What is the Minimum Car Insurance Required in Your State?

What is the Minimum Car Insurance Required in Your State?

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In every state, drivers must show some type of financial responsibility in the event of an accident. Car insurance is the easiest way to fulfill that. We've compiled a list of each state along with its required minimum car insurance.

Minimum car insurance limits 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 states 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 personal injury protection insurance (PIP) or a similar type of first-party benefit insurance.

State

BIPDUIM BIUIM PDPIP

Alabama

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$25,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

Alaska

$50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident$25,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

Arizona

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$15,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

Arkansas

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$25,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

California

$15,000 per person/ $30,000 per accident$5,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

Colorado

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$15,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

Connecticut

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$25,000 per accident$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accidentNoneNone

Delaware

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$10,000 per accidentNoneNone$15,000 per person/ $30,000 per accident

Florida

None$10,000 per accidentNoneNone$10,000

Georgia

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$25,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

Hawaii

$20,000 per person/ $40,000 per accident$10,000 per accidentNoneNone$10,000

Idaho

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$15,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

Illinois

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$20,000 per accident$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accidentNoneNone

Indiana

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$25,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

Iowa

$20,000 per person/ $40,000 per accident$15,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

Kansas

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$25,000 per accident$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accidentNone$4,500*

Kentucky

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$25,000 per accidentNoneNone$10,000

Louisiana

$15,000 per person/ $30,000 per accident$25,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

Maine

$50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident$25,000 per accident$50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accidentNone$2,000**

Maryland

$30,000 per person/ $60,000 per accident$15,000 per accident$30,000 per person/ $60,000 per accident$15,000None

Massachusetts

$20,000 per person/ $40,000 per accident$5,000 per accident$20,000 per person/ $40,000 per accidentNone$8,000

Michigan***

$50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident$10,000 per accidentNoneNone$250,000 for those with qualified health coverage

Minnesota

$30,000 per person/ $60,000 per accident$10,000 per accident$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accidentNone$40,000

Mississippi

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$25,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

Missouri

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$10,000 per accident$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accidentNoneNone

Montana

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$20,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

Nebraska

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$25,000 per accident$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accidentNoneNone

Nevada

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$20,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

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$15,000 per person/ $30,000 per accidentNone$15,000

New Mexico

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$10,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

New York^^

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$10,000 per accident$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accidentNone$50,000

North Carolina

$30,000 per person/ $60,000 per accident$25,000 per accident$30,000 per person/ $60,000 per accident$25,000None

North Dakota

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$25,000 per accident$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accidentNone$30,000

Ohio

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$25,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

Oklahoma

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$25,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

Oregon

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$20,000 per accident$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accidentNone$15,000

Pennsylvania

$15,000 per person/ $30,000 per accident$5,000 per accidentNoneNone$5,000**

Rhode Island

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$25,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

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 accidentNone

South Dakota

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$25,000 per accident$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accidentNoneNone

Tennessee

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$15,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

Texas

$30,000 per person/ $60,000 per accident$25,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

Utah

$25,000 per person/ $65,000 per accident$15,000 per accidentNoneNone$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 accidentNone

Virginia

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$20,000 per accident$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$20,000None

Washington

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$10,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone

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 accidentNone

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 accidentNone

Wisconsin

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$10,000 per accident$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accidentNoneNone

Wyoming

$25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident$20,000 per accidentNoneNoneNone
  • *** 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**

What types of car insurance are mandatory?

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Several types of auto insurance coverage offer different protections in the event of an accident. How much coverage you will need depends on your state's requirements and your personal circumstances.

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

Insurance coverage

Range of mandatory limitsWho and what it benefits

Bodily injury (BI) liability

$15,000 to $50,000 per person/$30,000 to $100,000 per accidentAnother driver's injuries

Property damage (PD) liability

$5,000 to $25,000 per accidentAnother driver's car or property damage

Uninsured/Underinsured motorist BI

$20,000 to $50,000 per person/$40,000 to $100,000 per accidentYour injuries, if the other driver is not insured

Uninsured/Underinsured motorist PD

$5,000 to $25,000 per accidentYour car damage, if the other driver is not insured

Personal injury protection (PIP)/Medical benefits

$1,000 to $50,000Your injuries and your passengers' injuries

Below, we take an in-depth look at each type of coverage. You can also read about the pros and cons of choosing a minimum-coverage policy versus full coverage.

