Minimum Car Insurance Requirements, by State

When it comes time to purchase your first auto insurance policy or renew your current one, do you even know what your state requires you to carry? Or do you rely on the help of your insurance agent, who also makes a commission on everything you add to your policy?
Don’t worry, most people aren’t paying attention to car insurance, perhaps because it’s not the most exciting topic. But one thing you should know is there are minimum car insurance requirements by state. This can make a big difference in your premium. Not to mention it’s important to know if you end up moving to another state.
Meeting the minimum car insurance requirements doesn’t mean you should keep the lowest amount of coverage. It simply means this is the starting point.

Understand the auto coverage types

First, let's explain the different types of automobile insurance coverage most states require you to carry.

Bodily injury liability

Often you’ll hear about the liability portion of a policy. But liability insurance is actually two separate categories: bodily injury and property damage.
Bodily injury liability pays towards someone else’s injury if you’re in a car accident and it’s your fault. It does not pay for your own injuries, which is why it’s required by most states.
This type of coverage covers both you and any family members you have listed on the policy. You’ll sometimes see it listed as “BI.”
Generally speaking, most experts recommend carrying at least $100,000 in bodily injury liability per person, and $300,000 per accident, which is significantly higher than state requirements.

Property damage liability (PD)

Often listed as “PD,” property damage liability covers you for damage you (or someone else who is driving your car with permission) cause to someone else’s property.
Not only does this include damage to someone else’s car, but also covers damage to property like lamp posts, telephone poles, fences, structures, or buildings that were hit in an accident. Like bodily injury, it doesn’t pay for damage to your own car.
Property damage liability helps cover costs for expenses such as vehicle repair and replacement and damage to any buildings, structures, or stationary objects.
And also like bodily injury liability, you would be wise to look at limits beyond the minimum state requirements.

Medical payments

Although not required by many states, medical payments coverage is an option which contributes payment towards your medical bills not covered by health insurance. This is if you’re injured and require care as a result of a car accident — no matter who is at fault for the accident.
MedPay also covers your family members or any passengers who were in the car with you at the time of the accident.
MedPay goes towards your medical expenses such as doctors visits, co-pays, surgeries, rehabilitation, and other aspects of medical care. Some plans also contribute towards lost wages. Think of MedPay as paying for gaps not covered by your health insurance.

Personal injury protection (PIP)

PIP is like medical payments, but expanded and a wider scope of coverage. PIP usually has higher coverage limits, but it’s also more expensive for your policy.
In addition to coverage for medical costs, PIP will cover 60-80% of lost wages due to an accident. PIP has higher insurance limits for funeral expenses, rehabilitation, medical payments, and nursing care. PIP is used before your medical payment coverage or health insurance.

Collision

Collision covers you if you’re in an accident with another vehicle and there is damage to your car. It also covers you if you have damage from an object or a pothole, or you are in an accident by yourself. No matter who is at fault, collision pays to repair or replace your vehicle.
Many experts recommend keeping collision on your policy, even if your car is paid for. The reason is, if you’re in an accident with someone else and the accident is your fault, the other person’s liability coverage won’t go towards the repair or replacement of your car. Only your collision coverage would help you out if the accident is ruled your fault.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive coverage covers you when your car is damaged by something other than a vehicle crash. Examples of coverage are when damage occurs from storms, natural disasters, fire, theft, hail, etc.
Comprehensive coverage isn’t required by states. However, if you owe money on your car, it’s likely the lender will require you to have collision coverage on your policy.

Uninsured (UM) and Underinsured (UIM) motorist

Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) covers your medical expenses ( and your passengers) resulting from a hit-and-run driver or a driver who doesn’t have insurance. Be aware that UM doesn’t cover damage to your vehicle.
Underinsured motorists (UIM) covers you when you’re in an accident caused by a driver whose insurance coverage doesn’t meet the state’s minimum requirements.

