UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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In pretty much every state, you need to have auto insurance in some form or another in order to drive legally. Successfully meeting that need largely depends on what your state laws are.
Believe it or not, sometimes not all 50 states in the USA universally agree on the same thing (shocker!). And one of those things which many states disagree on is what the minimum car insurance requirements should be for drivers who want to get on the road.
If you’re curious about your state requirements – whether you’re trying to reduce coverage and save money, or make sure your car insurance provider is operating legally – then you can get all of the info on your minimum auto insurance requirements here.
States With the Lowest Minimum Car Insurance Requirements
Arizona, California, Louisiana, Nevada, and New Jersey are some of the cheapest states to drive in based on their mandatory minimum coverages.
In either state, your minimum bodily injury liability obligations are $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident, and the property damage liability ranges anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000 per accident.
Most states, on the other hand, will demand that you purchase at least $25k/$50k Bodily injury liability, with varying amounts of property damage liability.
The coverages they do not require, on the other hand, are uninsured motorist coverage (UIM), weather property damage or bodily injury, or personal injury protection (PIP).
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States With the Highest Minimum Car Insurance Requirements
When it comes to the bare minimum liability coverage requirements, Alaska takes first place with a minimum of $50k/$100k bodily injury liability and $25k property damage liability.
But they do not require any other coverages. States like Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, and more will be the most expensive of all given the fact that they have uninsured motorist coverage requirements, as well as personal injury protection mandates.
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Are There States Where You Don’t Need Car Insurance?
Depending on how you look at the problem, this question has two different answers. Technically, yes, there are states where you are not legally required to purchase an auto insurance policy from a local provider.
But practically, no, there aren’t. No matter what, you have to be able to prove that you can pay for damages caused by an accident that was your fault if you want to be able to drive legally.
However, a few states offer an option to work around purchasing a legitimate auto insurance policy.
The first state on the list is New Hampshire. There is an extremely vaguely worded law which says that you don’t have to purchase the recommended state minimums through a legitimate auto insurance company, you just have to prove that you can be financially responsible if you are held liable in an accident.
Unfortunately, your “proof of financial responsibility” does not necessarily need to match the state minimums of $25,000/$50,000/$25,000 for bodily injury and property damage liability.
If you’re a driver in New Hampshire who doesn’t want to have to buy insurance, don’t get too excited. This loophole will only get you so far.
If you do happen to get into an accident, or you get convicted of a major traffic violation, the state can intervene and force you to buy insurance anyway.
For better or worse, it doesn’t stop there. In Virginia, you have to pay a $500 fee per year for the privilege of driving as an uninsured motorist.
But if you decide to take this option, know that you will leave yourself 100 percent financially vulnerable if you cause an accident and need to repair/replace damaged property and/or pay for bodily injuries sustained by the injured parties.
Lastly, there are a few states which offer drivers an alternative to legitimate insurance: you can post a cash deposit or bond which is equivalent to the minimum financial amounts of liability coverage which your insurance provider would otherwise pay out in the event that a claim was filed against you.
Obviously, in the face of such a law, most drivers would opt to pay a small amount of money per month for financial protection rather than fork over tens of thousands of dollars to the government.
If you’re so desperate to avoid insurance premiums that you would like to know if your states is a member of this exclusive group, feel free to visit your department of insurance website or contact them directly and ask for yourself.
To Purchase, or Not to Purchase Minimum Car Insurance? That Is the Question…
At the end of the day, it’s up to you. If you have a lot to lose, such as an expensive home, property, or if you’re driving a relatively new car which would be difficult to repair or replace 100 percent out of pocket, then it makes a lot of financial sense to purchase an insurance policy which can protect you from the worst.
But if your financial assets are limited and you’re not driving the shiniest, fanciest car on the road, you may find it reasonable and cost-effective to scale back your coverage.
No matter what type of policy you wish to buy, we can help you find the most affordable one out there. We may even be able to find your rates so low, that leaves room in your budget for better coverage options!
Whenever you’re ready to start, just type in your zip code and we’ll get you on your way.