Auto Insurance

Car Insurance Requirements By State

Having the right amount of insurance can help protect you from financial liability if something goes wrong when you’re behind the wheel. Many states also require licensed drivers to have a certain amount of coverage. This guide explains the basic auto insurance requirements by state so you can make sure you’re properly covered.  

Car Insurance Requirements By State

An auto insurance policy provides financial protection if something goes wrong while you’re behind the wheel. Numerous situations can create financial liability for a driver, from minor fender benders to major collisions. Driving incidents are common even if you’re careful. In 2020, there were over 5.2 million police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes in the U.S. — an average of more than 14,385 per day.

If you’re unfortunate enough to have vehicle damage after an accident, you may be looking at an average repair bill of $4,700. If physical injuries are involved, the costs go up from there. Generally, the law holds drivers liable for injuries or damage they cause, even if it’s unintentional. For this reason, every state except New Hampshire and Virginia requires licensed drivers to carry a minimum amount of car insurance coverage. 

Car Insurance Requirements By State

StateMinimums
Alabama$25,000 bodily injury liability limit per person
$50,000 maximum for all bodily injuries per accident
$25,000 maximum for property damage per accident
Alaska$50,000/$100,000 for bodily injury or death
$25,000 for property damage
Arizona$25,000 bodily injury liability for 1 person
$50,000 for 2 or more persons
$15,000 property damage liability
Arkansas$25,000 for bodily injury or death of 1 person in any 1 accident
$50,000 for bodily injury or death of 2 or more persons in any 1 accident
$25,000 for damage to or destruction of the property of others
California$15,000 for injury/death to 1 person
$30,000 for injury/death to more than 1 person
$5,000 for damage to property
Colorado$25,000 for bodily injury or death to any 1 person in an accident
$50,000 for bodily injury or death to all persons in any 1 accident
$15,000 for property damage in any 1 accident
Connecticut$25,000 per person
$50,000 per accident for bodily injury liability
$25,000 per accident for property damage liability
Delaware$25,000 for bodily injury or death of 1 person
$50,000 for bodily injury or death of 2 or more persons
$10,000 for injury to or destruction of property of others
Florida$10,000 minimum limits of bodily injury liability per person
$20,000 per crash
$10,000 property damage liability per crash
Georgia$25,000 per person Bodily Injury Liability
$50,000 per incident
$25,000 per incident Property Damage Liability
Hawaii$20,000 per person
$40,000 per accident bodily injury liability
$10,000 per occurrence property damage liability
Idaho$25,000 per person Bodily Injury Coverage
$50,000 per accident Bodily Injury Coverage
$15,000 in Property Damage Liability coverage
Illinois$25,000 for injury or death of 1 person in an accident
$50,000 for injury or death of more than 1 person in an accident
$20,000 for damage to property of another person
Indiana$25,000 for bodily injury to or the death of 1 individual
$50,000 for bodily injury to or the death of 2 or more individuals in any 1 accident
$25,000 for damage to or the destruction of property in 1 accident
Iowa$20,000 of bodily injury to or death of 1 person in any 1 accident
$40,000 because of bodily injury to or death of 2 or more persons in any 1 accident
$15,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any 1 accident
Kansas$25,000/person for bodily injury
$50,000/accident for bodily injury
$25,000/accident for property damage
Kentucky$25,000 for all claims for bodily injury damages sustained by any 1 person
$50,000 for all bodily injury damages sustained by all persons as a result of an accident
$25,000 for all property damage as a result of any 1 accident
Louisiana$15,000 for bodily injury to 1 person
$30,000 for bodily injury to more than 1 person in a single accident
$25,000 coverage for damage to some1 else’s vehicle or other property
Maine$50,000 liability for the injury to or death of any 1 person
$100,000 liability for 1 accident resulting in injury to or death of more than 1 person
$25,000 liability for property damage
Maryland$30,000 for bodily injury
$60,000 for 2 or more people
$15,000 property damage
Massachusetts$20,000 per person – Bodily Injury to Others
$40,000 per accident – Bodily Injury to Others
$5,000 per accident – Damage to Some1 Else’s Property
Michigan$50,000 for a person who is hurt or killed in an accident
$100,000 for each accident if several people are hurt or killed
$10,000 for property damage in another state
Minnesota$30,000 for injuries to 1 person
$60,000 for injuries to 2 or more people
$10,000 for physical damage to the other driver’s vehicle or for damage to property
Mississippi$25,000 per person (limited to a single accident)
$50,000 per accident for bodily injury
$25,000 per accident for property damage
