How Much Car Insurance Do You Need?

Drivers need a full coverage policy with collision and comprehensive coverage, plus 100/300/100 liability limits to be fully protected.
Written by Liz Jenson
Edited by Sarah Gray
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When it comes to
car insurance
coverage levels, there are tons of options to choose from.
Jerry
experts recommend that drivers carry at least 100/300/100 liability insurance and full coverage, but you’ll need to check your state laws and your vehicle lease before you can
get car insurance quotes
and find a policy that’s right for you.

How much car insurance do you need?

While you’re only required to carry enough coverage to meet state minimum auto insurance limits to drive your vehicle legally, you could be faced with heavy out-of-pocket costs in the event of an accident unless you choose to purchase additional insurance coverage. 
At
Jerry
, we recommend that drivers carry at least 100/300/100 liability limits and
full coverage

State minimum car insurance coverage requirements

All states require drivers to demonstrate financial responsibility to drive legally, and the easiest way for most drivers to meet this requirement is to purchase car insurance. Here are the types of insurance that may be required in your state, and how much they could cost you.

Liability insurance

The most commonly required type of car insurance is
liability car insurance
, which costs drivers an average of $77 per month. This type of coverage is required in every state—even in
New Hampshire
if you choose to purchase car insurance to prove financial responsibility— though coverage limits vary from one state to the next.
Liability insurance can be further broken down into two types of coverage:
property damage liability insurance
and
bodily injury liability insurance
. Here’s what each type of liability covers:
  • Property damage liability insurance (PD) will pay for damages to another person’s property in an accident for which you were at fault. These damages might include things like vehicle repair or replacement, hitting a mailbox, or damaging a fence with your vehicle.
  • Bodily injury liability insurance (BI) will pay for bills and expenses related to injuries that other people sustain in an accident you caused. Your insurance provider will usually require you to set a coverage limit per accident and per person for this type of insurance.
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Liability insurance limits are often illustrated by a series of three numbers separated by a forward slash. So, when you see 25/50/25 for Missouri, that means you need $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability, plus $25,000 property damage liability to drive legally in the Show Me State.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM)

Uninsured motorist coverage/underinsured motorist insurance
(UM/UIM) is required in some states. On average, drivers pay approximately $78 per month for UM/UIM, according to a 2021 study by the
This type of auto insurance coverage provides financial protection if you get into an accident with a driver who doesn’t have sufficient insurance coverage. 
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance (UMBI) is the most common type required, and covers medical expenses, but may also extend to cover lost wages, funeral expenses, pain and suffering. 
  • Uninsured motorist property damage insurance (UMPD), which pays for vehicle damage following an accident where an uninsured motorist is at fault, is not available in most states and only required in a few.
Like liability coverage, UM/UIM is represented as a series of numbers separated by forward slash.

Personal injury protection (PIP)

Personal injury protection coverage
, more commonly referred to as PIP, is a type of insurance coverage required in
no-fault states
. On average, drivers pay $5–50 per month for this type of insurance.
Regardless of who caused a car accident, PIP provides financial protection for medical expenses for you and your passengers. In some cases, it can cover lost wages, childcare, and funeral expenses.

Medical payments coverage (MedPay)

