How much insurance coverage do I need?
If you're wondering how much insurance coverage you need, you should begin by looking at your state's minimum car insurance requirements. Most states require liability insurance and other coverages, such as PIP coverage or uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. The amount of coverage you need could depend on the requirements from your state and finance company, your financial situation, and more.
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UPDATED: Dec 30, 2021
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- When you’re considering how much car insurance you need, you must buy at least the minimum amount required by your state to drive legally
- A 100/300/100 liability policy, 100/300 uninsured/underinsured motorist policy, and $40,000 of PIP coverage is typically enough for most people
- Your finance company may require collision and comprehensive coverage, but if they do not, you may still want to consider purchasing them to cover damages to your vehicle
Car insurance is required in most states, but the amount you need and the types of coverage you must buy may vary by location. The amount of coverage you need may also differ based on your financial situation.
If you’re wondering, “How much insurance coverage do I need?” read below to learn more about coverage amounts and types, how much different coverage levels may cost, and how deductibles factor into your insurance coverage.
You can also enter your ZIP code into our free quote comparison tool above to find an affordable car insurance company near you.
How much insurance coverage do I need?
How much car insurance coverage do I need? Let’s take a look at the minimum insurance requirements for each state:
|State||Insurance required||Minimum liability limits|
|AL||BI & PD Liab||25/50/25|
|AK||BI & PD Liab||50/100/25|
|AZ||BI & PD Liab||15/30/10|
|AR||BI & PD Liab, PIP||25/50/25|
|CA||BI & PD Liab||15/30/5|
|CO||BI & PD Liab||25/50/15|
|CT||BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM||25/50/20|
|DE||BI & PD Liab, PIP||25/50/10|
|DC||BI & PD Liab, UM||25/50/10|
|FL||PD Liab, PIP||10/20/10|
|GA||BI & PD Liab||25/50/25|
|HI||BI & PD Liab, PIP||20/40/10|
|ID||BI & PD Liab||25/50/15|
|IL||BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM||25/50/20|
|IN||BI & PD Liab||25/50/25|
|IA||BI & PD Liab||20/40/15|
|KS||BI & PD Liab, PIP||25/50/25|
|KY||BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM||25/50/25|
|LA||BI & PD Liab||15/30/25|
|ME||BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM, Medpay||50/100/25|
|MD||BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM||30/60/15|
|MA||BI & PD Liab, PIP||20/40/5|
|MI||BI & PD Liab, PIP||20/40/10|
|MN||BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM||30/60/10|
|MS||BI & PD Liab||25/50/25|
|MO||BI & PD Liab, UM||25/50/25|
|MT||BI & PD Liab||25/50/20|
|NE||BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM||25/50/25|
|NV||BI & PD Liab||25/50/20|
|NJ||BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM||15/30/5|
|NM||BI & PD Liab||25/50/10|
|NY||BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM||25/50/10|
|NC||BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM||30/60/25|
|ND||BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM||25/50/25|
|OH||BI & PD Liab||25/50/25|
|OK||BI & PD Liab||25/50/25|
|OR||BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM||25/50/20|
|PA||BI & PD Liab, PIP||15/30/5|
|RI||BI & PD Liab||25/50/25|
|SC||BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM||25/50/25|
|SD||BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM||25/50/25|
|TN||BI & PD Liab||25/50/15|
|TX||BI & PD Liab, PIP||30/60/25|
|UT||BI & PD Liab, PIP||25/65/15|
|VT||BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM||25/50/10|
|VA||BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM||25/50/20|
|WA||BI & PD Liab||25/50/10|
|WV||BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM||25/50/25|
|WI||BI & PD Liab, UM, Medpay||25/50/10|
|WY||BI & PD Liab||25/50/20|
At the very least, you will have to purchase the amount of insurance required in your state. If you don’t meet these minimum requirements, you could face the following penalties:
|States||First Offense Penalties for Driving without Car Insurance|
|Alabama||Fine: Up to $500; registration suspension with $200 reinstatement fee|
|Alaska||License suspension for 90 days|
|Arizona||Fine: $500 (or more); license/registration/license plate suspension for three months|
|Arkansas||Fine: $50 to $250; suspended registration/no plates until proof of coverage plus $20 reinstatement fee; the court may order impoundment|
|California||Fine: $100-$200 plus penalty assessments. The court may order impoundment|
|Colorado||Fine: $500 minimum fine; 4 points against your license; license suspension until you can show proof to the DMV that you are insured. Courts may add up to 40 hours of community service|
