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Best Cheap Car Insurance in Alabama for 2020

Jan. 2, 2020
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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If you’re looking for cheap car insurance in Alabama, shopping around will help. Insurance rates vary among companies and factor in your age, driving record, credit and other criteria.


To help Alabamians get the best deal possible, NerdWallet researched rates from the 10 largest insurers in the state and found the cheapest options for the following types of drivers:

Cheapest for good drivers in Alabama

These are the cheapest insurance companies for Alabama drivers with good credit and a clean driving history, ranked by average rates for full coverage policies:

  1. Geico: $926 per year.
  2. Travelers: $1,206 per year.
  3. Allstate: $1,280 per year.
  4. Auto Owners: $1,364 per year.
  5. Safeway: $1,389 per year.
Drivers with no recent accidents or violations can get cheaper car insurance rates for having good credit. For this calculation, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women with a clean driving record and good credit. In terms of driving and credit history, a large portion of drivers are closest to this profile, which carries standard "full coverage" insurance, including comprehensive and collision, along with state-required coverage. Prices shown include a good driver discount, when available from the insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage in Alabama

For Alabama drivers who want bare-bones insurance, the cheapest companies and average rates for minimum required coverage are:

  1. Geico: $341 per year.
  2. Auto Owners: $482 per year.
  3. Travelers: $541 per year.
  4. Allstate: $582 per year.
  5. Safeway: $618 per year.
We calculated these numbers by averaging rates for 40-year-old good drivers (earning them a discount if the insurer offers one) who have only the minimum mandatory insurance in their state. Such light coverage isn't typically recommended, since it might not cover all the bills resulting from a car accident, but it's better than nothing — especially if you can't afford much more. If you're looking for the cheapest possible insurance you can get, though, you'll still want to get quotes from at least three auto insurers.

Cheapest for good drivers with poor credit

Alabama drivers with poor credit and a good driving record may want to get quotes from these insurers, which showed the cheapest average rates for full coverage policies:

  1. Geico: $1,303 per year.
  2. Safeway: $1,389 per year.
  3. Travelers: $2,074 per year.
  4. Allstate: $2,115 per year.
  5. Alfa: $2,454 per year.
If you have a spotty credit history, it's important to shop around to find the cheapest auto insurance rates you can. Poor credit can have a bigger effect on car insurance premiums than even a DUI conviction or a recent at-fault crash, but prices vary by insurer. To calculate these figures, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-olds with a clean driving record and associated good driver discount, if the insurer offered one. They had poor credit as reported to their insurer, and standard "full coverage" car insurance.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash

For Alabama drivers with a recent at-fault accident on their record, these are the cheapest auto insurers and average rates for full coverage:

  1. Travelers: $1,700 per year.
  2. Auto Owners: $1,753 per year.
  3. Safeway: $1,851 per year.
  4. Geico: $1,892 per year.
  5. Alfa: $2,045 per year.
After a relatively minor crash, some auto insurers will charge a lot more than others for coverage. To get these figures, we averaged rates for 40-year-olds with typical "full coverage" insurance and one recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Your rates will remain high for three to five years after you cause an accident or have a moving violation. If you fall into this category, be sure to shop for new insurance rates just after the three-year and five-year anniversaries of your infraction.

Cheapest insurance after a DUI in Alabama

For a driver in Alabama with a recent on-record DUI, the cheapest insurers and average rates for full coverage auto policies are:

  1. Allstate: $1,736 per year.
  2. Safeway: $1,805 per year.
  3. Travelers: $1,872 per year.
  4. Progressive: $2,082 per year.
  5. Auto Owners: $2,644 per year.
A conviction for driving under the influence, or DUI, generally results in higher auto insurance premiums than before. NerdWallet analyzed rates for 40-year-old drivers and standard “full coverage” car insurance with a recent DUI conviction to see which companies were cheapest. Rates can vary by hundreds between carriers after a DUI, and some penalize for longer than others, so it’s important to shop around for the best price right after you see a price hike and each year after that.

Cheapest insurance after a ticket in Alabama

After a speeding ticket, here are the cheapest insurance companies and their average rates for full coverage in Alabama:

  1. Geico: $1,353 per year.
  2. Safeway: $1,389 per year.
  3. Allstate: $1,429 per year.
  4. Travelers: $1,638 per year.
  5. Auto Owners: $1,774 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket will result in higher car insurance rates from most companies for three to five years. To see who has the cheapest rates, we calculated average car insurance rates for 40-year-old drivers with “full coverage” insurance and a recent ticket for speeding 16 mph over the limit. Though these larger companies were the cheapest we found on average, others may be cheaper for you, so be sure to get at least three quotes before deciding on a carrier.

