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What is the Minimum Car Insurance Required in Your State?

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In most places in the United States, if you own a car, you need to prove financial responsibility in the event of an accident. Car insurance is the easiest way to fulfill that. Each of the fifty states requires a minimum amount of car insurance to satisfy financial responsiblity. For convenience, we compiled the list below so you can see what your state, along with the rest, requires of its drivers.

The Minimum Car Insurance in Each State

Overall, there are five types of coverage that may be mandated by a state. With the exception of Florida, every state requires bodily injury liability insurance (BI), while all 50 plus Washington D.C. require property damage liability (PD). Roughly half of the states require a type of uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance (UIM). Lastly, only a handful of states require holding personal injury protection insurance (PIP) or a similar type of first-party benefit insurance. 

StateBIPDUIM BIUIM PDPIP
Alabama $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $25,000 per accident None None None
Alaska $50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident $25,000 per accident None None None
Arizona $15,000 per person/ $30,000 per accident $10,000 per accident None None None
Arkansas $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $25,000 per accident None None None
California $15,000 per person/ $30,000 per accident $5,000 per accident None None None
Colorado $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $15,000 per accident None None None
Connecticut $20,000 per person/ $40,000 per accident $10,000 per accident $20,000 per person/ $40,000 per accident None None
Delaware $15,000 per person/ $30,000 per accident $10,000 per accident None None None
Florida None $10,000 per accident None None $10,000
Georgia $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $25,000 per accident None None None
Hawaii $20,000 per person/ $40,000 per accident $10,000 per accident None None $10,000
Idaho $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $15,000 per accident None None None
Illinois $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $20,000 per accident $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident None None
Indiana $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $10,000 per accident None None None
Iowa $20,000 per person/ $40,000 per accident $15,000 per accident None None None
Kansas $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $10,000 per accident $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident None $4,500*
Kentucky $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $10,000 per accident None None $10,000
Louisiana $15,000 per person/ $30,000 per accident $25,000 per accident None None None
Maine $50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident $25,000 per accident $50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident None $2,000**
Maryland $30,000 per person/ $60,000 per accident $15,000 per accident None None None
Massachusetts $20,000 per person/ $40,000 per accident $5,000 per accident $20,000 per person/ $40,000 per accident None $8,000
Michigan*** $20,000 per person/ $40,000 per accident $10,000 per accident None None Unlimited
Minnesota $30,000 per person/ $60,000 per accident $10,000 per accident $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident None $40,000
Mississippi $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $25,000 per accident None None None
Missouri $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $10,000 per accident $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident None None
Montana $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $10,000 per accident None None None
Nebraska $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $25,000 per accident $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident None None
Nevada $15,000 per person/ $30,000 per accident $10,000 per accident None None None
New Hampshire^† $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $25,000 per accident $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $25,000 per accident $1,000**
New Jersey $15,000 per person/ $30,000 per accident $5,000 per accident None None $15,000
New Mexico $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $10,000 per accident None None None
New York^^ $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $10,000 per accident $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident None $50,000
North Carolina $30,000 per person/ $60,000 per accident $25,000 per accident $30,000 per person/ $60,000 per accident None None
North Dakota $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $25,000 per accident $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident None $30,000
Ohio $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $25,000 per accident None None None
Oklahoma $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $25,000 per accident None None None
Oregon $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $20,000 per accident $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident None $15,000
Pennsylvania $15,000 per person/ $30,000 per accident $5,000 per accident None None $5,000**
Rhode Island $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $25,000 per accident None None None
South Carolina $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $25,000 per accident $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $25,000 per accident None
South Dakota $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $25,000 per accident $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident None None
Tennessee $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $15,000 per accident None None None
Texas $30,000 per person/ $60,000 per accident $25,000 per accident None None None
Utah $25,000 per person/ $65,000 per accident $15,000 per accident None None $3,000
Vermont $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $10,000 per accident $50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident $10,000 per accident None
Virginia $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $20,000 per accident None None None
Washington $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $10,000 per accident None None None
Washington D.C.† $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $10,000 per accident $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $5,000 per accident None
West Virginia $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $25,000 per accident $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $25,000 per accident None
Wisconsin $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $10,000 per accident $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident None None
Wyoming $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident $20,000 per accident None None None
*Kansas: In addition to $4,500 PIP, drivers get up to $900 per month for disability or loss of income, $25 per day for in-home services, $4,500 for rehabilitation, and lastly $2,000 for funeral burial or cremation costs.
**Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania: ME and NH have "medical payments coverage", while PA has "medical benefits coverage":all operate like PIP.
***Michigan: State has mandatory Property Protection Insurance (PPI) which acts like PIP, but for property damages instead of bodily. Limits are $1 million. 
^New Hampshire: Car insurance is not mandatory in New Hampshire, but if you opted for it (or forced to get it), these would be the minimum requirements.
^^New York: Also comes with an additional $50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident in the event of a death in an accident.
† Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, New Hampshire, D.C. North and South Dakota:  Also have Underinsured Motorist Insurance in addition to Uninsured Motorist

The Types of Car Insurance Required

The table below quickly summarizes the main differences between the mandated types of car insurance. 

