Are the State Required Minimum Car Insurance limits enough to protect me if I am in a car accident?
In the State of Alabama, you are required to have minimum liability insurance coverage of 25/50/25. But what does this mean? Let’s break it down.
What IS Liability Insurance?
Liability Insurance only covers the OTHER driver, their vehicle and potential passengers. So if you are involved in a car accident, and you are the at-fault driver, your liability insurance would pay out to the person you hit. Liability insurance does NOT cover YOU!
So what is this 25/50/25 stuff?
These are the limits of your Liability Policy. Limits mean the MAXIMUM amount an insurance policy (company) will pay.
The first 25.
The first 25 means $25,000.00 and it is for bodily injury This is the MAXIMUM amount of coverage or monies your insurance company will pay to a single person that was injured in the OTHER car if you are at-fault in a car accident.
However, say there are multiple people who suffered bodily injury in the other car that you hit. That is where the 50 comes in. This means $50,000.00. This is the MAXIMUM amount of coverage or monies that your insurance company will pay combined for ALL the injured parties, regardless if their injuries and medical expenses total more than $50,000.00. This could leave you personally liable or responsible for any injuries and medical expense amount over the $50,000.00.
The last 25
The last 25 means $25,000.00. This is the MAXIMUM amount of property damage (car repair, etc.) coverage that your insurance company will pay to the OTHER person if you are at-fault in a car accident. However, according to Kelley Blue Book, the average cost of a new car is around $47,000.00. Auto List estimates the average cost of a used car is $34,429.00. So it is extremely likely that the vehicle you hit may be worth more than the $25,000.00 worth of coverage of your policy. This could also leave you personally responsible or liable for any amount over the $25,000.00 your insurance company would pay.
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The Alabama State Required Minimum coverage was put in place back in 2000. While some of the penalties for not having the required coverage have changed over the years, the minimum amount required has stayed the same. According to Statista, in the year 2000, the average cost of a new vehicle was $21,000.
Since the year 2000, the average cost of new and used vehicles have more than doubled. If you currently have only the minimum liability required by the state, we would strongly suggest that you reach out to your current insurance provider or any other insurance provider and request a quote increasing your current coverage.
According to Bankrate.com, the average annual cost of minimum liability coverage in Alabama is $469.00 a year, or $39.08 per month. According to Insure.com, to increase that coverage to 50/100/50, the average cost is $602.00 a year, or $50.17 a month. So, $11.09 more a month, on average. Of course, every insurance company is different and has different rates. Many factors go into determining your auto insurance rate.