Most states require minimum car insurance with liability coverage for at least $25,000 in injuries per person and $50,000 per accident.
Find Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes in Your Area
Minimum car insurance limits in each state
States require different types of coverage at different coverage amounts. These basic coverages are the state minimum, which is usually the cheapest possible option for car insurance.
Insurance companies won't let you buy less insurance than the minimum coverage required in your state. So you don't need to worry about your state's rules when you're getting car insurance quotes.
State car insurance requirements, unless you're eligible for an exception:
- Bodily injury (BI) car insurance is needed in every state except Florida.
- Property damage (PD) insurance is needed in all states and Washington, D.C.
- Uninsured motorist (UIM) insurance is needed in about half of the states.
- Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance or a similar type of coverage is only required in a handful of states.
Minimum auto insurance requirements by state
|Alabama||$25,000 per person; $50,000 per accident||$25,000 per accident||None|
|Alaska||$50,000 per person; $100,000 per accident||$25,000 per accident||None|
|Arizona||$25,000 per person; $50,000 per accident||$15,000 per accident||None|
|Arkansas||$25,000 per person; $50,000 per accident||$25,000 per accident||None|
|California||$15,000 per person; $30,000 per accident||$5,000 per accident||None|
- * Kansas: In addition to $4,500 of 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: Maine and New Hampshire require "medical payments coverage," while Pennsylvania requires "medical benefits coverage." Both operate like PIP.
- *** Michigan: State requires $1 million of property protection insurance (PPI), which acts like PIP but for property damage instead of bodily injury.
- ^ New Hampshire and Virginia: Car insurance is not required in New Hampshire and Virginia, but if you opted for it (or were forced to get it), these would be the minimum requirements.
- ^^ New York: Also comes with an extra $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident in the event of a death in an accident.
- † Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Vermont, District of Columbia, North Dakota and South Dakota: Also require underinsured motorist insurance in addition to uninsured motorist.
What types of car insurance are mandatory?
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.
Required car insurance coverage types
Range of required limits
Who and what it benefits
Bodily injury (BI) liability
|$15,000 to $50,000 per person/$30,000 to $100,000 per accident||Another driver's injuries|
Property damage (PD) liability
|$5,000 to $25,000 per accident||Another driver's car or property damage|
Uninsured/underinsured motorist BI
|$20,000 to $50,000 per person/$40,000 to $100,000 per accident||Your injuries, if the other driver is not insured|
Uninsured/underinsured motorist PD
|$5,000 to $25,000 per accident||Your car damage, if the other driver is not insured|
Personal injury protection (PIP)/Medical benefits
|$1,000 to $50,000||Your injuries and your passengers' injuries|
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 ticket 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.
Many states allow you to self-insure using a cash deposit or bond instead of carrying car insurance. However, the required deposit amount varies from $25,000 to over $115,000 and leaves you with little in the way of other protections — you're on your own to negotiate claims with other drivers, for example. We don't recommend this route for most drivers.
Should I get minimum-coverage or full-coverage auto insurance?
Drivers should carry the minimum coverage 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 adequate insurance. The average hospital visit for a car crash costs $61,000, and 1 in 8 liability claims exceeds $1 million.
If you're in a serious car accident but have low insurance limits, another driver, pedestrian or property owner 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.
The benefits of full-coverage auto insurance
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 required coverages will reimburse you for damage to your own car that you cause yourself or that happens outside of an accident. So if you're at fault in an accident — or a branch lands on your windshield or a storm floods your neighborhood, for example — 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. With the addition of collision and comprehensive, your policy could be more than double what it would cost with just minimum insurance. But if you have a newer car and can afford it, we strongly recommend adding these coverages to your policy.