What Is The Minimum Car Insurance Required By State?

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Jessica Fox 14-06-2021

Your Guide To Minimum Car Insurance Requirements By State

car insurance state requirements

If you’ve ever wondered what the minimum requirements are for you to legally drive in your area, with this guide, you can quickly reference your state and read on to discover which car insurance policy fits your needs: minimum or full coverage.

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Required Coverage

Although there is no universal car insurance minimum across all the states, the consensus is that base coverage should include liability—i.e., some protection if you’re involved in an at-fault accident. Beyond liability coverage, state minimums are all over the map. 

Here are some of the more common state-required minimums:

  • Liability: If you find yourself involved in an at-fault car accident, liability coverage will help cover the damages brought on by your accident.
    • Bodily Injury: Your plan will pay medical expenses to the injured party. However, there is a cap on how much your policy will payout; this is known as a bodily injury per accident cap.
    • Property Damage: Your plan will help cover property damages incurred during your at-fault accident.

The downside to minimum coverage is your policy cap is considerably lower than if you had full coverage or umbrella coverage, meaning if you reach your financial liability limit (bodily or property), you’re on the hook for the remaining balance.

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM): Most state’s base coverage requires you to have UM/UIM. If you’re struck by someone with insufficient or no car insurance, your policy will cover your expenses.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): A smaller number of states mandate your base policy coverage to include PIP. PIP will help cover you and your passenger’s medical costs if you’re in an accident (at fault or not).

States That Don't Require Minimums

Some states have an entirely different spin on car insurance minimums, like Arizona, New Hampshire, and Virginia.

  • Arizona: Rather than traditionally paying for car insurance, Arizona allows you to place a bond or cash deposit down at the department of motor vehicles.
  • New Hampshire: This state doesn’t require everyone to have car insurance, just those convicted of driving infractions, like driving under the influence.
  • Virginia: For motorists with clean records, they can pay an annual fee (roughly $500) to allow them to drive uninsured — which means you absorb any accident-related costs.

Full Coverage Vs. Minimum Coverage Car Insurance

It’s helpful to know the difference between the minimum and full coverage car insurance options as it can help you decide which coverage is right for you.

  • Full Coverage: As the name suggests, full coverage means you have minimum coverage, collision and comprehensive protection. Collision is financial protection for your vehicle while driving regardless of fault, while comprehensive protects your car when you’re not driving it. You’ll pay more for full coverage, but it offers total protection, so if a massive thunderstorm rolls through and drops a tree branch on your car — it’s covered.
  • Minimum Coverage: This is a bare-bones policy that allows you to operate a vehicle legally. However, it offers little financial protection should you get into an accident (at fault or not). Minimum coverage may come at a cheaper rate, but your assets are then exposed if you’re liable for a major accident.

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Driving Without Minimum Coverage Risks

If you choose to drive without car insurance, every time you get behind the wheel of the car, you’re at constant risk of being caught (pulled over or getting into an accident). The consequences of being discovered driving without minimum insurance vary by state and the nature of your offense; here are some of the possible outcomes:

  • You’re 100% liable for an accident you cause (personal and property damage alike), and if you can’t afford to pay out, your wages can be garnished to pay for damages.
  • Vehicle impoundment  
  • Costly fines or tickets
  • License or vehicle suspension
  • Higher car insurance premiums

Car Insurance Minimum By State

We’ve taken the guesswork out of figuring out car insurance minimums by state, so all you have to do is consult this chart to find the bare-bones policy for your state.

