State Minimum Car Insurance Requirements

State Minimum Car Insurance Requirements

There are state minimum car insurance requirements for every state. State insurance commissioners usually publish these laws online.

Almost every state requires drivers to carry auto insurance, as you will see further down the list. Before driving, be sure to meet the state’s minimum requirements.

Does Every State Require Car Insurance Coverage?

Every state requires that you have insurance, a bond, or some other proof that you can pay if you cause harm in an automobile accident.

States renew their laws every year, so some states that didn’t have insurance requirements in the past now do. Amongst the 50 states, New Hampshire car insurance has the fewest requirements. However, it still requires you to prove financial responsibility as soon as possible after an accident.

Almost all states have different minimum insurance requirements for drivers who opt to purchase insurance.

Most states require you to carry bodily injury liability insurance to pay for the care of others who may be injured by you. States with no-fault laws require you to carry personal injury protection for your own injuries. Property damage liability insurance is typically required when you hit someone’s car.

The laws and minimum insurance requirements vary significantly from state to state, affecting your premiums. For example, depending on the state, drivers can’t register a car without proof of liability insurance. In other states, proof of insurance is required when requested — basically whenever a driver gets into an accident or gets a ticket.

Be sure to take your physical auto insurance card (or other proof of financial responsibility) when traveling out of state. You should also check your policy for out-of-state restrictions (such as only covering the named insured).

While you are out of state, most policies will extend you the same liability limits you currently have unless these limits do not meet the state’s minimum requirements. Following an accident, your insurance policy will typically raise your limits to the limits set by that state.

Related Article: Auto Insurance Coverage Basics

Understanding Types of Coverage

You may need to understand the kinds of coverage available on a car insurance policy if you plan to buy a new car or car insurance. If you are involved in a car accident, you, your passengers, and your vehicle can be protected with various types of auto insurance.

Depending on your location, some of these coverages may be required, and some may be optional. Choosing the right coverage for your situation begins with understanding what your state requires and covers.

Liability Insurance

An accident in which you caused injuries or property damage is covered by the minimum liability insurance. For example, liability insurance can pay for repairs if you accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake and crash into a neighbor’s fence.

Legal costs are also covered by liability insurance in the event you’re sued for a car accident. Besides legal defense, the policy will cover judgments and settlements that result from lawsuits.

Bodily injury coverage per person

You are only covered for bodily injury liability in your auto insurance policy up to a certain amount. Bodily injury liability limits are typically broken down into two categories: per person and per accident.

Per-Person Limit

Each person injured in the accident is subject to the per-person limit. In this case, maybe the limit is $50,000. For example, if one person is injured in a car accident, your bodily injury liability would cover all of their medical expenses up to $50,000.

Bodily Injury Coverage per Accident

Multi-injury accidents are subject to a per-accident limit. For example, suppose your limit per accident is $100,000.

You would be held liable for the combined expenses of $100,000 (and only up to the per-person limit for each person injured in an accident that causes injuries to three people) in the event that you are responsible for the accident.

You may also have the option of choosing a combined single limit of coverage for bodily injury and property damage. In other words, if you select a combined limit of $250,000, your policy would pay up to that amount towards property damage or bodily injuries combined.

Property Damage Coverage per Accident 

A property damage policy protects you against any financial liability you may incur if you cause damage to someone else’s property in an accident. With property damage coverage, any driver who is at fault for an accident will be able to assume some financial responsibility for the damage caused to the property. Typically, these types of coverage operate on a per-accident basis, with the insurance company covering costs up to the amount of your coverage.

Among the topics that are covered are:

  • In addition to auto body shop labor or replacement parts for damage to the other party’s vehicle
  • Restoring damaged or destroyed homes, businesses, fences, lamp posts, mailboxes, etc.
  • The legal defense costs, attorney fees, and court costs associated with the property damage claim (based on the terms and conditions you stipulate)
  • An accident that caused your business to close will result in a loss of income
  • Additional recurring expenses resulting from that damage

Uninsured Motorist Insurance

A policy that includes uninsured motorist coverage (UM) provides coverage for accidents caused by a driver without insurance. This add-on pays for injuries sustained by the policyholder and passengers if the other driver is legally responsible for the accident but uninsured.

