How much insurance coverage do I need?

You can determine how much insurance coverage you need by looking at the state where you live. The most common car insurance requirement is 25/50/25, but insurance companies recommend 50/100/50. The vehicle you own also determines how much auto insurance coverage you need. If you're still making payments, you'll need full coverage insurance. Shop around and compare multiple companies to secure the best insurance rates.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jan 5, 2022

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  • Liability insurance is the minimum auto insurance requirement in most states
  • Drivers who are still making payments to their vehicles are required to carry full coverage auto insurance
  • Most auto insurance companies recommend the 50/100/50 coverage level
  • Nineteen states and Washington, D.C., require drivers to have UM/UIM coverage
  • Gap insurance isn’t required but highly recommended to drivers still making payments on their car

Have you ever asked how much car insurance coverage do I need? The answer to that frequently asked question varies. It all depends on where you live.

But how much does insurance cost for minimum coverage? Don’t worry – we’ll answer your questions.

Read this guide to explore how much auto insurance you need in your state, how much auto insurance costs in each state, and what coverage options are required.

After learning how much insurance coverage you need, use our free online tool to compare multiple insurance quotes in your area.

How much insurance coverage do I need?

Your auto insurance requirements vary by state. The answer to “how much insurance do I need?” depends on where you live and the vehicle you own.

Most drivers only require liability car insurance. Liability insurance is a combination of coverages in some states.

For example, liability auto insurance in Connecticut has bodily injury (BI) liability, property damage (PD) liability, uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.

However, minimum requirements in states like Alabama and Louisiana are different.

What are the minimum auto insurance requirements for each state?

The bare minimum requirement for car insurance is liability coverage, but there are limits.

The most common liability auto insurance limits are $25,000 for bodily injury of one person per accident, $50,000 for bodily injury of multiple people per accident, $25,000 for property damage per accident.

These coverage limits are often abbreviated as 25/50/25. And these abbreviations can vary for each state.

Let’s look at a complete list of the minimum car insurance requirements for every state in the nation.

Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements by State
StateInsurance RequiredMinimum Liability Limits
ALBI & PD Liab25/50/25
AKBI & PD Liab50/100/25
AZBI & PD Liab15/30/10
ARBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/25
CABI & PD Liab15/30/5
COBI & PD Liab25/50/15
CTBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
DEBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/10
DCBI & PD Liab, UM25/50/10
FLPD Liab, PIP10/20/10
GABI & PD Liab25/50/25
HIBI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/10
IDBI & PD Liab25/50/15
ILBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
INBI & PD Liab25/50/25
IABI & PD Liab20/40/15
KSBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/25
KYBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/25
LABI & PD Liab15/30/25
MEBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM, Medpay50/100/25
MDBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM30/60/15
MABI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/5
MIBI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/10
MNBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM30/60/10
MSBI & PD Liab25/50/25
MOBI & PD Liab, UM25/50/25
MTBI & PD Liab25/50/20
NEBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
NVBI & PD Liab25/50/20
NHFR only25/50/25
NJBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM15/30/5
NMBI & PD Liab25/50/10
NYBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/10
NCBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM30/60/25
NDBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/25
OHBI & PD Liab25/50/25
OKBI & PD Liab25/50/25
ORBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/20
PABI & PD Liab, PIP15/30/5
RIBI & PD Liab25/50/25
SCBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
SDBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
TNBI & PD Liab25/50/15
TXBI & PD Liab, PIP30/60/25
UTBI & PD Liab, PIP25/65/15
VTBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/10
VABI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
WABI & PD Liab25/50/10
WVBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
WIBI & PD Liab, UM, Medpay25/50/10
WYBI & PD Liab25/50/20
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Alaska, Maine, and Texas have the highest coverage limits in the United States. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida, and California have lower coverage requirements than other states.

What auto insurance coverage limit do insurance companies recommend?

Car insurance companies may suggest that you buy a coverage limit of 50/100/50.

The 50/100/50 stands for $50,000 for bodily injury of one person per incident (accident), $100,000 for bodily injury of multiple people per incident, and $50,000 for property damage per incident.