Insurance TypeRange of Mandatory LimitsWho and What it Benefits
Bodily Injury Liabiilty $15,000 to $50,000 per person/ $30,000 to $100,000 per accident Another Driver's Injuries
Property Damage Liability $5,000 to $25,000 per accident Another Driver's Car or House Damage
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist BI $20,000 to $50,000 per person/ $40,000 to $100,000 per accident Your Injuries, if Other Driver Uninsured
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist PD $5,000 to $25,000 per accident Your Car Damage, if Other Driver Uninsured
Personal Injury Protection/ Medical Benefits $1,000 to $50,000 Your and Your Passenger's Injuries

Below we go into a more in-depth look at each type of coverage. You can also read on about the benefits and detriments of opting for just the minimum required amount, as well if "full coverage" car insurance is worth it.

Bodily Injury Liability Insurance (BI)

BI insurance is a third-party benefit coverage, which means that it only covers other people's medical expenses. If you cause a crash and people in the other car are injured, they can file a claim against your BI insurance and seek compensation for their medical bills. You may do the same to another driver's BI if they crash into you and you get injured in the accident. What you cannot do is use your own BI insurance to pay for any bodily injuries you sustain.

Coverage is usually broken up into two values: "per person" and "per accident". For example, assuming you have limits of $25,000/$50,000, if one driver gets injured in a car accident, they can file against the first value and receive compensation up to $25,000. On the other hand, if multiple people were injured in the accident, they can collectively seek compensation up to $50,000 (so long as one person's bill doesn't exceed $25,000). Every state besides Florida (which requires PIP), mandates drivers to have BI insurance. The most common limit is $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident. The highest is in Alaska, which requires $50,000/$100,000 if you register your car. The lowest limit is $15,000/$30,000, which is found in a few states such as California, Louisiana, and New Jersey. 

Property Damage Liability (PD) 

Like BI, PD insurance is a third-party benefit insurance. It operates essentially the same way as BI, except it is meant to cover you for non-medical damages you cause to other people, like to their car or house. If another driver crashes into you, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage to your engine, you would file against their PD insurance to seek repayment for the damages. Again, you may not file against your own PD to pay for damages to your own car. The value for PD is given in one number, representing the amount for the entire accident. The most common limit is $10,000 per accident, but ranges from $5,000 up to $25,000. 

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist BI and PD Insurance (UIM BD & UIM PD)

UIM is not quite a third-party benefit, nor is it a first-party; the only way to access it, is by getting in an accident with an uninsured driver, or one with low insurance limits. If you were to get injured in an accident with an uninsured driver, you would file a claim through your UIM Bodily Injury coverage to seek compensation for the damages since the other driver is unable to compensate you. In some states, if the other driver has very low limits, you can also file through Underinsured Motorist BI insurance to make up for what they cannot pay you. In a handful of states, you are also required to carry UIM Property Damage insurance. It works the same way as the BI version, except it covers damage to your car or any other property. Limits for UIM BD are also divided into two values, per person and per accident, and usually reflect the same amount as the required BI for that state. The same goes for the PD version in the few states it is required. 

Personal Injury Protection and other First-Party Benefit Coverages (PIP/MedPay)

What separates PIP, MedPay, and PPI from the coverages above is that you can use them for your own injuries. You are not required to file a claim through another insurance company, and do not have to wait to determine who was at-fault in the accident. Reimbursment is usually quick, allowing you to pay for medical damages right away. As of 2016 however, only 15 states require you hold any type of these coverages. A downside to drivers in those states also is that the addition of this coverage usually makes car insurance more expensive. 

States Where You Do Not Need Car Insurance

There are currently three states that do not make it mandatory for drivers to carry car insurance. In New Hampshire, drivers only need to prove "financial responsibility", where in the event of an accident they would be able to pay for damages. An exact amount is not listed, but considering the minimum for drivers forced to get insurance in the state is 25/50/25 for BI and PD, you would expect it to be around that amount. The state can force drivers to get insurance after a major violation such as a DUI, or an accident

Virginia allows its residents to pay an "uninsured motorist fee" for about $500 per year. Be cautioned however that opting for the fee leaves you completely uninsured in the event of an accident. Considering minimum car insurance would cost about the same amount as the fee for a large majority of drivers, Virginians should opt for coverage. Lastly, in Mississippi, Alaska, Alabama and a handful of other states allow drivers to post a bond or cash deposit equivalent to the minimum car insurance amount if they do not want car insurance. Click to view your state's auto insurance requirements in the table above.

Should I Carry the Minimum Car Insurance? 

Drivers should only carry the minimum when they cannot afford higher limits, or have limited assets. Car crashes are expensive ordeals. The average hospital visit for a car crash is $61,000, while 13% of liability claims are more than $1 million dollars. If you have low limits in a car accident with a lot of damage, another driver can go after your 401k, savings accounts, future earnings, etc. to make up for costs.

The rule when it comes to liability insurance is that you should have enough to cover your net worth. For example, if after subtracting your assets from your debts (loans, mortage, etc), and get $50,000, your limits should match that. If you are exceptionally high net worth, over $1 million dollars, you should consider an umbrella policy to further bolster your protection.

Should I Get Full Coverage Auto Insurance? 

As we go more in-depth about here, full coverage car insurance is minimum car insurance plus collision, comprehensive and PIP (if your state does not mandate it) coverage. No states require drivers to carry collision or comprehensive coverage, but for those who can afford it, it may be well worth it. None of the mandated coverages will reimburse you for car damage which you cause yourself or happen outside of an accident. So, if you are at-fault in an accident, a branch lands on your windshield, or a storm floods your neighborhood, minimum car insurance will not protect your car. If you have collision and comprehensive however, you would be able to get reimbursed for the potentially thousands of dollars worth of damage those incidents cause. The addition of collision and comprehensive is costly, most times more than double what it would cost with just minimum insurance. If you can afford it though, we strongly recommend adding it to your policy. 

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