|Connecticut||Fine: $100-$1000; suspended registration/license for one month (show proof of insurance) with $175 reinstatement fee|
|Delaware||Fine: $1500 minimum fine; license/privilege suspension for six months|
|Florida||Suspension of license and registration until reinstatement fee is paid and non-cancelable coverage is secured; $150 fee for the first reinstatement|
|Georgia||Suspended registration with a $25 lapse fee and $60 reinstatement fee. Pay any other registration fees and vehicle ad valorem taxes due|
|Hawaii||Fine: $500 fine or community service granted by the judge. Either license suspension for three months or a required non-refundable insurance policy in force for six months|
|Idaho||Fine: $75; license suspension until financial proof. No reinstatement fee.|
|Illinois||Fine: minimum of $500; License plate suspension until $100 reinstatement fee and insurance proof|
|Indiana||License/registration suspension for 90 days to one year|
|Iowa||Fine: $500 if in an accident; Otherwise, fine: $250; community service in lieu of fine. Possible citation/warning if pulled over plus removal of plates and registration possible when pulled over without insurance and reissued upon payment of fine or completed community service, proof of insurance, and $15 fee; possible impoundment when pulled over|
|Kansas||Fine: $300 to $1000 and/or confinement in jail up to six months; license/registration suspension; reinstatement fee: $100|
|Kentucky||Fine: $500 to $1000 fine and/or sentenced up to 90 days in jail; license plates and registration revoked for one year or until proof of insurance is shown|
|Louisiana||Fine: $500 to $1000; If in a car accident, fine plus registration revoked and driving privileges suspended for 180 days|
|Maine||Fine: $100 to $500; suspension of license and registration until proof of insurance|
|Maryland||Lose license plates and vehicle registration privileges; pay uninsured motorist penalty fees for each lapse of insurance — $150 for the first 30 days, $7 for each day thereafter; Pay a restoration fee of up to $25 for a vehicle's registration|
|Massachusetts||Fine: $500 to $5000 fine and/or imprisonment for one year or less|
|Michigan||Fine: $200 to $500 fine and/or imprisonment for one year or less; license suspension for 30 days or until proof of insurance; $25 service fee to Secretary of State|
|Minnesota||Fine: $200 to $1000 (or community service) and/or imprisonment for up to 90 days; License and registration revoked for no more than 12 months|
|Mississippi||Fine: $1000; driving privileges suspended for one year or until proof of insurance|
|Missouri||Four points against driving record; the driver may be supervised; suspended until proof of insurance with $20 reinstatement fee|
|Montana||Fine: $250 to $500 fine and/or imprisonment for no more than 10 days|
|Nebraska||License and registration suspension; reinstatement fee of $50 for each; proof of insurance to remain on file for three years|
|Nevada||Fine: $250 to $1,000 depending on the length of lapse; registration suspension — until payment of reinstatement fee and, depending on circumstances, an SR-22 (proof of financial responsibility) if lapsed more than 90 days; reinstatement fee: $250|
|New Hampshire||Not a mandatory insurance state. Proof of insurance may be required as the result of a conviction, crash involvement, or administrative action. If you are required to file proof of insurance and vehicles are registered in your name, you will be required to file an Owner’s SR-22 Certificate of Insurance.|
|New Jersey||Fine: $300 to $1000; license suspension for one year; pay surcharges for three years in the amount of $250 per year|
|New Mexico||Fine: up to $300 and/or imprisoned for 90 days; license suspension|
|New York||Fine: up to $1500 if involved in accident plus $750 civil penalty; license and registration suspension – revoked for one year; suspension of the license if without
insurance for 90 days; suspension lasts as long as registration suspension; Suspension of registration: equal to time without insurance or pays $8/day up to thirty days for which financial security was not in effect, $10/day from the thirty-first to the sixtieth day $12/day from the sixtieth to the ninetieth day and proof of security is provided. Or for the same time as the vehicle was operated without insurance.
|North Carolina||Fine: $50; registration suspension until proof of financial responsibility but 30-day suspension if in a car accident or knowingly driving without insurance; $50 restoration fee plus license plate fee|
|North Dakota||Fine: up to $1500 and/or 30 days in prison; 14 points against license plus suspension; Proof of insurance must be provided for one year; license with a
notation requiring that person keep proof of liability insurance on file with the department. The fee for this license is $50, and the fee to remove
this notation is $50.
