Minimum Car Insurance Required in Your State: What You Need to Know

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Car insurance is legally required in all but two states. (Photo: @elodycy via Twenty20)
Almost every state requires drivers to purchase a minimum level of car insurance. In addition, when you lease or finance a vehicle, most lenders will require you to carry coverage that goes above and beyond the standard state requirements.
Here’s what you should know about mandatory car insurance so you can stay protected on the road.
If you’re on the lookout for cheap car insurance, Jerry.ai can provide you with competitive quotes in under a minute. Swapping providers is just as effortless. Jerry takes care of all the paperwork and phone calls, and it even cancels your old policy on your behalf — oh, and it’s free!
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Minimum car insurance requirements in every state

Is car insurance required by law? Unless you live in New Hampshire or Virginia, the answer to this question is yes. Nearly all states require drivers to have a minimum level of liability insurance.
Other types of insurance are legally required in some states and not in others.
Here are the minimum car insurance requirements for all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.
Alabama
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
Alaska
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $50,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $100,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
Arizona
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $15,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $30,000
  • Property damage liability = $10,000
Arkansas
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
California
If you are a low-income driver, you might be eligible for the reduced-rate California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan.
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $15,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $30,000
  • Property damage liability = $5,000
Colorado
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $15,000
Connecticut
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $50,000
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = $25,000/person; $50,000/accident
DC
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $10,000
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = $25,000 bodily injury/person; $50,000 bodily injury/accident; $5,000 personal damage/accident
Delaware
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $10,000
  • Personal injury protection = $15,000/person; $30,000/accident
Florida
  • Bodily injury liability/person (only if specified by the state) = $10,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident (only if specified by the state) = $20,000
  • Property damage liability = $10,000
  • Personal injury protection = $10,000
Georgia
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
Hawaii
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $20,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $40,000
  • Property damage liability = $10,000
  • Personal injury protection = $10,000
Idaho
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $15,000
Illinois
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $20,000
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury = $25,000/person; $50,000/accident
Indiana
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury = $25,000/person and $50,000/accident unless expressly rejected in writing
Iowa
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $20,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $40,000
  • Property damage liability = $15,000
Kansas
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
  • Personal injury protection = $4,500/accident
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = $25,000/person; $50,000/accident
Kentucky
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $10,000
  • Personal injury protection = $10,000/accident unless expressly rejected in writing
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = $25,000/person and $50,000/accident unless expressly rejected in writing
Louisiana
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $15,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $30,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
Maine
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $50,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $100,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
  • Medical expenses = $2,000 for any injuries you or your passengers incur
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = $50,000/person; $100,000/accident
Maryland
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $30,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $60,000
  • Property damage liability = $15,000
  • Personal injury protection = $2,500/incident
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = $30,000/person; $60,000/incident; $15,000 in personal damages coverage
Massachusetts
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $20,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $40,000
  • Property damage liability = $5,000
  • Personal injury protection = $8,000/person in accident
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = $20,000/person; $40,000/incident
Michigan
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $20,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $40,000
  • Property damage liability = $10,000
  • Personal injury protection = varies depending on the health insurance coverage you have
Minnesota
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $30,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $60,000
  • Property damage liability = $10,000
  • Personal injury protection = $20,000/accident; $20,000 for loss of income/accident
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = $25,000/person; $50,000/accident
Mississippi
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
Missouri
