Minimum Car Insurance Requirements by State

Minimum car insurance requirements vary from state to state in the United States. Understanding the minimum car insurance requirements in each state is crucial for drivers, insurance seekers, and policyholders. Each state sets its own rules regarding the types and amounts of coverage drivers must carry. This guide provides an overview of the mandatory auto insurance coverages for all 50 states.

What is Minimum Car Insurance?

Minimum auto insurance refers to the least amount of coverage drivers are required by law to have in their state. This typically includes liability insurance, which covers bodily injury and property damage caused by the driver, but can also include other types of coverage based on state laws.

Minimum Car Insurance by State in the United States

The table below details minimum auto insurance coverage requirements by state in the United States.

State Fault System Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Minimum Car Insurance Requirements
Alabama At-Fault Not Available (N/A)
  • $25,000 bodily injury/person/accident
  • $50,000 combined bodily injury/accident
  • $25,000 property damage/accident
    • OR
  • Combined single limit of $75,000/accident

The former policy type is known as a 25/50/25, and will be referred to in that format below.

Alaska At-Fault N/A
Arizona At-Fault N/A
Arkansas At-Fault Optional ($5,000/person)
California At-Fault N/A
Colorado At-Fault N/A
Connecticut At-Fault N/A
  • 25/50/25
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) of 25/50
Delaware At-Fault Required ($15,000/person;$30,000 for all persons)
  • 25/50/10
  • PIP ($15,000/person;$30,000 for all persons)
District of Columbia At-Fault Optional ($50,000/person)
Florida No-Fault Required ($10,000)
  • PIP ($10,000)
  • Property damage ($10,000)
Georgia At-Fault Optional
Hawaii No-Fault Required ($10,000/person)
Idaho At-Fault N/A
Illinois At-Fault Optional ($1,500/person)
Indiana At-Fault N/A
Iowa At-Fault N/A
Kansas No-Fault Required ($4,500/person for medical costs; $900/month for 1 year for disability and loss of income; $25/day for in-home services; $2,000 for funeral, burial, or cremation costs; $4,500 for rehabilitation; survivor benefits of $900/month for 1 year for disability and loss of income and $25/day for in-home services)
  • 25/50/25
  • PIP (see details to left)
  • UM/UIM of 25/50
Kentucky Choice No-Fault Required ($10,000/person)
  • 25/50/25
  • PIP ($10,000/person)
    • OR
  • Single limit $60,000 policy
Louisiana At-Fault N/A
Maine At-Fault N/A
Maryland At-Fault Optional ($2,500/person)
Massachusetts No-Fault Required ($8,000/person)
  • 20/40/5
  • PIP ($8,000/person)
  • UM of 20/40 (but not UIM)
Michigan No-Fault Required ($250,000/accident; $50,000 for some Medicaid enrollees)
  • 50/100/10
  • PIP ($250,000/accident; $50,000 for some Medicaid enrollees)
  • $1,000,000 in Property Protection Coverage (PPI)
Minnesota No-Fault Required ($40,000 consisting of $20,000 for medical expenses and $20,000 for loss of income)
  • 30/60/10
  • PIP ($40,000 consisting of $20,000 for medical expenses and $20,000 for loss of income)
  • UM/UIM of 25/50
Mississippi At-Fault N/A
Missouri At-Fault N/A
Montana At-Fault N/A
Nebraska At-Fault N/A
Nevada At-Fault N/A
New Hampshire At-Fault N/A Auto insurance is not required, though you have to proof of financial responsibility to drive without coverage.

If you choose to have coverage:

  • 25/50/25
  • MedPay of $1,000
  • UM/UIM of 25/50/25
New Jersey Choice No-Fault Required ($15,000/person; Up to $250,000 for severe/permanent injury)
  • 25/50/25
  • PIP ($15,000/person; Up to $250,000 for severe/permanent injury)
  • UM/UIM of 25/50/25
New Mexico At-Fault N/A
New York No-Fault Required ($50,000/person, $2,000/month for up to three years for lost income, $25/day for one year for necessary expenses, $2,000 death benefit)
North Carolina At-Fault N/A
  • 30/60/25 (increasing to 50/100/50 for policies issued in 2025)
  • UM of 30/50/25 (but not UIM)
North Dakota No-Fault Required ($30,000/person)
  • 25/50/25
  • PIP ($30,000/person)
  • UM/UIM of 25/50
Ohio At-Fault N/A
Oklahoma At-Fault N/A
Oregon At-Fault Required ($15,000/person)
  • 25/50/20
  • PIP ($15,000/person)
  • UM of 25/50 (but not UIM)
Pennsylvania Choice No-Fault Medical Benefits Required ($5,000)
  • 15/30/5
  • Medical Benefits ($5,000)
Rhode Island At-Fault N/A
South Carolina At-Fault N/A
South Dakota At-Fault Optional
Tennessee At-Fault N/A
Texas At-Fault Optional ($2,500/person)
Utah No-Fault Required ($3,000/person)
  • 25/65/15 (increasing to 30/65/25 for policies issued in 2025)
  • PIP ($3,000/person)
Vermont At-Fault N/A
Virginia At-Fault Optional ($2,000/person) Auto insurance is not required, though you have to pay an uninsured motor vehicle fee of $500 to drive without coverage.