As the name suggests,
MedPay
covers medical bills for you and your passengers following a car accident. On average, drivers pay $5–8 per month for this type of insurance.
Like PIP, this coverage applies regardless of fault. However, unlike PIP, MedPay is limited in what types of expenses are covered. You’ll receive financial help when paying for medical bills and funeral expenses, but you won’t get support for things like lost wages or childcare. Rather, MedPay functions like an add-on to your health insurance coverage following an accident.
Here’s a breakdown of the minimum car insurance requirements in each state, and their average annual cost:
State
Average Cost
25/50/25
Not required
Not required
$764
50/100/25
Not required
Not required
$1,340
25/50/15
Not required
Not required
$798
25/50/25
Not required
Not required
$733
15/30/5
Not required
Not required
$787
25/50/15
Not required
Not required
$723
25/50/25
25/50 UMBI
Not required
$1,178
25/50/10
Not required
15/30 PIP
$996
District of Columbia
25/50/10
25/50 UMBI
$5,000 UMPD
Not required
$929
$10,000 (PD only)
Not required
$10,000 PIP
$2,090
25/50/25
Not required
Not required
$1,253
20/40/10
Not required
$10,000 PIP
$981
25/50/15
Not required
Not required
$509
25/50/20
25/50 UMBI
Not required
$756
25/50/25
Not required
Not required
$509
20/40/15
Not required
Not required
$522
25/50/25
25/50 UMBI
PIP (structured limits)***
$662
25/50/25
Not required
$10,000 PIP†
$1,304
15/30/25
Not required
Not required
$1,255
50/100/25
50/100 UMBI
$2,000 MedPay
$488
30/60/15
30/60 UMBI
$15,000 UMPD
$2,500 PIP†
$1,090
25/40/5
20/40 UMBI
$8,000 PIP
$717
50/100/10
Not required
$0–unlimited PIP†
$1,414
30/60/10
25/50 UMBI
$40,000 PIP
$805
25/50/25
Not required
Not required
$712
25/50/25
25/50 UMBI
Not required
$785
25/50/20
Not required
Not required
$536
25/50/25
25/50 UMBI
Not required
$621
25/50/20
Not required
Not required
$753
25/50/25
25/50 UMBI
$25,000 UMPD
$1,000 MedPay
$511
25/50/25
Not required
$15,000 PIP
$1,120
25/50/10
Not required
Not required
$653
25/50/10
25/50 UMBI
$50,000 PIP
$1,459
30/60/25
30/30 UMBI
$25,000 UMPD
Not required
$511
25/50/25
25/50 UMBI
$30,000 PIP
$875
25/50/25
Not required
Not required
$590
25/50/25
Not required
Not required
$721
25/50/20
25/50 UMBI
$15,000 PIP
$840
15/30/5
Not required
$5,000 MedPay**
$635
25/50/25
Not required
Not required
$798
25/50/25
25/50 UMBI
$25,000 UMPD
Not required
$1,360
25/50/25
25/50 UMBI
Not required
$639
25/50/25
Not required
Not required
$713
30/60/25
Not required
Not required
$1,022
25/65/15
Not required
$3,000
$804
25/50/10
50/100 UMBI
$10,000 UMPD
Not required
$434
30/60/30
25/50 UMBI
$20,000 UMPD
Not required
$733
25/50/10
Not required
Not required
$777
25/50/25
25/50 UMBI
$25,000 UMPD
Not required
$704
25/50/10
25/50 UMPD
Not required
$506
25/50/20
25/50 UMBI
Not required
$342
* Required for drivers who choose to use car insurance to prove financial responsibility ** Referred to as First Party Benefit in Pennsylvania *** Kansas custom PIP limits include: * $4,500/person for medical expenses * $900/month for one year for disability/loss of income * $25/day for in-home service for one year * $2,000 for funeral, burial, or cremation expenses * $4,500 for rehabilitation expenses † PIP required for drivers who choose no-fault coverage in choice-fault states
At Jerry, our expert insurance agents recommend carrying more than state minimum liability coverage. Instead, we advise drivers to carry 100/300/100 liability insurance. That means purchasing:
  • $100,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person
  • $300,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per accident
  • $100,000 of property damage liability coverage
This will keep you protected in the event of an at-fault accident even if there are a lot of injuries, you total a vehicle, or there are other costly repairs to consider—and it’s surprisingly affordable to add.
Jerry’s experts analyzed thousands of real customers’ car insurance policies to calculate how much it costs on average to increase liability limits. Here’s what they found from some of the nation’s top providers:
Provider
15/30/15
25/50/25
50/100/50
100/300/100
$175
$199
$262
$299
$161
$193
$222
$245
$63
$149
$181
$183
$89
$100
$140
$203
$116
$160
$216
$227
$117
$167
$181
$194
$157
$158
$192
$198
$140
$164
$179
$197
$108
$169
$190
$210
$164
$182
$208
$213
Remember: Liability insurance can’t be used to cover injuries or damages sustained by you or your passengers. This type of coverage is strictly to help you pay for damages and/or injuries you cause in an accident.
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While you’re usually only required to carry state minimum insurance coverage, it’s beneficial to carry as much car insurance as you can afford to avoid paying high out-of-pocket costs following an accident. 
This is why a
full coverage policy
with increased liability limits is considered the gold standard for coverage.
Additionally, most lenders require you to carry full coverage for a leased or financed vehicle, regardless of state minimum insurance requirements. Though there’s no one-size-fits all definition for full coverage, all full-coverage policies will start with at least collision and comprehensive coverage.

Collision coverage

While
collision insurance
covers damage to your vehicle that is the result of a collision—whether it’s with another vehicle, an animal, or a stationary object. This type of coverage will also pay for damages caused by a hit-and-run.