Personal Injury Protection

Personal injury protection (PIP) is also referred to as “no-fault insurance,” which covers the costs of healthcare associated with car accidents. Both policyholders and passengers are covered by PIP, even if some don’t have health insurance.

PIP coverage is available mainly in no-fault states, where auto insurance requirements and features differ by state. In states with no-fault policies, if a policyholder is injured in a car crash, that person’s policy pays for their medical care no matter who caused the crash. If the other driver has no insurance, policyholders with PIP coverage can receive benefits.

Medical Payments Coverage

The medical payments coverage is an add-on to an auto insurance policy that covers expenses related to a vehicular accident. 

In addition to covering the vehicle and any passengers you may have, this coverage extends to pedestrians and cyclists injured by a vehicle, regardless of whether they are in another vehicle, riding a bike, or riding public transportation.

An automobile accident can lead to various expenses related to medical treatment. This program covers medical costs such as deductibles and copays, visits to doctors and hospitals, X-rays and surgery, ambulance and emergency medical technician fees, rehabilitation and nursing care, and some medical equipment like prostheses.

As a pedestrian, MedPay may be more useful in urban areas because it covers pedestrians injured in accidents, including the policyholder if hit while walking. Due to increased foot traffic in urban areas, pedestrians are more likely to be injured while walking than in suburban or rural areas.

Additionally, it can be used if you have driven irresponsibly. For example, suppose you cause an accident while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Your auto insurance policy will not cover you. You would only be responsible for your own medical expenses in such a case.

Related Article: How Veterans Auto Insurance Works

State Minimum Car Insurance Requirements

The minimum amount of car insurance varies from state to state. Depending on where you live, you might not be able to get the same coverages and limits as your friends or family.

Here are the minimum coverage requirements in your state (read on for more details about each type of coverage).

State State Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements
Alabama $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

Alaska $50,000 bodily injury liability per person

$100,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

Arizona $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$15,000 property damage liability per accident

Arkansas $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

California $15,000 bodily injury liability per person

$30,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$5,000 property damage liability per accident

Colorado $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$15,000 property damage liability per accident

Connecticut $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

$25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person

$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident

Delaware $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$10,000 property damage liability per accident

$15,000 personal injury protection per person

$30,000 personal injury protection per accident

Florida $10,000 property damage liability per accident

$10,000 personal injury protection

Georgia $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

Hawaii $20,000 bodily injury liability per person

$40,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$10,000 property damage liability per accident

$10,000 personal injury protection

Idaho  $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$15,000 property damage liability per accident

Illinois $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$20,000 property damage liability per accident

$25,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person

$50,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident

Indiana  $25,000 bodily injury liability per person $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident $25,000 property damage liability per accident
Iowa  $20,000 bodily injury liability per person $40,000 bodily injury liability per accident $15,000 property damage liability per accident
Kansas $25,000 bodily injury liability per person $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident $25,000 property damage liability per accident $25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person $50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident Personal injury protection including $4,500 in medical expenses, up to $900 per month for a year for disability or loss of income, $25 per day for in-home services, $2,000 for funeral burial or cremation costs, and $4,500 for rehabilitation Survivors benefits including up to $900 per month for a year for disability or loss of income and $25 per day for in-home services
Kentucky $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

Louisiana $15,000 bodily injury liability per person

$30,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

Maine $50,000 bodily injury liability per person

$100,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person

$100,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident

$2,000 medical payments coverage

Maryland $30,000 bodily injury liability per person

$60,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$15,000 property damage liability per accident

$30,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person

$60,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident

$15,000 uninsured/underinsured property damage coverage per accident

Mass. $20,000 bodily injury liability per person

$40,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$5,000 property damage liability per accident

$20,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person

$40,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident

$8,000 personal injury protection

Michigan $50,000 bodily injury liability per person

$100,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$10,000 property damage liability per accident outside Michigan

$1 million property protection within Michigan

$250,000* personal injury protection

*Lower PIP limits available for certain Medicare and Medicaid recipients

Minnesota $30,000 bodily injury liability per person

$60,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$10,000 property damage liability per accident

$25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person

$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident

$40,000 personal injury protection

Mississippi $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

Missouri $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

$25,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person

$50,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident

Montana $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$20,000 property damage liability per accident

Nebraska $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

$25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person

$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident

Nevada  $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$20,000 property damage liability per accident

New Hampshire (Minimum limits if driver purchases car insurance, which is optional.)

