What Is My State’s Minimum Coverage For Car Insurance?

Car insurance protects you and other people financially. Should you get into a car accident, your insurance will help pay for medical bills, personal property damage and legal fees. Because it’s financial protection, it can help protect your most valued assets from being seized in court. Because of how important car insurance is, many states have requirements about the amount of insurance you have to carry. Learn about car insurance state minimums to make sure you’re meeting this legal requirement.

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      Does every state require auto insurance?

      All states except for Virginia and New Hampshire require auto insurance. However, even the states without specific insurance specifications require you to have financial responsibility. This means you must have enough money in assets to pay for any damages you cause. Because most people don’t have $100,000 in the bank, this boils down to needing car insurance.

      Most states require you to have bodily injury liability and personal property liability. Despite what you may think, full coverage is not mandatory — meaning liability, collision and comprehensive. Only liability is required in most states.

      What is the insurance minimum in my state?

      Ever asked Google, “What is the insurance requirements in my state?” but not really understood what you saw? Below is a list of each state’s minimum car insurance requirements. You’ll notice each state has three numbers. Here is what to know about these three numbers:

      1. Each number is a dollar amount and needs three zeroes added to it. For example, 25 actually stands for $25,000.
      2. The first number represents bodily injury per person— meaning the maximum amount of money your insurer will pay for each person you injure in an accident. For example, in a 25/50/25 policy, an injured person could get $25,000 in an accident if you are at fault.
      3. The second number represents bodily injury per accident or the maximum amount of money your insurer will pay per accident if more than one person is in the car you hit. In a 25/50/25 policy, your insurance company would help you up to $50,000 if you hit a car with multiple people in it.
      4. The third number represents property damage per accident or the maximum amount of money your insurer will pay to help repair the damage you cause. In a 25/50/25 policy, your insurer would cover up to $25,000 in property damage if you are found at fault.

      Here’s a list of state minimum car insurance:

      State minimum car insurance

      Alabama

      25/50/25

      Alaska

      50/100/25

      Arizona

      15/30/10

      Arkansas

      25/50/25

      California

      15/30/5

      Colorado

      25/50/15

      Connecticut

      25/50/20

      Delaware

      25/50/10

      Florida

      10/20/10

      Georgia

      25/50/25

      Hawaii

      20/40/10

      Idaho

      25/50/15

      Illinois

      25/50/20

      Indiana

      25/50/25

      Iowa

      20/40/15

      Kansas

      25/50/25

      Kentucky

      25/50/25

      Louisiana

      15/30/25

      Maine

      50/100/25

      Maryland

      30/60/15

      Massachusetts

      20/40/5

      Michigan

      20/40/10

      Minnesota

      30/60/10

      Mississippi

      25/50/25

      Missouri

      25/50/25

      Montana

      25/50/20

      Nebraska

      25/50/25

      Nevada

      25/50/20

      New Hampshire

      25/50/25

      New Jersey

      15/30/5

      New Mexico

      25/50/10

      New York

      25/50/10

      North Carolina

      30/60/25

      North Dakota

      25/50/25

      Ohio

      25/50/25

      Oklahoma

      25/50/25

      Oregon

      25/50/20

      Pennsylvania

      15/30/5

      Rhode Island

      25/50/25

      South Carolina

      25/50/25

      South Dakota

      25/50/25

      Tennessee

      25/50/15

      Texas

      30/60/25

      Utah

      25/65/15

      Vermont

      25/50/10

      Virginia

      25/50/20

      Washington

      25/50/10

      West Virginia

      25/50/25

      Wisconsin

      25/50/10

      Wyoming

      25/50/20

      Some states also have additional requirements such as underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage.

      What is the difference between an at-fault and a no-fault state?

      An at-fault state is one where the driver who is considered to be at-fault of the accident is the one who pays for any damages — this includes medical, personal property damage and lost wages. At-fault states require you to purchase liability but may also require you to purchase uninsured motorist coverage.

      In a no-fault state, it doesn’t matter who is considered to be at-fault. Everyone pays for their damages. No-fault states require you to buy personal injury protection and medical payments coverage. After that, it’s up to you whether you want to buy any additional coverage.

      Most states are tort states (aka at-fault states). The following, however, are the exceptions and are no-fault states.

      • Florida
      • Hawaii
      • Kansas
      • Kentucky
      • Massachusetts
      • Michigan
      • Minnesota
      • New Jersey
      • New York
      • North Dakota
      • Pennsylvania
      • Utah

      These states also require personal injury protection.

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      Who should consider getting the state minimum coverage?

      If you drive, you need at least minimum coverage. The real question is whether you should purchase more. If you have a new car you’re making payments on, budget for more coverage. You don’t want to make payments on a car you can’t drive if it gets totaled. If you’re driving an older car, minimum liability may be enough.

      We can’t foresee accidents and therefore can’t predict what we’ll one day need. For this reason alone, always purchase as much insurance as you can comfortably afford.

      Is the state minimum enough coverage?

      Should you cause a severe accident, funeral costs and medical costs could easily exceed your state’s minimum. Plus, when you consider the possible costs of litigation, it’s not hard to imagine your liability coverage getting sucked dry.

      What happens when you run out of insurance money? You’re expected to pay for everything out of pocket. To cover this, many people resort to selling assets such as their home, business or stocks. Just purchasing your state’s minimum required liability leaves you financially vulnerable.

      However, there are many ways to reduce your car insurance premium. It depends on your insurance company, but many insurers offer the following types of discounts:

      • Paid in full
      • Auto-pay
      • Defensive driving course
      • Multi-car
      • Paperless
      • Accident-free
      • Loyalty
      • Bundled (when you use the same insurer for multiple policies, such as homeowners and auto)
      • Good student
      • Safe driver
      • Car alarm

      To find out what types of discounts your insurer offers, speak with an agent.

      We welcome your feedback on this article. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

      Last updated July 13, 2020 – Updated state-by-state data.

      Lauren Ward

      Contributing Writer

      Lauren Ward is a personal finance writer living in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband and three children. In her spare time she enjoys board games and gardening.

      Reviewed by

      • Aylea Wilkins
        Aylea Wilkins

        Aylea Wilkins is an editor specializing in insurance for The Simple Dollar. After getting a degree in European studies and editing from Brigham Young University, she worked as a writer and editor for a variety of small websites before transitioning to the insurance field.