Comprehensive coverage

While collision coverage pays for damages from a collision,
comprehensive insurance
covers damages to your vehicle caused by other things, including weather-related damage, vandalism, theft, and more. 
Both collision and comprehensive insurance require a
deductible
, which you’ll need to pay before your insurance payments kick in. Choosing a higher deductible can reduce your rates, but you should never choose a deductible higher than you can afford to pay out-of-pocket in the event of an accident.
Full coverage costs will vary depending on factors like your vehicle’s make and model, your driving record, and sometimes even your credit score. But according to our experts’ analysis, here’s how much you can expect to pay on average for full coverage from some of the top insurance companies:
Insurance company
$105
$215
$85
$198
$158
$361
$66
$130
$51
$174
$98
$222
$66
$205
$93
$211
$61
$155
$79
$178
$122
$200
$58
$162
$59
$141
A full coverage policy with increased liability limits not only ensures you’re covered following an accident even if you’re at fault but it also opens up access to valuable add-ons, like rental reimbursement, roadside assistance, or towing coverage to your policy.

Gap insurance

A less common but very important type of coverage,
gap insurance
covers the difference between the actual cash value (ACV) of your new car and the amount outstanding on your
car loan
if your vehicle is totaled. On average, this type of coverage costs about $20 per year.
This type of insurance is sometimes required for leased or financed vehicles, but it’s a good idea to purchase this type of insurance for any vehicle on which you owe more than it’s worth.

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Ways to save money on your car insurance

Car insurance isn’t one-size-fits-all, and quotes are highly individualized based on factors like your driver profile, your vehicle’s make/model, the amount of coverage you choose, your age, and even your zip code. With that being said, there are a few ways to save on your insurance rates:
  • Shop around
    : Experts recommend gathering quotes from at least three different insurance providers before settling on a policy. You can do this on your own, but it’s easier to use
    Jerry
    , an independent broker that can help you find personalized quotes in minutes.
  • Bundle your insurance
    : Most insurance providers will allow you to bundle your car insurance with homeowners insurance, renters insurance, or other available types of coverage at a discounted rate. Ask your provider about bundling coverage options, or gather some bundled insurance quotes. 
  • Check for insurance discounts
    : Most insurance companies offer discounts of one kind or another, even if they aren’t advertised. Ask your insurance agent about available discounts, or use
    Jerry
    ’s discount tool to explore your options.
  • Improve your credit
    : Did you know drivers with poor credit can pay as much as 114% more for car insurance than drivers with excellent credit? That means raising your credit score might lower your car insurance rates.2
See how much Jerry could save you on a policy with all the coverage you need
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FAQ

How can you find cheap car insurance coverage?

To find cheap car insurance coverage, gather personalized quotes from at least three different car insurance companies. This will ensure you’re getting the best rates available based on personalized factors like your driving record, the value of your car, and your desired policy limits.

What’s the minimum amount of auto insurance coverage you can carry in Florida?

In
Florida
, drivers are only required to carry property damage liability insurance with a $10,000 per accident coverage limit and PIP with a $10,000 coverage limit. However, drivers in this state should consider adding more coverage to their policy, as the resulting financial protection will far outweigh the additional insurance costs.

Does Virginia have minimum requirements for car insurance?

Virginia
requires 30/60/20 liability insurance, $30,000 per person / $60,000 per accident of UMBI, and $20,000 per accident of UMPD (that’s uninsured motorist property damage coverage). Drivers also have the option to forego insurance by paying an “uninsured motorist fee” of $500, but it’s not recommended.3

Meet our experts

avatar
Liz Jenson
Liz Jenson is an insurance writer who specializes in general automotive and insurance topics. Liz’s mission is to produce informative and useful content to help car owners make smart choices when buying cars and car insurance. Since joining Jerry in 2021, Liz has written nearly 4,000 long- and short-form articles on topics including state-specific insurance recommendations, common car insurance questions, and deep dives into vehicle model details.
Before they came to Jerry, Liz was a full-time student at Indiana University, Bloomington working on a double major in English and French.
avatar
Sarah Gray
badge icon
Licensed Insurance Agent — Expert Insurance Writer and Editor
Sarah Gray is an insurance writer with nearly a decade of experience in publishing and writing. Sarah specializes in writing articles that educate car owners and buyers on the full scope of car ownership—from shopping for and buying a new car to scrapping one that’s breathed its last and everything in between. Sarah has authored over 1,500 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from first-time buyer programs to how to get a salvage title for a totaled car.
Prior to joining Jerry, Sarah was a full-time professor of English literature and composition with multiple academic writing publications.

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