Missouri$25,000 per person for bodily injury
$50,000 per accident for bodily injury
$25,000 per accident for property
Montana$25,000 because of bodily injury to or death of 1 person in any 1 accident and subject to the limit for 1 person
$50,000 because of bodily injury to or death of 2 or more persons in any 1 accident
$20,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any 1 accident
Nebraska$25,000 because of bodily injury to or death of 1 person in any 1 accident
$50,000 because of bodily injury to or death of 2 or more persons in any 1 accident
$25,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any 1 accident
Nevada$25,000 for bodily injury or death of 1 person in any 1 accident
$50,000 for bodily injury or death of 2 or more persons in any 1 accident
$20,000 for injury to or destruction of property of others in any 1 accident
New Hampshire$25,000 per person for bodily injury
$50,000 if 2 or more persons are hurt
$25,000 for property damage
New Jersey$15,000 per person – bodily injury liability
$30,000 per accident – bodily injury liability
$5,000 per accident – property damage liability
New Mexico$25,000 for bodily injury to or death of 1 person
$50,000 for bodily injury to or death of 2 or more persons
$10,000 for property damage in any 1 accident
New York$25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for death for a person involved in an accident
$50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for death for 2 or more people in an accident
$10,000 for property damage for a single accident
North Carolina​$30,000 Bodily injury (1 person) ​​
​$60,000 Bodily injury (2 or more people) ​
​$25,000 Property damage ​
North Dakota$25,000 per person (the maximum amount payable to 1 person)
$50,000 per accident (the maximum amount payable to all people injured in 1 accident)
$25,000 per accident – property damage liability
Ohio$25,000 for injury/death of 1 person
$50,000 for injury/death of 2 or more people
$25,000 for property damage in an accident
Oklahoma$25,000 of bodily injury protection per person
$50,000 per accident
$25,000 of property damage protection
Oregon$25,000 per person
$50,000 per crash for bodily injury to others
$20,000 per crash for damage to others’ property
Pennsylvania$15,000 for injury or death of 1 person in an accident
$30,000 for injury or death of more than 1 person in an accident
$5,000 for damage to property of another person
Rhode Island$25,000 bodily injury liability per person
$50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
$25,000 property damage liability per accident
South Carolina$25,000 per person for bodily injury
$50,000 for all persons injured in 1 accident
$25,000 for all property damage in 1 accident
South Dakota$25,000 bodily injury liability insurance per person
$50,000 total bodily injury liability per accident
$25,000 property damage liability per accident
Tennessee$25,000 for each injury or death per accident
$50,000 for total injuries or deaths per accident
$15,000 for property damage per accident
Texas$30,000 of coverage for injuries per person
$60,000 per accident
$25,000 of coverage for property damage
Utah$25,000 because of liability for bodily injury to or death of 1 person
$65,000 because of liability for bodily injury to or death of 2 or more persons arising out of the use of a motor vehicle in any 1 accident
$15,000 because of liability for injury to, or destruction of, property of others arising out of the use of a motor vehicle in any 1 accident
Vermont$25,000 for 1 person
$50,000 for 2 or more persons killed or injured
$10,000 for damages to property in any 1 crash
Virginia$30,000 Injury or death of 1 person
$60,000 Injury or death of 2 or more people
$20,000 Property damage
Washington$25,000 for injuries or death to another person
$50,000 for injuries or death to all other people
$10,000 for damage to another person’s property
Washington, D.C.$25,000 per person
$50,000 per accident
$10,000 Property Damage Liability
West Virginia$25,000 for 1 crash, 1 injury
$50,000 for 1 crash, 2 or more injuries
$25,000 for property damage
Wisconsin$25,000 for the injury or death of 1 person
$50,000 for the injury or death of more than 1 person
$10,000 for property damage
Wyoming$25,000 bodily injury 1 person
$50,000 bodily injury per accident
$20,000 property damage liability

Exceptions to State Minimum Car Insurance

New Hampshire

Drivers are not mandated to carry car insurance in the State of New Hampshire. However, if you cause an accident, you are still responsible for paying for the resulting property damage and bodily injury. Without insurance, you could pay these expenses entirely out of pocket.

If you choose not to purchase insurance, you must be able to demonstrate that you are financially able to cover your liability if you’re in an “at-fault” accident. If you cannot meet this requirement, the state may suspend your driver’s license. Many drivers choose to protect themselves by purchasing a vehicle insurance policy, and drivers who do purchase insurance must meet the state’s minimum car insurance coverage requirements.