What is bodily injury liability insurance (BI) coverage?

BI insurance is a third-party benefit coverage, which means 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 through another driver's BI if you're injured in an accident. What you cannot do is use your own BI insurance to pay for any bodily injuries you sustain. Coverage is usually categorized as "per person" and "per accident."

Let's consider the example:

Assume you have limits of 25/50/10. That means you have $25,000 of bodily liability coverage per person, $50,000 in bodily liability coverage per accident and $10,000 in property damage coverage. If one driver is injured in a car accident, they may file a claim and receive compensation up to $25,000. If multiple people are 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 and $50,000 per accident.
  • The highest is in Alaska, which requires $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident.
  • The lowest limit is $15,000/$30,000, which is found in a few states such as California, Louisiana and New Jersey.

What is property damage liability (PD) coverage?

Like BI, PD coverage is a third-party benefit insurance. It pays to repair a vehicle or other type of property when you're at fault in an accident. But if another driver crashes into you, you would file a claim against their PD insurance.

You can't file against your own PD to pay for damage to your car. The most common limit is $10,000 per accident, but it ranges from $5,000 up to $25,000.

What is uninsured/underinsured motorist BI and PD coverage?

Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, or UIM, covers you if you get into an accident with someone who either doesn't have insurance or doesn't have enough coverage. If you're hurt in an accident with an uninsured driver, you would file a claim through your UIM coverage to seek compensation for the damage because the other driver can't compensate you.

  • In some states, if the other driver has very low limits, you can also file through UIMBI insurance to make up for what they cannot pay you.
  • In a handful of states, you are also required to carry UIMPD 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.;

What is personal injury protection (PIP) and other first-party benefit coverages?

What separates PIP and Medical Payments (MedPay) 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 you don't have to wait to determine who was at fault in the accident.

Reimbursement is usually quick, allowing you to pay for medical damage right away. But this coverage is typically expensive, so you can expect your car insurance premiums to rise.

Which states don't require car insurance?

Only a handful of states don't require drivers to carry car insurance.

  • New Hampshire: In New Hampshire, drivers only need to prove their ability to pay for damage following a car accident. There's no exact amount listed, but drivers who are compelled to get insurance must buy a policy with 25/50/25 limits. So you can expect the "financial responsibility" amount to be in that range. The state can force drivers to get insurance after a major violation such as a DUI or an accident.
  • Virginia: Virginia allows its residents to pay an "uninsured motorist fee" for about $500 per year. But choosing to pay this fee instead of getting insurance leaves you completely vulnerable in the event of an accident. Considering minimum car insurance would cost about the same amount as the fee for most drivers, Virginians should opt for minimum coverage.
  • Mississippi: Lastly, 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.

Should I carry only the minimum car insurance requirements?

Drivers should carry the minimum only when they cannot afford higher limits or have limited assets. Car crashes are expensive, and your out-of-pocket costs could be considerable without insurance. The average hospital visit for a car crash costs $61,000, and 1 in 8 liability claims exceed $1 million.

If you have low limits in a car accident with a lot of damage, another driver can go after your savings accounts, future earnings and other property to recover damages.

A rule of thumb with liability insurance: If you have more than $100,000 in assets and often engage in risky activities, you could benefit from purchasing an umbrella policy to further bolster your protection.

Should I get full-coverage auto insurance?

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 you cause yourself or happens outside of an accident. So if you're 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 insurance, however, you can get reimbursed for damage those incidents cause. The addition of collision and comprehensive could be more than double what it would cost with just minimum insurance. But if you can afford it, we strongly recommend adding it to your policy.

Mark is a Senior Research Analyst for ValuePenguin focusing on the insurance industry, primarily auto insurance. He previously worked in financial risk management at State Street Corporation.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.