STATE BODILY INJURY PROPERTY
DAMAGE
UM BODILY INJURY UM PROPERTY DAMAGE PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION
Alabama Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident:
$50,000
No No No
Alaska Per Person: $50,000
Per Accident: $1,00,000
Per Accident:
$25,000
No No No
Arizona Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident:
$15,000
No No No
Arkansas Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident:
$25,000
No No No
California Per Person: $15,000
Per Accident: $30,000
Per Accident:
$5,000
No No No
Colorado Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident:
$15,000
No No No
Connecticut Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident:
$25,000
No No No
Delaware Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident:
$10,000
No No Per Person: $15,000 Per Accident: $30,000
Florida No
Per Accident:
$10,000
No No $10,000
Georgia Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident:
$25,000
No No No
Hawaii Per Person: $20,000
Per Accident: $40,000
Per Accident:
$10,000
No No $10,000
Idaho Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident:
$15,000
No No No
Illinois Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident:
$20,000
Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
No No
Indiana Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident:
$25,000
No No No
Iowa Per Person: $20,000
Per Accident: $40,000
Per Accident:
$15,000
No No No
Kansas Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident:
$25,000
Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
No $4,500
Kentucky Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident:
$25,000
Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
No $10,000
Louisiana Per Person: $15,000
Per Accident: $30,000
Per Accident:
$25,000
No No No
Maine Per Person: $50,000
Per Accident: $100,000
Per Accident:
$25,000
Per Person: $50,000
Per Accident: $100,000
No $2,000
Maryland Per Person: $30,000
Per Accident: $60,000
Per Accident:
$15,000
Per Person: $30,000
Per Accident: $60,000
$15,000 No
Massachusetts Per Person: $20,000
Per Accident: $40,000
Per Accident:
$5,000
Per Person: $20,000
Per Accident: $40,000
No $8,000
Michigan Per Person: $50,000
Per Accident: $100,000
Per Accident:
$10,000
No No $250,000 with qualifying health plan
Minnesota Per Person: $30,000
Per Accident: $60,000
Per Person:
$25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
No No $40,000
Mississippi Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $25,000
No No No
Missouri Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $10,000
Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
No No
Montana Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $20,000
No No No
Nebraska Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $25,000
Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
No No
Nevada Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $20,000
No No No
New Hampshire Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $25,000
Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident:
$25,000
$1,000
New Jersey Per Person: $15,000
Per Accident: $30,000
Per Accident: $5,000
Per Person: $15,000
Per Accident: $30,000
No $15,000
New Mexico Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $10,000
No No No
New York Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $10,000
Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
No $50,000
North Carolina Per Person: $30,000
Per Accident: $60,000
Per Accident: $25,000
Per Person: $30,000
Per Accident: $60,000
$25,000 No
North Dakota Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $25,000
Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
No $30,000
Ohio Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $25,000
No No No
Oklahoma Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $25,000
No No No
Oregon Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $25,000
Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
No $15,000
Pennsylvania Per Person: $15,000
Per Accident: $30,000
Per Accident: $5,000
No No $5,000
Rhode Island Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $25,000
No No No
South Carolina Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $25,000
Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident:
$25,000
No
South Dakota Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $25,000
Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
No No
Tennessee Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $15,000
No No No
Texas Per Person: $30,000
Per Accident: $60,000
Per Accident: $25,000
No No No
Utah Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $65,000
Per Accident: $15,000
No No $3,000
Vermont Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $10,000
Per Person: $50,000
Per Accident: $100,000
Per Accident:
$10,000
No
Virginia Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $20,000
Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
$20,000 No
Washington Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $10,000
No No No
Washington D.C. Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $10,000
Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident:
$5,000
No
West Virginia Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $25,000
Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident:
$25,000
No
Wisconsin Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $10,000
Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
No No
Wyoming Per Person: $25,000
Per Accident: $50,000
Per Accident: $20,000
No No No

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements By State

No matter which state you call home, you need to be insured to legally drive. Driving uninsured is never worth the risk of getting caught or, worse, financial ruin in the event you’re responsible for an accident. So do your due diligence and make sure whenever you get behind the wheel, you’re insured. 

Jessica FoxJessica Fox has been a freelance writer for five years, with a specialty in health, wellness, and insurance. During this time, she’s written for some of the biggest B2B and B2C brands from around the world. Jessica is also the mother of two young daughters and loves coffee, writing, and working out.