Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

Full Bio →

Written by

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Former Farmers Insurance CSR

UPDATED: Nov 12, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident auto insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one auto insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

If you’re interested in getting the cheapest possible car insurance, then you’ll want to get the minimum legal liability insurance required for your state.

Minimum coverage for auto insurance requirements vary widely between states. Some states – like New Hampshire – don’t even require car insurance.

Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about the minimum auto insurance coverage required in your state.

Yes, You Need a Certain Level of Car Insurance in Every State

First, let’s make something clear: if you want to legally drive on public roads in the United States, then you need to have car insurance.

Car insurance is a specific requirement in 49 states in America. The only state that doesn’t technically require car insurance is New Hampshire. However, even in New Hampshire, you’re required to prove a certain level of cash reserves in order to legally drive on public roads, and most New Hampshire drivers opt for car insurance anyway.

Insurance laws in American states, however, vary widely. Some states require you to have relatively high coverage limits.

Drivers in Texas, for example, are required to have $60,000 in bodily injury liability per accident.

Drivers in Florida, meanwhile, require just $10,000 in property damage liability per accident and $10,000 in personal injury protection.

In other words, the minimum liability coverage that you have to sign up for varies considerably across states.

Compare over 200 auto insurance companies at once!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements

Getting the “minimum car insurance” can mean different things in different states. For example, some states require you to have personal injury protection, while other states don’t require any type of personal injury protection.

Typically, here are the components of car insurance you’ll need to pay attention to in different states:

Bodily Injury Liability Per Person

This type of car insurance liability is the amount of coverage you have per person. Most states have a minimum bodily injury liability requirement of $15,000 to $50,000. That means each person involved in the collision can claim up to $15,000 or $50,000 from the insurance company following an accident. Bodily injury liability covers damages you inflict to other passengers, drivers, or pedestrians involved in a collision. It covers medical expenses and similar costs.

Bodily Injury Liability Per Accident

Most states also outline a minimum amount of bodily injury liability coverage required per accident. Typically, this limit is twice the amount of required bodily injury liability coverage. Most states have a “per accident” liability coverage requirement of $30,000 to $50,000. If you have a minimum car insurance plan, then this is the total amount of money your car insurance company will pay in bodily injury coverage after an accident.

Property Damage Liability Per Accident

Most states also outline a specific minimum required amount of property damage liability per accident. Property damage liability refers to the maximum amount your car insurance company will pay to compensate property damage – including the costs of repairing the other vehicle involved in the collision.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Some states require drivers to have a certain level of uninsured motorist coverage. If you get into a collision with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, then this coverage will supplement the other driver’s insurance policy after it’s maxed out. In Connecticut, for example, you’re required to have $25,000 of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person and $50,000 of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident.

There’s a reason insurance companies in some states require you to have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage: according to USA Today, one in seven drivers in the United States is driving illegally without car insurance.

Personal Injury Protection

Some states, like Florida and other no-fault states, require a certain amount of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Personal injury protection insurance covers your own medical expenses. In Florida, for example, you’re required to have $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage.

Other Minimum Car Insurance Requirements

Minimum car insurance requirements vary widely across states. Some states have unique requirements not seen in other states. Drivers in Maine, for example, are required to have a minimum of $1,000 in medical payments coverage.

Drivers in New York, meanwhile, are required to have $50,000 in liability coverage for death per person and $100,000 in liability coverage for death per accident.

What Happens If You Exceed Minimum Auto Insurance Coverage?

Let’s say you cause an accident. You get into a collision with a family in an SUV. As a California driver with a minimum liability plan, your car insurance covers $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person, up to a total of $30,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, along with just $5,000 in property damage liability per accident.

The family of four visits the hospital. Each family member receives medical services worth $20,000. Additionally, the SUV is severely damaged and requires $15,000 worth of repairs.

What happens when you get into a collision that exceeds your liability limits? Your insurance company will cover the damages up to the limits of your policy.

In this situation, your insurance would partially cover the medical expenses of two of the family members, providing $15,000 in compensation to two members, up to the $30,000 limit of your policy. Then, your insurance company would pay $5,000 to repair damage to the vehicle.

Once your policy is used up, then you’ll need to pay out of pocket for the remaining costs (assuming you’re at fault). If you don’t have the assets to pay for the remaining costs, then you may face a lawsuit. In other cases, the other driver’s uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage will kick in.

Keep in mind that minimum auto insurance coverage only covers damages you cause to other people and property during a collision. Your own medical expenses and vehicle damages may not be covered. You may need to pay out of pocket for these expenses as well.

Conclusion: Compare Minimum Liability Auto Insurance Plans Today

If you want the cheapest possible car insurance, and you understand the risks of cheap car insurance, then we encourage you to shop for minimum liability car insurance quotes online today. Remember to visit the Insurance Information Institute’s official website, III.org, to discover the minimum auto insurance coverage requirements in your state. Minimum liability requirements vary widely from state to state. Start shopping for car insurance in your area to discover which minimum auto insurance plan is right for you.