In almost every state in the U.S. (New Hampshire is the exception), drivers need to have a minimum amount of car insurance to drive on public roads legally. This generally consists of bodily injury liability and property damage liability, but may include other types of coverage as well, depending on the state. Minimum insurance is generally cheaper than full coverage, which includes collision and comprehensive insurance, but if you have a lease or loan, you may be required by your lender to have the more robust options that you get with full coverage.

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What kind of car insurance am I required to have?

Nearly all states have some form of car insurance requirement. Many states allow drivers to satisfy minimum requirements in several ways, including through a bond, deposits, evidence of self-insurance or by carrying an auto insurance policy. New Hampshire does not have a car insurance requirement but you do have to prove that you can be financially responsible for damages that you cause before forgoing a policy, and there are minimum limits if you choose to buy coverage. There are several states, like Michigan, Minnesota and New Jersey, where drivers are required to carry liability and personal injury protection coverage.

Below are the coverage types that are often required with minimum car insurance:

  • Bodily injury (BI) liability: If you cause an accident with another driver or pedestrian, bodily injury liability coverage will help pay for medical expenses related to the other person’s injuries. It may also cover your legal fees if the other person sues you for their losses.
  • Property damage (PD) liability: Property damage liability coverage is designed to pay toward property damage that you cause to others. For example, if you hit another vehicle on the road, your property damage liability insurance could help pay for the other vehicle’s repairs.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM): Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage offer financial protection in the event that you get into an accident with a driver who is uninsured or does not have enough coverage to pay for your losses.
  • Personal injury protection coverage (PIP): Personal injury protection is a requirement in states that have no-fault laws. If you get into an accident, PIP can pay for your medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs and related expenses, regardless of who caused the accident. This coverage can also be purchased in some at-fault states.
  • Medical payments coverage (MedPay): Medical payments coverage may help pay your medical expenses following an accident and is not typically as robust as PIP. It is generally considered optional coverage. However, a few states do require drivers to carry medical payments coverage.

The minimum amount of coverage per person and per accident is different depending on your location. To find the exact minimum coverage auto insurance requirements in your state, you can visit your state’s Department of Insurance website or contact your auto insurer.

Minimum car insurance requirements in each state

Although insurance carriers will not sell you a policy with less coverage than the state-mandated minimum coverage level, it may still be a good idea to review your state minimum coverage car insurance requirements. Also, remember that you can always purchase more coverage than required if you want additional financial protection. Most insurance professionals recommend getting quotes for multiple coverage levels before choosing the minimum amount of car insurance coverage available in your state to save on auto insurance premiums.

The table below includes the minimum car insurance requirements in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

State Bodily injury liability and property damage liability UM/UIM, PIP and MedPay
Alabama 25/50/25 None
Alaska 50/100/25 None
Arizona 25/50/15 None
Arkansas 25/50/25 None
California 15/30/5 None
Colorado 25/50/15 None
Connecticut 25/50/25 25/50 UM/UIM
Delaware 25/50/10 15/30 PIP
Florida $10,000 PDL* $10,000 PIP
Georgia 25/50/25 None
Hawaii 20/40/10 $10,000 PIP
Idaho 25/50/15 None
Illinois 25/50/20 25/50 UM
Indiana 25/50/25 25/50 UM; 50 UIM
Iowa 20/40/15 None
Kansas 25/50/25 25/50 UM/UIM
$4,500 PIP
Kentucky 25/50/25 None
Louisiana 15/30/25 None
Maine 50/100/25 50/100 UM/UIM
$2,000 MedPay
Maryland 30/60/15 30/60/15 UM
Massachusetts 20/40/5 20/40 UM
$8,000 PIP
Michigan 50/100/10 Six PIP options: minimum $50,000 for insureds on Medicaid
Minnesota 30/60/10 25/50 UM/UIM
$40,000 PIP
Mississippi 25/50/25 None
Missouri 25/50/25 25/50 UM/UIM
Montana 25/50/20 None
Nebraska 25/50/25 25/50 UM/UIM
Nevada 25/50/20 None
New Hampshire** 25/50/25 25/50 UM
$1,000 MedPay
New Jersey 25/50/25*** 25/50 UM/UIM
$15,000 PIP
New Mexico 25/50/10 None
New York 25/50/10 25/50 UM
$50,000 PIP
North Carolina 30/60/25 30/60/25 UM
30/60 UIM
North Dakota 25/50/25 25/50 UM/UIM
$30,000 PIP
Ohio 25/50/25 None
Oklahoma 25/50/25 None
Oregon 25/50/20 25/50 UM/UIM
$15,000 PIP
Pennsylvania 15/30/5 $5,000 PIP
Rhode Island 25/50/25 None
South Carolina 25/50/25 25/50/25 UM
South Dakota 25/50/25 25/50 UM/UIM
Tennessee 25/50/25 None
Texas 30/60/25 None
Utah 25/65/15 $3,000 PIP
Vermont 25/50/10 50/100/10 UM
Virginia*** 30/60/20 None
Washington 25/50/10 None
Washington, D.C. 25/50/10 25/50/5 UM
West Virginia 25/50/25 25/50/25 UM
Wisconsin 25/50/10 25/50 UM
Wyoming 25/50/20 None

*Florida only requires PDL and PIP, but you have to prove you have the financial means to pay for damages before you can skip out on BI. Minimum BI limits are 10/20 if you do purchase coverage.