Cheapest for couples and families in Alabama

When you say “I do,” it may be time to look again for the cheapest possible car insurance. Companies with the best prices for single drivers aren’t always cheapest for families with multiple drivers or cars. To get the best rates, be sure to shop for insurance quotes after big events in your life like marriage, moving, or adding a new driver. NerdWallet checked rates for 50-year-old couples, with and without a teen driver, to see which companies are cheapest for families in Alabama.

Cheapest for a married couple in Alabama

For an Alabama husband and wife, both 50 years old with clean driving and credit records, these are the cheapest insurers and average rates for full coverage on two vehicles:

  1. Geico: $1,254 per year.
  2. Allstate: $1,731 per year.
  3. Safeway: $1,764 per year.
  4. Travelers: $1,833 per year.
  5. Auto Owners: $2,060 per year.
Couples who live together can save on auto insurance by combining policies, whether they are married or not, because they can earn multi-car and multi-driver discounts. Once they tie the knot, rates can dip further, but not because of discounts — insurers see married people as less risky and so charge them lower rates. Our hypothetical 50-year-old couple’s clean driving record also earns them both a good driver discount.

Cheapest for families with a teen in Alabama

For a 50-year-old couple with an 18-year-old driver, the cheapest companies and average rates to insure two vehicles with full coverage are:

  1. Geico: $2,254 per year.
  2. Travelers: $3,387 per year.
  3. Allstate: $3,667 per year.
  4. Progressive: $3,920 per year.
  5. Auto Owners: $4,141 per year.
Taking that same couple and adding a teen with two years’ driving experience is sure to cause a big jump in rates. Since different insurers tend to see a teen’s inexperience in different ways, we analyzed rates to see which companies had the cheapest car insurance for teens. These rates are averaged for 50-year-old couples with male and female 18-year-old drivers across the state.

Cheapest for young drivers in Alabama

For people in their 20s, cheap car insurance may seem like a myth. Young drivers will face higher rates than more experienced drivers in most cases — but some companies will be cheaper than others. That’s because each insurer interprets factors like age and experience differently. To find the cheapest options for young drivers in Alabama, we analyzed rates for 25-year-olds in a variety of circumstances.

Cheapest full coverage for young good drivers

For a young driver in Alabama who wants full coverage insurance, these are the cheapest options and average rates, assuming clean driving and credit records:

  1. Geico: $1,134 per year.
  2. Allstate: $1,388 per year.
  3. Travelers: $1,401 per year.
  4. Progressive: $1,761 per year.
  5. Auto Owners: $1,841 per year.
Drivers in their 20s can have a hard time finding cheap car insurance, and that's even truer when they need full coverage. The rates above are averages for 25-year-old male and female drivers all over the state with comprehensive and collision coverages, which are often required for drivers with active auto loans or leases. These rates reflect a good driver discount, but no others. Young drivers, like all drivers, should check several quotes to find the cheapest for the coverage levels they need.

Cheapest minimum coverage for young good drivers

For a 25-year-old driver who chooses Alabama’s minimum required insurance, the cheapest companies and average rates are:

  1. Geico: $416 per year.
  2. Allstate: $600 per year.
  3. Travelers: $603 per year.
  4. Auto Owners: $627 per year.
  5. Progressive: $693 per year.
Since young people often have fewer assets to protect with liability insurance, they can usually get away with lower coverage limits. For an age group with relatively high insurance rates on average, that's good news, keeping rates as low as possible. For this price set, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers living across the state who have clean driving records, good credit and bare-bones insurance coverage.

Poor credit and minimum coverage

A young driver in Alabama with poor credit and a clean driving history may want to consider these companies, which returned the cheapest average rates for minimum required insurance:

  1. Geico: $585 per year.
  2. Safeway: $794 per year.
  3. Travelers: $1,003 per year.
  4. Allstate: $1,026 per year.
  5. Alfa: $1,080 per year.
Poor credit is common for younger folks just starting out, who may still be building their credit files. That can increase rates further, so it's extra important to shop around and compare as many insurance quotes as possible to find the cheapest you can get. For these prices, we averaged rates across the state for 25-year-old male and female drivers with no recent accidents or violations (earning them a good driver discount), minimum coverage car insurance, and credit in the "poor" tier as reported to an insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a crash

After an at-fault accident, these are the cheapest insurers for a 25-year-old Alabama driver, ranked by average rates for minimum coverage:

