About Alabama Insurance Laws, Health Insurance and Regulations…
Residents can find insurance protection for just about anything from the industry, as long is policies comply with state regulations. Regulations, both federal and state, are enforced by the Alabama Insurance Department. These regulations are in place to protect consumers from excessive rates and malicious practices, while also protecting insurance companies from fraud and exploitation.
Drivers in Alabama are required to carry auto insurance for the vehicles they operate.
As in other states, Alabama has established a minimum level of coverage drivers must carry to be considered insured within the state. According to the Insurance Department, coverage must account for: $25,000 injury liability for one person; $50,000 for all injuries in one accident; and $25,000 for property damage in one accident. Drivers in Alabama are not required by the state to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
The average cost of auto insurance coverage in Alabama is $1,413…
though the overall premiums consumers pay are largely affected by a driver’s history and credit rating. Auto insurance rates in Alabama are currently on a downward trend, with regulators suggesting that coverage will get less expensive in the near future.
Homeowners insurance is not mandatory in Alabama.
The Insurance Department has regulations in place to govern the property insurance sector and ensure that companies do not impose excessive rates on consumers. The agency does recommend homeowners to purchase insurance protection for their properties, however, due to the relatively high frequency of natural disasters Alabama is exposed to. These natural disasters encompass floods, tropical storms, and hurricanes, all of which can cause a significant amount of damage to properties.
By 2014, Alabama is required to host a health insurance exchange…
which is meant to provide access to affordable health insurance plans to the state’s roughly 4.5 million residents. Approximately 12% of the state’s population is currently uninsured, thus a health insurance exchange program may be a major boon for these people. Though Alabama has opposed the overarching Affordable Care Act, the law that requires states to build exchange systems, the state has shown modest support for an exchange program in the past.
INSURANCE NEWS UPDATE: In November 2012, the support that the state showed for a health insurance exchange was revoked when Governor Robert Bentley announced that an exchange would be left in the hands of the federal government. Governor Bentley had previously supported a state-run exchange system but changed his mind due to financial concerns and the state’s ongoing opposition of the Affordable Care Act. The federal government will establish and operate a health insurance exchange in Alabama by 2014. The Insurance Department suggests that a federal exchange may not be able to provide service suited for the state’s consumers and market.
Alabama Insurance Resources:
Alabama Insurance Commissioner: Jim L. Ridling
Alabama Department of Insurance Website: http://www.aldoi.gov/
Alabama Insurance Licensing Info: http://www.aldoi.gov/Licensing/Requirements.aspx
File Insurance Complaint: http://www.aldoi.gov/Consumers/FileComplaint.aspx