Car Insurance Needed in Your State

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Most states require drivers to have auto insurance. Some states only require minimum insurance coverage, while others have additional requirements, such as personal injury coverage.

Buying the minimum required insurance will give you financial protection in the event of an accident. We recommend purchasing more insurance than the state limit. If you cause an accident, you may be held liable for damages that exceed the limits you received. A good rule of thumb is to buy enough insurance to cover the things you might lose in a lawsuit.

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements by Government

Which States Don’t Require Car Insurance?

Every state except New Hampshire and Virginia requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of insurance. However, even drivers in those states may find they still need assistance at times.

  • New Hampshire generally does not require you to have auto insurance if you can prove that you meet the state’s financial requirements. If you are unable to meet these requirements, you may have your license to drive in New Hampshire suspended. Also, if you are facing other problems on the road, such as being involved in an accident without insurance, you may need to purchase insurance.
  • Virginia residents can opt out of purchasing liability insurance by paying a $500 uninsured fee. However, skipping car insurance means you won’t have any coverage in the event of an accident. If you cause an accident, you will be on the hook to pay for injuries to other people and property damage.

Popular Types of Car Insurance by Government

If you are shopping for the best car insurance for your needs, the best place to start is to understand what your country’s requirements are. In most cases, this includes one or more of the following.

Liability insurance

If you cause an accident, auto insurance pays for property damage and injuries to others, including the other driver, passengers and pedestrians. It also covers your legal protection and any judgments or actions that may be taken if you are sued as a result of an accident.

The coverage requirements include minimum coverage for bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident and property damage.

For example, if you are buying auto insurance in Texas, you will need a policy that meets the state’s 30/60/25 requirements. This means that your plan should include:

  • $30,000 in personal injury coverage per accident
  • $60,000 in accidental personal injury liability
  • $25,000 in property damage per accident

The need for uninsured motorists

Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) protects you if you are involved in an accident and the driver at fault is uninsured.

Likewise, drivers may be required by their state to purchase minimum vehicle insurance (UIM). This type of coverage kicks in if the at-fault driver has insurance but doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for your damages.

Like rental insurance, UM/UIM is usually divided into two categories:

  • Physical injury: Uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury (UMBI) and uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury (UIMBI).
  • Property damage: Uninsured motorist protection for property damage (UMPD) and Uninsured motorist protection for property damage (UIMPD).

Some states require drivers to carry an UMBI but do not require a UMPD. Others want protection against bodily injury and property damage.

Personal injury protection

In the event of an accident, personal injury protection (PIP) protects you and your injured passengers, regardless of who caused the accident.

PIP benefits include medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs and funeral expenses and survivor benefits. It can even cover the cost of some daily activities, such as childcare, if your injury prevents you from performing those tasks.

PIP is mandatory in some states.

Medical payments (MedPay)

MedPay pays accident-related medical bills for you or your passengers regardless of who is at fault for the accident. It can also cover your medical bills if you are involved in an accident as a passenger or pedestrian.

MedPay is not available in all areas but is required in some areas.

Related: The main types of car insurance

Additional Car Insurance Needed For Some Drivers

Although not required by states, comprehensive and collision coverage may be required by your lender if you have a car loan or mortgage.

  • Collision propagation pays for damages that occur when you collide with another object, such as a car, guard rail, telephone pole or other.
  • Full study pays for damages caused by other events, such as natural disasters, fire, theft, vandalism, rollover or animal damage (such as a deer running in front of your car or a mouse eating your engine wiring).

Best Car Insurance Companies 2022

With so many options for car insurance companies, it can be difficult to know where to start in finding the right car insurance. We’ve reviewed insurers to find the best car insurance companies, so you don’t have to.

Car Insurance FAQs

How much does low cost car insurance cost?

A Forbes Advisor analysis shows the average “good driver” average car insurance premium is $618 per year. However, rates vary based on a number of factors, including where you live, your age, your driving history and the type of car you drive.

Another factor that affects the cost of car insurance is the car insurance company you choose. Shopping around and comparing car insurance quotes can help you get the lowest price for what you need.

Related: Cheap car insurance companies

Should I get more or less car insurance?

A minimum requirement will ensure that you have enough insurance to legally drive in your state, but there are benefits to purchasing additional coverage if it fits your budget.

If you have an accident, especially one that results in personal injury, the deductible may not be enough to cover all damages related to the accident, including your legal defense and any judgments against you if you are sued.

Related: How much car insurance do you need?

What happens if I don’t meet the requirements for my car insurance?

Each country has its own penalties for driving without car insurance.

Generally, you can expect to pay a fine ranging from $150 to $1,500. License suspensions are also common and can last up to three years, as is the case in Florida. There may also be other consequences, such as impounding the vehicle, suspension of the vehicle registration and jail time.