If you choose to have coverage:

  • 30/60/20 (increasing to 50/100/25 for policies issued in 2025)
  • UM/UIM of 25/50/20
Washington At-Fault Optional ($10,000/accident)
West Virginia At-Fault N/A
Wisconsin At-Fault N/A
Wyoming At-Fault N/A

 

Types of Auto Insurance Coverage

Liability Insurance (Bodily Injury and Property Damage)

Liability insurance is a critical component of car insurance policies and is typically required by law in most states. It consists of two primary types of coverage:

  • Bodily Injury Liability: This coverage helps pay for the medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering of other people injured in an accident where the policyholder is at fault. It may also cover legal fees if the injured party sues the policyholder.
  • Property Damage Liability: This coverage helps pay for repairs to another person’s vehicle or property that the policyholder damages in an accident. This may include costs for fixing other cars, fences, buildings, or any other property damaged in the incident.

Liability insurance is essential because it helps protect drivers from significant financial loss due to accidents, providing peace of mind that they are covered in the event of a mishap.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of car insurance coverage that helps pay for medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages and other damages, regardless of who is at fault in an accident. This coverage is often required in no-fault states and can include a range of benefits to support policyholders after an accident. Key components of PIP coverage include:

  • Medical Expenses: Covers the cost of medical treatment for injuries sustained in an accident, including hospital stays, surgeries, and rehabilitation.
  • Lost Wages: Compensates for income lost due to injuries that prevent the policyholder from working.
  • Funeral Costs: Provides financial assistance for funeral expenses in the tragic event of a fatal accident.
  • Essential Services: Pays for services such as childcare or housekeeping if the policyholder is unable to perform these tasks due to their injuries.

PIP coverage can be particularly valuable as it ensures that policyholders and their passengers receive immediate medical treatment without waiting to determine fault in an accident.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)

Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is designed to protect drivers and their passengers in the event of an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver. It ensures that if you are hit by someone who lacks adequate insurance coverage, you are still able to cover costs stemming from the incident.

This type of coverage can encompass several essential areas:

  • Bodily Injury: Covers medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering for you and your passengers if injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
  • Property Damage: Pays for repairs to your vehicle or property if damaged by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
  • Hit-and-Run Accidents: Provides financial protection if the at-fault driver cannot be identified, such as in a hit-and-run scenario.

UM coverage is crucial as it offers a safety net, ensuring victims of accidents with uninsured or underinsured motorists are not left shouldering significant financial burdens.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)

Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) is designed to provide additional protection when you are involved in an accident with a driver whose insurance coverage is insufficient to cover the full extent of the damages incurred. This coverage steps in to fill the gap between the at-fault driver’s policy limits and the total costs of the accident. UIM coverage is crucial as it ensures you are not financially burdened due to another driver’s lack of adequate insurance.

Key aspects of UIM coverage include:

  • Bodily Injury: Helps cover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering if the at-fault driver’s insurance is insufficient.
  • Property Damage: Addresses the repair or replacement costs of your vehicle or property when the other driver’s insurance falls short.
  • Legal Fees: Assists with legal costs that may arise if you need to pursue further compensation from the underinsured driver.

UIM coverage acts as a financial safeguard, providing peace of mind that you are covered even when other drivers fail to carry adequate insurance.

Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay)

Medical payments coverage (MedPay) is an optional car insurance add-on that helps cover medical expenses incurred by you and your passengers in the event of an accident, regardless of who is at fault. This type of coverage is particularly beneficial as it can provide immediate financial relief for various medical-related costs, especially when you are at fault. Key aspects of MedPay coverage include:

  • Medical Bills: Covers expenses such as hospital visits, surgeries, X-rays, and ambulance fees.
  • Deductibles and Co-pays: Helps pay for deductibles and co-pays that may not be fully covered by your health insurance.
  • Funeral Expenses: Assists with funeral costs if an accident results in a fatality.
  • Dental Care: Covers necessary dental treatments resulting from an accident.
  • Injury Rehabilitation: Provides financial assistance for rehabilitation services, including physical therapy.

MedPay is especially valuable for policyholders who want additional protection beyond what their health insurance offers, ensuring more comprehensive coverage in the aftermath of an accident.

How the Fault System in a State Affects Minimum Car Insurance Requirements

The fault system employed by a state profoundly influences its minimum car insurance requirements. Understanding how insurance requirements differ in fault, no-fault, and choice no-fault states is essential for comprehending the broader insurance landscape across the United States.

Fault (Tort) States

In fault (or tort) states, where the driver responsible for an accident is liable for all resulting damages, the minimum car insurance laws typically mandate higher liability coverage. This ensures that at-fault drivers can adequately compensate the injured parties for medical expenses, property damage, and any other losses. Consequently, drivers in fault states are required to hold policies that include bodily injury liability and property damage liability, often with specified minimum limits.

  • There are 38 at-fault states, as well as the District of Columbia.
  • Examples of at-fault states include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and all other states not mentioned below.

No-Fault States

Conversely, in no-fault states, each driver’s insurance coverage is primarily responsible for their own losses, regardless of who caused the accident. Here, the minimum insurance requirements focus more on PIP coverage rather than extensive liability insurance. PIP covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other injury-related costs for the policyholder without the need for determining fault. As a result, the mandatory minimum coverage in no-fault states often includes PIP, sometimes at higher required limits, while liability coverage might be less emphasized or required at lower amounts.

  • There are 12 no-fault states, including the 3 choice no-fault states.
  • The 9 no-fault states that aren’t choice no-fault states are: Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, and Utah.

Choice No-Fault States

For drivers in choice no-fault states, the minimum car insurance requirements can vary depending on their chosen coverage—either no-fault or fault-based. Those opting for no-fault insurance must meet the PIP coverage requirements of traditional no-fault states. However, if they choose fault-based coverage, they must adhere to liability insurance requirements similar to those in fault states, ensuring they can cover damages if they are at fault in an accident.

  • The 3 choice no-fault states are: Kentucky, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Overall, whether a state follows a fault, no-fault, or choice no-fault system has significant implications for the specific types and amounts of minimum car insurance coverage required by law, tailored to protect all parties involved in a car accident.

At-Fault and No Fault States in the United States

Conclusions Regarding Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in the United States

Knowing the minimum car insurance requirements in your state ensures that you are legally compliant and adequately protected. Always consider purchasing additional coverage beyond the state minimum requirements to enhance your protection against unforeseen circumstances.

At Thompson Law, we understand the importance of being adequately insured. The minimum policy limits mandated by states are often not enough to cover the substantial costs associated with serious accidents. Our attorneys recommend purchasing more than the minimum policy limits for several compelling reasons:

  • Comprehensive Coverage: Higher policy limits provide broader coverage for medical expenses, property damage, and legal fees. This ensures that you are not left paying out-of-pocket for expenses that exceed your insurance limits.
  • Protection Against Lawsuits: In the event of severe accidents, the damages and medical costs can quickly surpass minimum coverage limits. Higher coverage protects you from personal liability and potential lawsuits that could impact your financial stability.
  • Peace of Mind: More substantial coverage guarantees that you and your family are financially secure, regardless of the severity of the accident. Knowing you have adequate protection allows you to focus on recovery without the added stress of financial worries.
  • Coverage for Uninsured/Underinsured Incidents: Enhanced policies often include better protection against uninsured and underinsured motorists, ensuring that you are covered even when the at-fault driver lacks adequate insurance.
  • Future-proofing: As medical costs and repair expenses continue to rise, having higher policy limits ensures that your coverage remains sufficient over time, protecting you against future inflation of costs associated with accidents.

By investing in more than the minimum policy limits, you are taking proactive steps to safeguard your financial well-being and ensure you are fully protected and able to recoup personal injury damages in the event of an accident. Our legal team at Thompson Law is here to help guide you through selecting the best coverage to fit your needs and provide peace of mind on the road. Contact us today.

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