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = $25,000/person; $50,000/incident
Montana
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $20,000
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = optional, but must be declined in writing
Nebraska
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = $25,000/person; $50,000/accident
Nevada
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $50,000
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = $25,000/person and $50,000/accident
New Hampshire
While New Hampshire does not legally require residents to carry car insurance, you will be responsible for paying bodily injury liability and property damage liability out-of-pocket if you are found to be at fault in an accident.
  • Bodily injury liability/person = optional, but $25,000 if purchased
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = optional, but $50,000 if purchased
  • Property damage liability = optional, but $25,000 if purchased
  • Personal injury protection = optional, but $1,000/accident for medical expenses only if purchased
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = optional, but the amount must match your liability limits if purchased
New Jersey
New Jersey motorists must legally carry either a Basic or Standard car insurance policy. The Basic policy is the more affordable option, but you will risk paying out-of-pocket for bodily injury liability if you cause an accident.
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $15,000 (Standard)
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $30,000 (Standard)
  • Property damage liability = $5,000 (Basic/Standard)
  • Personal injury protection = $15,000/accident, up to $250,000 for severe injuries with a Standard policy (Basic/Standard)
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = must match liability limits if you purchase a Standard policy
New Mexico
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $10,000
New York
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $10,000
  • Personal injury protection = $50,000/person
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = $25,000/person; $50,000/accident
  • Wrongful death (unique to NY) = $50,000 for one death/accident; $100,000 for multiple deaths/accidents
North Carolina
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $30,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $60,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = $60,000/accident or matching highest bodily injury limit
North Dakota
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
  • Personal injury protection = $30,000 maximum/person
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = $25,000/person; $50,000/accident
Ohio
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
Oklahoma
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
Oregon
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $20,000
  • Personal injury protection = $15,000/person
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist =$25,000/person; $50,000/accident
Pennsylvania
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $15,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $30,000
  • Property damage liability = $5,000
  • Personal injury protection = $5,000/person in medical benefit coverage
Rhode Island
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = $25,000/person; $50,000/accident (uninsured motorist coverage is optional)
South Carolina
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = must equal liability limits ($25,000/person and $50,000/accident)
South Dakota
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = $25,000/person; $50,000 person incident
Tennessee
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $15,000
Texas
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $30,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $60,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
Utah
Utah drivers can choose a single $80,000 coverage option for bodily injury liability and property damage liability. Otherwise, the following applies.
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $65,000
  • Property damage liability = $15,000
  • Personal injury protection = $3,000/person
Vermont
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $10,000
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = $50,000/person; $100,000/accident; $10,000 personal damages
Virginia
Virginia residents can choose to forgo car insurance and pay a fee of $500 to the DMV instead. However, if you select this option, you will not be financially protected if you are found to be at fault in an accident.
If you do decide to purchase insurance, the following minimums apply.
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $20,000
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = your coverage must match your liability limits, starting at $25,000/person; $50,000/incident
Washington
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $10,000
West Virginia
West Virginia is unique in that state maximums might also apply, so you want to be sure you don’t have too much coverage, either.
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = coverage must equal your liability insurance coverage starting at $25,000/person and $50,000/accident.
Wisconsin
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $10,000
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = $25,000/person; $50,000/accident
West Virginia
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $25,000
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist = coverage must equal your liability insurance coverage starting at $25,000/person and $50,000/accident.
Wyoming
  • Bodily injury liability/person = $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability/accident = $50,000
  • Property damage liability = $20,000
No matter where you live, you should compare car insurance quotes to ensure you’re getting the best rate.
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Typical car insurance requirements when financing or leasing a car