  1. Travelers: $760 per year.
  2. Auto Owners: $834 per year.
  3. Geico: $862 per year.
  4. Alfa: $886 per year.
  5. Allstate: $939 per year.
To get prices for this group, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers across the state with good credit and a recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Since car insurance is often pricier after a crash, and especially so for young drivers, we assumed minimum required insurance in the state to contain costs for our hypothetical driver. If you've caused a crash, no matter your age, be sure to check auto insurance quotes just after the third and fifth anniversaries of your incident, when insurers often adjust rates downward.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a DUI

For young drivers in Alabama with a DUI on their record, here are the cheapest insurers and average rates for minimum coverage:

  1. Allstate: $772 per year.
  2. Travelers: $844 per year.
  3. Progressive: $913 per year.
  4. Safeway: $1,080 per year.
  5. Geico: $1,247 per year.
Young drivers with a recent DUI on their records will need to be diligent to find the lowest car insurance rates they can get — it's likely that many companies' rates will be quite expensive. But spending the time to shop around for quotes can help you find the lowest. For this analysis, we averaged rates for male and female 25-year-old drivers with a recent on-record DUI. They had good credit and minimum required car insurance, which helps keep rates down.

Cheapest for minimum coverage and a ticket

After a speeding ticket, the cheapest insurance for a 25-year-old Alabama driver comes from these companies, listed by average rates for minimum coverage:

  1. Geico: $656 per year.
  2. Allstate: $656 per year.
  3. Travelers: $726 per year.
  4. Safeway: $794 per year.
  5. Alfa: $839 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket is never fun, and neither is the higher car insurance bill you may receive months later. At that point it's time to shop around for better rates, and it wouldn't hurt to repeat on your third and fifth ticket anniversaries, when insurers may adjust rates downward. We analyzed rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with a recent speeding violation for going 16 mph over the speed limit to see prices for this group.

Cheap for military families

For Alabama drivers with a military connection, cheap auto insurance is often available through USAA, which offers policies exclusively to active service members, veterans and their families. Since USAA isn’t available to everyone, we didn’t rank it with other companies, but it was among the three cheapest options in Alabama for every driver category above.

» MORE: Best car insurance for military and veterans

Recap: Cheapest car insurance in Alabama

  • Good drivers: Geico
  • Minimum coverage: Geico
  • Poor credit: Geico
  • After an at-fault crash: Travelers
  • After a DUI: Allstate
  • After a speeding ticket: Geico
  • Married couples: Geico
  • Families with a teen: Geico
  • Young good drivers: Geico
  • Minimum coverage for young good drivers: Geico
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers with poor credit: Geico
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a crash: Travelers
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a DUI: Allstate
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a ticket: Geico

» MORE: Compare car insurance

Minimum car insurance requirements in Alabama

Alabama drivers are required to purchase liability insurance, which kicks in if you cause a crash to pay for others’ injury treatment and property damage.

The minimum limits you must select are:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash.
  • $25,000 property damage liability coverage per crash.

It’s typically smart to get more than the bare minimum, however, as these limits may not be enough to fully cover costs if the incident is serious.

Visit NerdWallet’s guide to car insurance requirements by state for more detail on how the required and optional coverages of your auto policy work.

Alternative car insurance in Alabama

If you’ve been denied car insurance on the voluntary market because of violations, poor credit or other factors, you can apply for coverage through the Alabama Automobile Insurance Plan.

Drivers searching for cheap car insurance in Alabama can also try NerdWallet’s auto insurance quotes comparison tool to easily review estimates.

 

Methodology

For our “good driver” profile, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers in the state for 40-year-old men and women in all ZIP codes with 12,000 annual miles driven. The policy includes:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident.
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident.
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
If required, minimum additional coverages were added. Our “young driver” had all the same characteristics, but average rates were for 25-year-old men and women. We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect minimum required coverage by law in the state.
  • We changed the credit tier from “good” to “poor” as reported to the insurer to see rates for drivers with poor credit.
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage.
  • For drivers with a ticket, we added a single speeding violation for driving 16 mph over the speed limit.
  • For drivers with a DUI, we added a single drunken driving violation.
We used a 2016 Toyota Camry LE for all single drivers. Couples in our analyses were 50-year-old men and women with good credit and clean driving histories, averaged across all ZIP codes with the same policy outlined above. To see rates for families with a teen, we added an 18-year-old licensed two years ago, averaging rates for male and female teens. For couples and families we added a 2016 Nissan Rogue S to create a two-car household. These are rates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.