Virginia

In Virginia, drivers must carry insurance or have the money to pay for any losses resulting from a vehicle accident. If you choose not to purchase insurance, you may either purchase a Surety Bond or receive a self-insurance certificate from the department of motor vehicles (DMV). Registering an uninsured vehicle also requires a $600 Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee. Drivers who purchase vehicle insurance also need to meet the state’s minimum requirements.

What Happens If You’re Caught Driving Without Insurance?

It is illegal to drive without proof of minimum coverage if a state requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of vehicle insurance. The consequences for doing so vary by state. You may be fined or ticketed if you don’t have your state’s mandatory minimum car insurance coverage. You could also have your driver’s license or vehicle registration suspended, or have your car towed or impounded.

You could be responsible for paying costs out of pocket if you are uninsured or underinsured and are at fault for a collision. If you don’t have sufficient funds to pay, you could have your wages garnished. You may also face higher vehicle insurance rates in the future.

The most common way to show proof of insurance is to provide a copy of the card given to you by your insurance company. You may also keep a photo of the card on your phone or give the information through your insurance company’s app.

If you have proper insurance coverage but are unable to provide proof at the time it’s requested, you may also face penalties. Typically, drivers have a specific timeframe to provide proof to a governmental agency. Do this within the required time to pay a smaller fine or avoid a fine altogether.

Optional Coverages in Most States

While liability coverage is mandatory in most states, other forms of coverage are optional. However, there are potential benefits to having the following additional types of coverage in place.

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage helps cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle if it’s damaged or destroyed from a vehicle accident, including if your car was hit while parked. It also covers rental vehicles. An advantage of collision coverage is that it pays regardless of who was at fault. Collision coverage can also cover damage that did not involve another driver, such as a collision with a tree or fence.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage is also known as “other than collision” coverage. It can help cover the cost of damage from other incidents, like a hail storm or a tree falling on your vehicle. Comprehensive insurance also covers damage from fire, vandalism, theft, hitting an animal, and natural disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes. 

Medical Payments Coverage

Medical payments coverage can help pay for medical expenses for you and your passengers if you’re involved in an accident that causes injury, regardless of who was at fault. This coverage can offset costs of health insurance copays and deductibles, doctor and hospital visits, ambulance fees, X-rays, surgery, prostheses, and professional nursing services.

Medical payments coverage is optional in most states, but is mandatory in:

Personal Injury Protection Coverage

Personal injury protection, or PIP coverage, can help pay for medical bills, hospital bills, and other expenses that are not covered by your health insurance, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

PIP can also cover lost wages if you’re unable to work due to injuries sustained during the vehicle accident. In addition, it can cover you if you’re injured as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle or if you’re hit by a vehicle while walking or riding your bicycle.

PIP insurance is mandatory in:

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

Underinsured and Uninsured Driver Coverage

Underinsured/uninsured driver coverage is designed to protect you if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for your injuries. It can cover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Having this type of insurance can keep you from having to pay out of pocket for an accident that you didn’t cause.

Underinsured/uninsured driver coverage is mandatory in:

  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington, DC
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Car Insurance Requirements When You’re Driving Through Another State

The variety of auto insurance laws by state may lead you to wonder whether you need multi-state car insurance to travel from state to state: The answer is no, you do not. Multi-state car insurance policies do not exist. Instead, standard vehicle insurance policies typically provide “out of state” coverage so you’re able to drive across the country without issue. 

When you buy an auto insurance policy, it originates from a single state, which is typically the state in which you live. As long as the policy is active and meets your state’s minimum car insurance, this is typically sufficient for driving in other states.

Car Insurance Requirements When You Move Out of State

If you move from one state to another, you typically have 30 to 90 days to switch your car insurance and update your driver’s license and vehicle registration. In many states, failure to take care of each of these things within the required timeframe may be punished with a ticket and fine. Depending on the state and circumstance, it could also be punishable by up to a year in jail.

In some cases, you may be able to stay with the same company and get a new policy. However, if your current carrier doesn’t write policies in your new state, you may need to find a different provider. When you purchase your new policy, make sure it meets the state’s minimum requirements, and do not cancel your old policy until your new policy is active. This can help you can avoid a lapse in coverage.

Car Insurance Requirements When You Work in a Different State

Many people live and work in different states. For example, someone may in Illinois but commute to work in Missouri, or vice versa. If you live in one state and work in another, you only need to have car insurance in the state where you live. As previously mentioned, most car insurance policies provide out-of-state coverage. It’s generally not necessary (or possible) to purchase a second policy in the state where you work.