The last thing you want to happen when crossing the Steamboat Bill Hudson Memorial Bridge in Decatur is getting into a car accident. But while you may be the most careful driver around, other drivers are not always so conscientious. Fender benders and major accidents happen on the roads in Decatur every day.
If you own a vehicle in Decatur, or anywhere in Alabama, you are required to have car insurance. What’s more, a reliable car insurance policy can protect you from facing a large financial burden after a car accident. Car insurance can sometimes be confusing, but a local independent insurance agent can help you find the best policy for your needs and budget.
Alabama Car Insurance Requirements
Alabama requires every driver to have a minimum amount of auto insurance. Drivers without the required coverage face stiff fines and penalties, and they put everyone else on the road at risk. The following are the minimum coverage requirements for Alabama drivers:
- Bodily injury liability: Required
- Property damage liability: Required
- Personal injury protection (PIP): Not required
- Uninsured motorist coverage: Not required
- Minimum liability limits: 25/50/25; coverage up to $50,000 for all persons injured in an accident, subject to a limit of $25,000 for one individual; and $25,000 coverage for property damage
Talk to an independent agent about the importance of purchasing more than the minimum liability insurance required by the state. If you cause an accident where the cost of damage exceeds your coverage limits, you will have to pay out of pocket for whatever you owe other drivers, and whatever it costs to fix your own car.
Car insurance policies with only the minimum coverage can help you pay for minor accidents. If you are in a serious accident, you’ll likely be underinsured, and out of luck. An independent agent can help you decide what liability coverage limits are best for you and your family. Your agent can also explain how an umbrella policy can further protect your assets.
How Much Does Auto Insurance Cost in Decatur, Alabama?
Alabama is the 22nd most expensive state for car insurance. Car insurance costs in Alabama are similar to the national average but are higher in Decatur. Shopping around for the best rate and taking advantage of discounts can help you save.
- National average annual car insurance cost: $1,311
- Alabama average annual car insurance cost: $1,320
- Decatur average annual car insurance cost: $1,554
Car insurance rates are determined on a case-by-case basis, so you may have to pay more or less than the average for drivers in Decatur. Insurance companies evaluate a variety of factors to calculate your rates, including:
- Your age, marital status, driving history, and credit score
- Information about other licensed drivers in your household
- Your car’s year, make, and model
- The coverage limits and deductibles you choose
- Whether your policy includes comprehensive and/or collision coverage
- Whether you are bundling your auto insurance with other policies like homeowners insurance or renters insurance
Bundling policies is just one of the ways you can save on Decatur auto insurance. Insurance companies offer a variety of discounts to help you keep costs down. An independent agent in Decatur can help you compare quotes and maximize your discounts.
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Number of Uninsured Motorists in Alabama
Driving without insurance is against the law in Alabama, yet many drivers continue to drive without coverage. Uninsured drivers in Alabama face a $200 fine for the first offense, $300 for the second offense, and $400 for the third and any subsequent offenses. Failure to pay the fine will result in a suspended license. Alabama has the 6th highest percentage of uninsured drivers in the U.S. These penalties are designed to help combat the excessive number of uninsured drivers in the state.
- How many U.S. drivers are uninsured? 13%
- How many Alabama drivers are uninsured? 18.4%
Uninsured motorist coverage is required in some states, but it is optional in Alabama. This valuable coverage enables you to receive immediate reimbursement for your vehicle damage and medical expenses if you are in an accident that is caused by an uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run driver. Your insurance company will still attempt to recover the costs from the at-fault driver, but you can have peace of mind of knowing that you’ll be compensated, no matter what.
Number of Auto Thefts in Alabama
The auto theft rate in Alabama is lower than the national average, but in Decatur, you are more likely to have your car stolen than in some other areas of the state. About 156 cars are stolen each year in Decatur, Alabama. Vehicle owners need to take precautions to prevent auto theft. And they need the right auto coverage to ensure they can be compensated for their loss, should the worst happen.
- National auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 2.28
- Alabama auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 2.68
- Decatur auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 2.83
If your car is stolen or vandalized, you need comprehensive coverage to reimburse you for your lost or damaged car. Comprehensive coverage also helps you pay for repairs if falling objects, floods, structure fires, or other hazards cause damage to your car. Comprehensive coverage is optional, but your lender might require you to carry it until your loan is paid off. An independent agent in Decatur can help you choose the coverage options that are best for your needs.
Why Contact an Independent Insurance Agent?
Independent insurance agents are a great resource for information and assistance when you are shopping for auto insurance. Your agent can explain your coverage options and pricing and can offer quotes from multiple insurance companies so you can make an informed choice.
Contact a local independent insurance agent to get started.