$25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

$25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person

$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident

$25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage

$1,000 medical payments coverage

New Jersey (Basic policy)

$5,000 property damage liability per accident

$15,000 personal injury protection

New Mexico $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$10,000 property damage liability per accident

New York $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$50,000 liability for death per person

$100,000 liability for death per accident

$10,000 property damage liability per accident

$25,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person

$50,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per accident

$50,000 personal injury protection

North Carolina $30,000 bodily injury liability per person

$60,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

$30,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person

$60,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident

$25,000 uninsured motorist property damage coverage per accident

North Dakota $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

$25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person

$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident

$30,000 personal injury protection

Ohio $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

Oklahoma $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

Oregon $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$20,000 property damage liability per accident

$25,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person

$50,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident

$15,000 personal injury protection

Pennsylvania $15,000 bodily injury liability per person

$30,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$5,000 property damage liability per accident

$5,000 medical benefits

Rhode Island $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

South Carolina $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

$25,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person

$50,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident

$25,000 uninsured motorist property damage coverage

South Dakota $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

$25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person

$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident

Tennessee $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$15,000 property damage liability per accident

Texas $30,000 bodily injury liability per person

$60,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

Utah $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$65,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$15,000 property damage liability per accident

$3,000 personal injury protection

Vermont $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$10,000 property damage liability per accident

$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person

$100,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident

$10,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage per accident

Virginia (Minimum limits if a driver purchases car insurance, which is optional. Drivers who don’t purchase insurance pay a $500 fee.)

$25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$20,000 property damage liability per accident

$25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person

$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident

$20,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage per accident

Washington $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$10,000 property damage liability per accident

Washington, D.C. $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$10,000 property damage liability per accident

$25,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person

$50,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident

$5,000 uninsured motorist property damage coverage per accident

West Virginia $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$25,000 property damage liability per accident

$25,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person

$50,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident

$25,000 uninsured motorist property damage coverage

Wisconsin $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$10,000 property damage liability per accident

$25,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person

$50,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident

Wyoming $25,000 bodily injury liability per person

$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident

$20,000 property damage liability per accident

Exceptions to State Minimum Coverage

Not all states require insurance specifically. In New Hampshire, anyone found guilty of specific vehicle-related crimes, such as drunken driving, must carry a certificate of financial responsibility. Other states that don’t require car insurance, but instead offer alternatives (often unpublicized), include:

Proof of Financial Responsibility

In some states, such as Arizona, drivers can provide a bond, certificate of deposit, or cash instead of state minimum car insurance. Depending on the state, payments can range from $30,001 to more than $100,000.

Uninsured Motorist Registration

Residents with clean records in states such as Virginia have the option of registering as uninsured motorists for an annual fee. It is not an alternative to auto insurance, and uninsured drivers may drive without insurance. Although this option is less expensive than auto insurance, drivers are left with no coverage in the event of an accident.

Generally, meeting the state’s minimum requirements is more accessible and safer than dealing with alternative insurance options.

Related Article: If My Car Breaks Down, Will Insurance Cover a Rental?

Optional Coverage Options and Getting More Than the Minimum

You should consider state minimum car insurance requirements, but you shouldn’t stop there. For example, there is no requirement for collision and comprehensive coverage. Nevertheless, these are two of the most frequently used add-ons to help prevent car thefts, collisions with animals, and more.

You are likely to be required to buy collision and comprehensive coverage if you lease your vehicle or borrow money to purchase it.

Aside from the mandatory coverage, there are a lot of optional coverages available, such as rental reimbursement that provides a rental car if your car is in the shop for a covered claim and full-glass coverage, which pays for damaged windows without a deductible.

Related:How Veterans Auto Insurance Works?

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