What insurance is required when financing a car?
Most lenders will require that you take out collision and comprehensive coverage when you lease or finance a vehicle, in addition to liability coverage.
No state laws require drivers to carry collision and comprehensive coverage, but because the lender owns the vehicle, they will want you to get additional insurance to protect their investment.
While the specifics of these coverage types may vary slightly from provider to provider, this is a broad overview of what you can expect.
Collision coverage
Collision coverage pays for damage to your car if you are involved in a collision with another object.
Standard collision coverage will typically cover the following situations:
  • An accident with another car
  • Hitting a stationary object like a tree, fire hydrant, or street sign
  • Hit-and-run incidents
  • Rollovers
Comprehensive coverage
Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your car caused by disasters other than collisions.
These disasters could include the following:
  • Hitting an animal while driving
  • Natural disasters like earthquakes and floods
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Vandalism

Overview of all the different mandatory coverage types

Most states will legally require you to have some or all of the insurance coverages listed below. Keep in mind that certain providers might offer different coverages tailored to the legal requirements of the state you live in, and the policy offerings might vary slightly.
Bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage
Liability coverage is designed to protect you up to your policy’s limit should you be found at fault in a car accident. Basic liability insurance covers the expenses associated with the accident for the other party involved.
There are two types of liability coverage: bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage and property damage liability (PDL) coverage.
Bodily injury liability will help cover medical or funeral expenses for the other party involved in an accident where you are at fault. It will also pay for your legal defense if someone sues you for damages.
Property damage liability will help cover the costs associated with any damage you cause to other people’s vehicles or property if you are at fault in an accident.
Even if liability insurance is not legally required in your home state, it’s generally a good idea to purchase both BIL and PDL. Otherwise, you will have to pay out-of-pocket for the other party’s expenses if you are found to be at fault in an accident.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage actually comprises two separate types of insurance that are often grouped together.
Uninsured motorist coverage applies when a car accident isn’t your fault and the at-fault driver doesn’t have liability insurance to pay for your injuries or property damage.
Underinsured motorist coverage kicks in when the at-fault driver does have liability insurance, but not enough to cover your expenses.
Medical payments coverage and personal injury protection
Medical payments coverage (MedPay) is designed to help cover any medical or funeral expenses for you and your passengers.
Personal injury protection (PIP) will cover medical expenses for you and your passengers. It will also provide some additional coverage for lost wages or other expenses associated with an accident.
While basic liability coverage only applies to the other party, medical payments coverage or personal injury protection will ensure that your medical expenses and other costs associated with an accident are covered up to your policy’s limit.
Some policies will help cover these costs for any family members living in your household as well.
Both medical payments coverage and personal injury protection are types of no-fault coverage that will kick in regardless of who caused the accident, and providers will often offer one or the other depending on the minimum requirements of the state you live in.
If you are only required to have medical payments coverage, personal injury protection might be offered as a policy add-on.

Why car insurance is mandatory in most states

The reasoning behind mandatory car insurance is actually pretty simple. While minimum state car insurance requirements might seem arbitrary, the fact is that any vehicle has the potential to cause a lot of damage. When this happens, somebody has to pay for that damage.
So basically, it all comes down to liability. Car insurance is required by most states so that motorists don’t get caught footing a bill that they can’t afford when they cause an accident, or alternately, when they get in an accident with somebody who can’t afford to pay for liability.
Even if you live in a state where car insurance is not legally required, you will still be responsible for paying out-of-pocket for any costs associated with an accident that you cause. This is why it is always a good idea to have at least the minimum car insurance required.
If you want a fast and easy way to compare quotes and buy cheap car insurance, try Jerry.ai. We do all the hard work and you get to enjoy the savings.

Frequently asked questions

What happens if you get caught without car insurance?
If you are caught driving without car insurance, the consequences could be severe. Almost all states legally require you to have a minimum level of coverage.
If you end up getting pulled over and you don’t have insurance, you could be slapped with anything from a hefty fine to more severe penalties like a license suspension, vehicle impoundment, or jail time. This is especially true if you are caught driving without insurance more than once.
In addition, you could be saddled with additional costs like license reinstatement fees, meeting SR22 requirements, and paying extra on your insurance premiums for having lapses in your coverage.
You could also be on the hook for legal fees and damages if you cause an accident and end up getting sued.
What US states do not require auto insurance?
There are only two US states that don’t require resident motorists to carry insurance: New Hampshire and Virginia.
However, if you live in one of these two states, you will still have to assume financial responsibility for the consequences if you choose to skip car insurance and get into an accident.
In New Hampshire, you will be held responsible for up to $50,000 in bodily injury and $25,000 in property damages if you are found to be at fault in an accident. If you are uninsured and can’t afford to cover the costs, your driver’s license and registration will be suspended.
In Virginia, if you choose to skip car insurance, you will have to pay $500 a year to the state and assume all legal responsibility for any damages you cause if you’re found to be at fault in an accident.
Can I leave my car parked without insurance?
Unless you live in New Hampshire or Virginia, if your vehicle is registered, it must also be insured. Either way, you will still be on the hook for any damage caused to your vehicle while it’s parked if you have no insurance to help cover the repair cost.
In all the states where insurance is required, you cannot leave a parked vehicle on public property without insurance. While you can technically leave an uninsured vehicle parked on private property, most states require you to turn in or destroy your plates before you cancel your insurance.
Be aware that your insurance company could significantly increase the cost of your policy if they discover a gap in your car insurance coverage.
How long can you go without having car insurance?
Most providers will give you a grace period of a few days to buy insurance after you get a new car.
You may have anywhere from a week to a month to buy insurance if you’re replacing an insured car with a new ride.

Where to shop for cheap minimum car insurance

Car insurance is always a good thing to have, regardless of whether it is legally required by the state you live in.
As a licensed broker, Jerry.ai can help you find cheap car insurance that meets your state’s minimum requirements. Just answer a few simple questions and in seconds, Jerry will pull up quotes that offer the right coverage for the right price.
Once you decide on a policy, we’ll handle all the paperwork and phone calls to set up your new car insurance.
And the savings keep coming even after Jerry finds you a great plan. Before every policy renewal period, you’ll be presented with three competitive quotes, which means you’ll always be paying the best price, no matter what state you live in.
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