|Ohio||License/plates/registration suspension until requirements are met and $100 reinstatement fee is paid; maintain special high-risk coverage on file with the BMV for three to five years; If involved in an accident without insurance: all above penalties and a security suspension for two-plus years and an indefinite judgment suspension (until all damages are satisfied)|
|Oklahoma||Fine: $250; jail time up to 30 days; license suspension with $275 reinstatement fee. Police can seize license plates and assign temporary plates and liability insurance — in effect for 10 days and can also impound the vehicle. The cost of the temporary coverage is added to the administrative fee and any fines paid for plates to be returned. If a car impounded, the owner must also pay towing and storage fees.|
|Oregon||Fine: $130-$1000 ($260 is the presumptive fine); If involved in an accident — at least a one-year license suspension; proof of financial responsibility required for three years|
|Pennsylvania||Registration suspended for three months (unless lapse was for less than 31 days and the vehicle not operated during that time); $88 restoration fee plus proof of insurance required to get it back; $500 civil penalty fee is optional in lieu of registration suspension plus $88 restoration fee — can only use this option once within a 12-month period|
|Rhode Island||Fine: $100 to $500; license and registration suspension up to three months; reinstatement fee: $30 to $50|
|South Carolina||Fine: $100-$200 or 30-day imprisonment; failure to surrender registration and plates when insurance lapses; license/registration suspended until proof of insurance plus $200 reinstatement fee|
|South Dakota||Fine: $100 and/or 30 days imprisonment; license suspension for 30 days to one year; filing a proof of insurance (SR-22) with the state for three years from the date of conviction. Failure to file proof will result in the suspension of vehicle registration, license plates, and driver license.|
|Tennessee||Pay $25 coverage failure fee within 30 days of notice; if not paid, then an additional $100 coverage failure fee with suspension or revocation of registration plus reinstatement fee of no more than $25|
|Texas||Fine: $175 to $350 fine; plus, pay up to a $250 surcharge every year for three years (may be reduced with certain requirements)|
|Utah||Fine: $400; license suspension until proof of insurance (maintained for three years) and $100 reinstatement fee|
|Vermont||Fine: up to $500; license suspended until proof of insurance|
|Virginia||Fine: may pay $500 Uninsured Motorists Vehicle fee to drive without insurance at your own risk. If this fee is not paid in lieu of insurance, all driving and vehicle registration privileges will be suspended until a $500 statutory fee is paid, proof of insurance is filed for three years, and a reinstatement fee (if applicable) is paid|
|Washington||Fine: Up to $250 or more|
|West Virginia||Fine: $200 to $5000; license suspended for 30 days with reinstatement fees, unless there's proof of insurance and $200 penalty fee|
|Wisconsin||Fine: up to $500|
|Wyoming||Fine: up to $750 fine and up to six months in jail|
Having 100/300/100 liability coverage is sufficient for most drivers. This means they have $100,000 liability per person, $300,000 per accident for bodily injury liability, and $100,000 per accident for property damage liability.
If your state requires personal injury protection (PIP), uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, or other coverages, you may want to consider buying the highest amount possible. However, a 100/300 uninsured/underinsured motorist policy and $40,000 of PIP coverage are generally sufficient for most people.
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What kind of car insurance coverage should I buy?
Since there are certain kinds of coverage required by each state, you will need to ensure that you are buying those types of coverage first. For example, liability car insurance is required in every state except New Hampshire and parts of Alaska.
Some states will also require PIP coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, medical payments insurance, or others. Therefore, you will need to purchase those types of coverage as well. However, in states where these coverages are not required, they could still offer vital protection.
Your finance company may require collision and comprehensive coverage if you loan or lease your vehicle. However, even if it’s not required, you may want to consider purchasing collision or comprehensive coverage. Collision will cover damages to your car after an accident, while comprehensive coverage covers damage after other events usually out of your control.
How much is car insurance?
If you’re wondering, “How much insurance do I need?” you’re likely also wondering, “How much does insurance cost?” Below is a list of car insurance rates by coverage level and state:
|State||Full Coverage Average Annual Rates||Comprehensive Coverage Average Annual Rates||Collision Coverage Average Annual Rates||Liability Coverage Average Annual Rates|
|District of Columbia||$1,330.73||$233.24||$468.67||$628.82|
Your coverage level and location are primary determinants of your car insurance rates. However, car insurance companies consider many other factors, including your age, gender, driving record, credit history, vehicle type, and more.
Should I have a lower or higher deductible?
A deductible is an amount you must pay out-of-pocket before your car insurance policy pays for any claims. For liability insurance, there is no deductible. However, you can choose your deductible for other policy types.
In general, car insurance companies will allow you to choose a deductible between $100 and $1,000. If you choose a higher deductible, you will reduce your premium payments. However, if you can’t afford to pay $1,000, you will need to save this up in case of emergency or choose a lower deductible. Keep in mind that lower deductibles mean higher car insurance rates.
If you want to buy car insurance, you can enter your ZIP code into our free quote comparison tool below to compare free car insurance quotes from multiple companies at once.