**New Hampshire does not require car insurance, but these are the minimum limits if you buy a policy to satisfy the financial responsibility law.

***New Jersey limits are based on the “standard policy” minimum coverage requirements for current coverage. These limits reflect the increase that took place in January 2023. New Jersey’s minimum limits will increase again in January 2026, to 35/70/25 for liability and 35/70 for UM/UIM. PIP will remain at $15,000.

****Policies effective on or after Jan. 1, 2025 will have increased coverage minimums of 50/100/25.

What states do not require car insurance?

Traditional car insurance is not mandatory in all states. Depending on where you live, there may be alternative options, such as putting down a deposit or posting a bond with your state’s DMV, which serves as proof of financial responsibility. If you were to get into an accident, that money could be given to the other driver to compensate them for their losses, depending on the circumstances.

The most flexible state for car insurance alternatives is New Hampshire. In New Hampshire, drivers are not required to carry auto insurance, except in cases where they must have an SR-22. Here are a few other states that provide the option to use a financial filing in lieu of a traditional auto insurance policy:

  • California: Option to put down a $35,000 deposit
  • Florida: Drivers can decline liability insurance by proving a net worth of at least $40,000
  • Montana: Option to post a bond or a $55,000 deposit of cash or securities

However, keep in mind that forgoing traditional car insurance is usually a much more expensive option in the long run or if you are involved in an accident. For example, in New Hampshire, minimum liability insurance costs an average of $321 per year. Although car insurance isn’t required here, drivers are still liable for property and medical damages related to an at-fault accident, which could easily add up to much more than that.

Most insurance professionals recommend higher policy limits than the minimums required by law for greater financial protection, and you may need full coverage depending on your situation. Car insurance is designed to protect your finances from the fallout of vehicle accidents, so having a policy that fits your needs — even if it’s more expensive than the minimum requirements — may save you from financial devastation should the worst happen.

Frequently asked questions

    • Almost all states require you to carry a certain amount of minimum coverage. This generally includes liability insurance and may include other types of coverage, such as PIP or medpay. This coverage may be enough to pay for damages or injuries in a minor accident, but might not provide enough coverage if you are in a significant crash. Liability coverage only covers the other driver and their passengers, as well as their cars or other property. If you wish to have coverage for your own vehicle in an at-fault crash, you will need a full coverage policy, which includes comprehensive and collision insurance. If you can afford it, many insurance experts recommend that you purchase more than the minimum amount of coverage required in your state, to give you an added level of protection. Higher levels of liability coverage, plus collision and comprehensive, will give you a more robust policy that may protect you more thoroughly in the event of a serious accident.
    • Minimum coverage car insurance will help pay for the injuries and property damage you cause if you’re the driver in the at-fault accident. In some states, minimum coverage car insurance also includes PIP and uninsured motorist coverage, which can help pay for your injuries in a variety of scenarios. It’s also important to note that unless your state requires uninsured motorist property damage coverage, minimum coverage car insurance doesn’t pay to repair your vehicle, whether you’re at fault or not at fault. Instead, you’ll need to add comprehensive and collision if you want your car covered.
    • A full coverage car insurance policy generally includes liability insurance and your state’s other minimum coverage requirements (if applicable), plus collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision insurance covers your vehicle’s repairs after an accident, whereas comprehensive coverage covers your vehicle’s repairs after a non-collision incident, such as theft, vandalism, storm damage or damage from striking an animal.
    • The cost of car insurance may vary greatly for every driver. The average cost of car insurance in the U.S. is $2,014 per year for full coverage and $622 for minimum coverage, according to Bankrate’s study of quoted annual premiums for 2023, but your rate may be more or less than the average. That’s because the premiums you pay are calculated using a range of personal factors, like your ZIP code, state, claims history, driving record, coverage options and deductibles.
    • When insuring a leased vehicle, your leasing company will typically require you to carry a minimum of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage, and $50,000 in property damage coverage (or 100/300/50). Because the leasing company still technically owns the car during your lease term, it may require these higher-than-minimum liability limits for extra financial protection if you’re deemed at fault in an accident.

      In addition to 100/300/50, your leasing company will probably require that you carry comprehensive and collision, and it may restrict how high you can set your deductible. Leasing coverage requirements vary from company to company, so to ensure your policy meets the terms of your lease agreement, you may want to consult with your dealer or leasing company for more information.

    • Yes, your car insurance policy will cover you anywhere you drive in the United States. Your car insurance policy must meet the coverage requirements in the state where the car is registered. However, there are no restrictions for driving in another state where the minimum requirements are higher; if you drive into a state that has higher minimum limits than yours, your minimum coverage policy will adjust up to that state’s limits. You may even have the same coverage if you drive across the border into Canada. However, you should confirm with your car insurance company or agent that you are covered in Canada prior to driving across the border. Most standard U.S. auto policies do not provide coverage in Mexico.