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State minimum car insurance
You often need at least liability coverage to hit the road. But is minimal protection right for you?
Most states require a minimum amount of car insurance protection before you can get on the road, but the requirements are different from state to state. However, this level of protection might not be enough to cover all of your car damage or medical bills after an accident. Look at whether you should add optional coverage or buy a higher coverage limit, which is the maximum dollar amount that your insurance will pay for a claim. If your car isn’t worth much and you don’t have many assets, state minimum car insurance might be right for you.
State minimum car insurance in all 50 states
Find the limits in your state to find out how much insurance you need to have at a minimum.
In Arizona, you are not required to have auto insurance to legally drive in the state. However, if you choose not to purchase insurance, you must put up a $40,000 bond to prove you can pay for damages in case of an accident.
In Michigan, you are required to have no-fault car insurance that covers injuries and damages regardless of who’s at fault.
In New Hampshire, having car insurance is optional.
In Virginia, you do not have to buy car insurance as long as the driver can prove they have a way to pay for injuries of property damage in case of an at-fault accident. Below are the minimums in Virginia in case you decide to purchase insurance.
The cost of state minimum car insurance
Average insurance rates vary by state, but expect to pay around $400 to $600 for the cheapest rates.
The good news is many online quotes automatically default to your state’s minimum requirements. You’ll also be able to see explanations of the limits and what each coverage type means, which makes it easier to understand what you’re covered for.
|Company||Average annual rate||Learn more|
|21st Century||$651||Read review|
|Liberty Mutual||$709||Read review|
|State Farm||$726||Read review|
|The Hartford||$727||Read review|
|Average||$598||Compare all reviews|
Discover coverage that’s broader than competitors, valuable discounts up to 30% off and perks like shrinking deductibles that reward no claims.
- Broad coverage, including for custom car parts or ridesharing
- Transparent pricing tools that help you buy within budget
- Accident forgiveness on small claims or for staying claim-free
- Stack a variety of discounts for multiple cars, autopay or homeownership
Why does every state have different minimum insurance requirements?
Like most US laws, every state gets to decide most of the laws for its residents, other than federal laws which apply to every state. And while many states have similar 25/50/25 liability limits, only about half the US requires uninsured or PIP coverage.
Uninsured driver rates tend to increase in states with higher requirements because this leads to higher insurance costs and more drivers who can’t afford to get insurance.
Minimum liability limits are also difficult to change, since this would require data gathering to support the decision and new legislature to be drafted and passed. That’s why many states haven’t changed their liability limits in decades.
Compare state minimum insurance quotes
As you’re getting quotes, consider things like whether passengers usually ride with you or what the theft rates are in your area. Start with the minimum level of insurance and then add only the coverage that you need to keep your premiums low.
Make sure you’re covered with at least the minimum coverage limits for your state so that you can drive legally. But because state minimum coverage leaves you unprotected for certain kinds of damage, it pays to compare additional coverage you need on top of the bare minimum, such as full coverage.
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