Bottom Line
With a lot of companies to choose from, Alabama drivers can find a great value on car insurance with a little time and effort into research. Be sure to check not just the rates, but the company’s reputation before you choose an insurance company so that you can be sure they’ll be there for you when you have a claim.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.