Minimum car insurance requirements by state

Let’s jump right in. We’ve put together this list of what each state’s minimum coverage requirement is. Once we go through this information, we’ll explain the difference between the auto insurance coverage types listed here. These requirements are based on the latest information found through the Insurance Information Institute.
StateRequirements
Alabama$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident
Alaska$50,000 BI liability per person, $100,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident
Arizona$15,000 BI liability per person, $30,000 BI liability per accident, $10,000 PD liability per accident
Arkansas$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident
California$15,000 BI liability per person, $30,000 BI liability per accident, $5,000 PD liability per accident
Colorado$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $15,000 PD liability per accident
Connecticut$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $20,000 PD liability per accident, UM, UIM
Delaware$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $10,000 PD liability per accident, $15,000 PIP
Florida$10,000 PD liability per accident, $10,000 PIP
Georgia$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident
Hawaii$20,000 BI liability per person, $40,000 BI liability per accident, $10,000 PD liability per accident, $10,000 PIP
Idaho$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $15,000 PD liability per accident
Illinois$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $20,000 PD liability per accident, UM, UIM
Indiana$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident
Iowa$20,000 BI liability per person, $40,000 BI liability per accident, $15,000 PD liability per accident
Kansas$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident, PIP as follows: $4,500 medical expense per person, $900 per month income loss for one year, $25 per day at-home services, $4,500 rehabilitation expense per person, $2,000 funeral expense per person
Kentucky$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident, $10,000 PIP, UM, UIM
Louisiana$15,000 BI liability per person, $30,000 BI liability per accident, $20,000 PD liability per accident
Maine$50,000 BI liability per person, $100,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident, UM, UIM, $2,000 Medical Payments
Maryland$30,000 BI liability per person, $60,000 BI liability per accident, $15,000 PD liability per accident, UM, UIM
Massachusetts$20,000 BI liability per person, $40,000 BI liability per accident, $5,000 PD liability per accident, $8,000 PIP
Michigan$20,000 BI liability per person, $40,000 BI liability per accident, $10,000 PD liability per accident, PIP (unlimited, $1,000,000 for property protection)
Minnesota$30,000 BI liability per person, $60,000 BI liability per accident, $10,000 PD liability per accident, UM, UIM
Mississippi$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident
Missouri$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident, UM
Montana$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $20,000 PD liability per accident
Nebraska$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident, UM, UIM
Nevada$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident
New HampshireFinancial responsibility only, optional insurance: $25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident, UM, UIM, $1,000 PIP
New Jersey$15,000 BI liability per person, $10,000 BI liability per accident, $5,000 PD liability per accident
New Mexico$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $10,000 PD liability per accident
New York$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $50,000 liability for death per person, $100,000 liability for death per accident, $10,000 PD liability per accident, $50,000 PIP, UM, UIM
North Carolina$30,000 BI liability per person, $60,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident, UM, UIM
North Dakota$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident, $30,000 PIP, UM, UIM
Ohio$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident
Oklahoma$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident
Oregon$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $20,000 PD liability per accident, UM, UIM
Pennsylvania$15,000 BI liability per person, $30,000 BI liability per accident, $5,000 PD liability per accident
Rhode Island$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident
South Carolina$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident, UM, UIM
South Dakota$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident, UM, UIM
Tennessee$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $15,000 PD liability per accident
Texas$30,000 BI liability per person, $60,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident
Utah$25,000 BI liability per person, $65,000 BI liability per accident, $15,000 PD liability per accident
Vermont$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $10,000 PD liability per accident, UM, UIM
Virginia$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $20,000 PD liability per accident, UM, UIM
Washington$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $10,000 PD liability per accident
West Virginia$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $25,000 PD liability per accident, UM, UIM
Wisconsin$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $10,000 PD liability per accident, UM, Medpay
Wyoming$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $20,000 PD liability per accident
Washington, D.C.$25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, $10,000 PD liability per accident, UM

Other common options for auto policies

In addition to the basic auto coverage categories mentioned above, auto insurance companies have options for you to further customize your policy. These options are typically centered around convenience. Coverage options such as:
  • Car rental reimbursement
  • Emergency roadside assistance
  • Rideshare coverage (additional protection if you’re a rideshare driver)
  • Glass coverage
  • GAP coverage
  • Custom equipment coverage
  • Mechanical breakdown
  • Personal liability coverage
  • Exceptions to the state requirement laws
You know how there’s always one person in a group who likes to do things differently? I suppose you could say the same thing about New Hampshire. New Hampshire is the exception to the minimum car insurance requirements.
In New Hampshire, you’re technically not required to carry auto insurance at all. However, the state minimum requires you must cover the costs of bodily injury or property damage for any accident you cause. So unless you are financially responsible enough to be able to cover these potentially enormous costs, you’re better off purchasing car insurance.
Virginia is bucking the auto insurance requirement too. Although it’s a little different versus New Hampshire. In Virginia, if you choose not to have auto insurance, you have to pay a $500 uninsured motorist fee to the DMV each year. Otherwise, you’re required to obtain the minimum liability requirements, which are $25,000 BI liability per person, $50,000 BI liability per accident, and $20,000 PD liability per accident.

The bottom line

Knowing the minimum car insurance requirements for your state arms you with more knowledge so you can make better decisions.
While car insurance may not be the most exciting topic to dwell on, it’s important enough to make sure we know how to purchase it correctly all while meeting the requirements by law.

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