How much insurance coverage do I need?

How much insurance coverage you need depends on where you live in the United States. Most states have $25,000 and $50,000 for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage. But some states include UM/UIM coverage and PIP. States that don't have UM/UIM or PIP may cost extra. Shop around and compare multiple insurance companies to find the best rates.

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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...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

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...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jan 29, 2022

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What You Should Know

  • The minimum requirements in most states include bodily injury and property damage liability
  • New Hampshire and Virginia don’t have mandatory liability requirements
  • On average, liability insurance costs $48 a month

Did you know that insurance coverage requirements vary for each state? Although liability is required for most states, liability car insurance has different coverages in some neighboring states.

If you’ve recently wondered, “How much car insurance coverage do I need?” don’t worry — we’re here to help.

Our guide explains how much insurance you need and how to compare auto insurance quotes.

Continue reading to learn about the amount of insurance you need. If you’re ready to start comparing quotes from multiple insurance companies, use our free online quote tool above to begin.

How much auto insurance coverage do I need?

Drivers across the nation often ask, “How much insurance do I need?” The required car insurance coverage amount depends on where you live. Also, the coverage you need is based on specific situations.

For example, people who still make payments on their car need full coverage insurance. But drivers who own their vehicle only need liability coverage.

Liability insurance usually includes property damage and bodily injury liability. However, some states include uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, personal injury protection (PIP), and medical payments (MedPay) coverage.

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What are the minimum auto insurance requirements for each state?

Bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD) liability pay for damage and injuries to other drivers.

Some states have UM/UIM coverage and PIP attached to their requirements. UM/UIM and PIP are designed to help you (the policyholder).

Let’s examine what drivers need in each state.

Minimum Liability Auto Insurance Requirements by State
StatesAuto Insurance RequirementsMinimum Auto Insurance Liability Limits
AlabamaBI & PD Liab25/50/25
AlaskaBI & PD Liab50/100/25
ArizonaBI & PD Liab15/30/10
ArkansasBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/25
CaliforniaBI & PD Liab15/30/5
ColoradoBI & PD Liab25/50/15
ConnecticutBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
DelawareBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/10
District of ColumbiaBI & PD Liab, UM25/50/10
FloridaPD Liab, PIP10/20/10
GeorgiaBI & PD Liab25/50/25
HawaiiBI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/10
IdahoBI & PD Liab25/50/15
IllinoisBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
IndianaBI & PD Liab25/50/25
IowaBI & PD Liab20/40/15
KansasBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/25
KentuckyBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/25
LouisianaBI & PD Liab15/30/25
MaineBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM, Medpay50/100/25
MarylandBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM30/60/15
MassachusettsBI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/5
MichiganBI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/10
MinnesotaBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM30/60/10
MississippiBI & PD Liab25/50/25
MissouriBI & PD Liab, UM25/50/25
MontanaBI & PD Liab25/50/20
NebraskaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
NevadaBI & PD Liab25/50/20
New HampshireFR only25/50/25
New JerseyBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM15/30/5
New MexicoBI & PD Liab25/50/10
New YorkBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/10
North CarolinaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM30/60/25
North DakotaBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/25
OhioBI & PD Liab25/50/25
OklahomaBI & PD Liab25/50/25
OregonBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/20
PennsylvaniaBI & PD Liab, PIP15/30/5
Rhode IslandBI & PD Liab25/50/25
South CarolinaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
South DakotaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
TennesseeBI & PD Liab25/50/15
TexasBI & PD Liab, PIP30/60/25
UtahBI & PD Liab, PIP25/65/15
VermontBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/10
VirginiaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
WashingtonBI & PD Liab25/50/10
West VirginiaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
WisconsinBI & PD Liab, UM, Medpay25/50/10
WyomingBI & PD Liab25/50/20
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If you have BI liability, PD liability, UM/UIM coverage, and PIP attached to your liability insurance requirements, you won’t have to pay extra for UM/UIM and PIP.