This coverage limit is known as the medium (or medium-low) coverage level.

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How much is auto insurance based on coverage level?

Your coverage level impacts your car insurance rates. The state minimum coverage limits are the cheapest option, but you can secure higher coverage limits for only a few dollars more.

Let’s examine some sample auto insurance rates for each state to give you an idea of how much auto insurance costs per month.

Monthly Auto Insurance Rates by Coverage Level
StateState Minimum Liability-OnlyState Minimum with Collision and Comprehensive Coverage ($1K Deductible)100/300/100 with Collision and Comprehensive Coverage ($1K Deductible)
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Some states have monthly car insurance rates that are over $400. Meanwhile, other states have rates that barely reach $40 per month.

How much is auto insurance at the best auto insurance companies?

Car insurance rates will continue to vary once you secure a policy at an insurance company.

Let’s look at the average rates from the best auto insurance companies in the United States.

Average Monthly Full Coverage and Liability-Only Auto Insurance Rates
CompanyFull Coverage Auto Insurance RatesLiability-Only Auto Insurance Rates
American Family$113$52
Liberty Mutual$137$52
State Farm$100$41
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If you want to pay the lowest rates, consider GEICO, Nationwide, or Progressive.

What are the required auto insurance coverage options?

It depends on your situation. Although liability insurance is the minimum requirement, you may require full coverage car insurance if you’re still making payments on your vehicle.

Collision and comprehensive auto insurance are common insurance coverages within full coverage.

Specific coverages that aren’t required are available under full coverage. For instance, UM coverage isn’t needed in New Mexico, but you can add UM insurance to your policy.

Which states require you to have UM/UIM auto insurance coverage?

Only a few states require UM/UIM car insurance. Here’s a list of states where UM/UIM coverage is required.

  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Nineteen states and Washington, D.C. require drivers to have UM/UIM insurance. Since these coverages are a must in these areas, you won’t have to add them to your policy.

Which states require personal injury protection (PIP)?

PIP provides coverage for personal injury. Therefore, your auto insurance company covers lost wages, legal fees, child care expenses, and other issues related to personal injury.

However, PIP isn’t needed everywhere. Check out the list of states below to see which states require drivers to have PIP.

  • Arizona
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Utah

Over a dozen states insist drivers get PIP. We recommend that you add PIP even if it’s not required.

Which states require medical payments (MedPay)?

Medical payments target expenses related to x-rays, medications, and copays. Basically, any medical bill that doesn’t involve personal injury is covered.

But which states make it mandatory to have MedPay? Let’s see.

  • Maine
  • Pennsylvania*
  • Wisconsin

Not many states require MedPay. Pennsylvania insurance law insists that drivers carry MedPay, but some attorneys say Pennsylvania drivers don’t need it.

What are the recommended optional auto insurance coverages?

Liability insurance is essential, but several coverages are helpful against complicated situations.

People who make payments on their vehicles must have collision and comprehensive car insurance.

Let’s review a list of optional coverage options you should consider adding to your insurance policy.

  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Gap insurance
  • Rental car reimbursement
  • Rideshare insurance
  • Glass coverage
  • Classic car insurance
  • OEM replacement
  • Custom equipment insurance
  • Umbrella insurance
  • Roadside assistance
  • Pay-per-mile insurance
  • Mechanical breakdown insurance
  • Temporary car insurance

We highly recommend Gap insurance (guaranteed auto protection insurance) for drivers still making payments. If you get into an accident, your car insurance company pays for damages and injuries.

But Gap insurance pays for the remaining balance you owe on your vehicle. You’ll be stuck with a total balance of a car you can’t drive if you don’t have Gap insurance.

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How Much Auto Insurance Coverage Do I Need: The Bottom Line

The car insurance coverage you need depends on your situation. Understanding your car insurance policy isn’t as hard as it seems.

Although the state minimums are okay, it’s better to have medium and higher coverage levels.

In addition to a higher coverage level, we recommend that you add full coverage to your insurance policy to avoid situations where injuries and property damage aren’t covered.

Now that you’ve explored how much insurance coverage you need, enter your ZIP code in the free online quote tool to compare multiple insurance companies near you.

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