When UM/UIM, PIP, or MedPay are optional, it costs more to add them to your car insurance policy.

New Hampshire and Virginia don’t have mandatory auto insurance requirements. However, anyone who purchases car insurance in those states must meet specific conditions.

What are coverage levels?

Coverage levels determine your policy limits. Most minimum coverage requires 25/50/25 for BI and PD liability.

But what does that mean? The 25/50/25 limit translates to this:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury of one person per accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury of multiple people per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage

UM/UIM coverage shares the same traits as BI and PD liability, but the coverage is for you. PIP has a $10,000 limit, and MedPay has a $5,000 limit.

Raising your coverage level provides a higher coverage amount. Most auto insurance companies recommend that you obtain the medium or high coverage levels, which are 50/100/50 and 100/300/100, respectively.

Acquiring higher coverage limits increases your auto insurance rates.

How much are liability auto insurance rates?

Liability car insurance is the coverage that you need to drive legally in most areas of the United States. But auto insurance varies for each state. So how much does insurance cost?

Let’s examine the cost of minimum coverage auto insurance for all states based on research from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Average Monthly Liability Auto Insurance Rates
StatesAverage Monthly Liability Auto Insurance Rates
**National Average**$46
District of Columbia$55
New Hampshire$34
New Jersey$75
New Mexico$43
New York$69
North Carolina$30
North Dakota$25
Rhode Island$66
South Carolina$46
South Dakota$26
West Virginia$42
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Do you see how car insurance rates change for each state? It’s similar to the minimum coverage requirements.

But your rates may look different once you receive auto insurance quotes from companies in your area.

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Which company has the cheapest liability auto insurance rates?

Liability car insurance doesn’t always consider the average cost after obtaining a quote. But you can get affordable auto insurance if you shop with the right company.

Here is a list of the best auto insurance companies and their average liability-only rates.

Average Monthly Liability-Only Auto Insurance Rates by Company
CompanyAverage Monthly Liability-Only Auto Insurance Rates
Country Financial$34
National General$35
The Hartford$45
American Family$50
Automobile Club Group$51
State Farm$52
Auto Club of SoCal$53
21st Century$65
Liberty Mutual$75
The Hanover$116
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Some of these companies are regional, and you may have to shop with either a local insurance company or a national insurance company.

State Farm, GEICO, and Nationwide are some of the top car insurance companies in the United States.

How much insurance coverage do I need for a financed vehicle?

If you still make payments on your car, you’ll need full coverage auto insurance. Full coverage insurance is approximately 53% more expensive than liability insurance.

According to the NAIC, full coverage car insurance costs $90 per month on average. But full coverage rates vary at the best insurance companies across the nation.

Let’s examine the rates below.

Full Coverage vs. Liability-Only Insurance: Monthly Auto Insurance Rates by Company
CompaniesLiability-Only Auto Insurance Rates Full Coverage Auto Insurance Rates
**National Average**$133$260
American Family$114$224
Liberty Mutual$203$398
State Farm$120$235
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GEICO, American Family, Nationwide, and State Farm are the most affordable insurance companies in America. The cheapest companies offer liability-only rates close to the $48 average.

But full coverage insurance is significantly more expensive than average. However, you can save hundreds of dollars per year when you qualify for discounts.

If you have full coverage, you can raise your deductible to save even more.

Is GAP insurance required?

GAP insurance is not required, but it’s highly recommended. GAP insurance pays for the total balance of your vehicle after a total loss accident.

For example, if a total loss incident exceeds your policy limit, GAP insurance covers what you owe the lender or the dealership.

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How Much Auto Insurance Coverage Do I Need: The Bottom Line

Your car insurance requirements depend on where you reside. Although some states have similar coverage requirements, auto insurance rates vary.

Also, your needs are different. Therefore, your insurance quotes won’t be the same as someone living in the same state.

Now that you know how much insurance coverage you need, enter your ZIP code into the free online quote tool below to compare multiple insurance companies near you.

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