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Car Insurance Minimums By State

By Joe Taylor on May 23rd, 2010
Auto Insurance

Nearly every state in the U.S. has a minimum auto insurance coverage requirement for drivers. Only residents of New Hampshire, the "Live Free or Die" state, can drive legally without paying for car insurance. Liability insurance is the minimum auto insurance coverage required by many states, but coverage requirements vary from state-to-state. For example, the state of Wisconsin requires drivers to carry liability, uninsured, underinsured and first party medical expenses coverage.

Understanding liability coverage numbers

Liability coverage is often expressed as a set of three figures, such as 25/50/25 or 10/20/10. The first two numbers are the required minimum coverage levels for bodily injury damage claims. The first number describes the limit for each individual injured in a claim, while the second number refers to the maximum total claim for all parties in an accident. If your state requires minimum liability amounts of 25/50/25, you need an auto insurance policy with minimum bodily injury coverage for $25,000 per person and a total per-accident cap of $50,000.

The third number in the liability coverage series explains the minimum amount of car insurance required to repair or replace property damaged in an accident. In a 25/50/25 state, your policy must cover at least $25,000 in property claims.

Financial responsibility limits by state

The Insurance Information Institute (III) maintains an updated list of every state's minimum liability coverage levels. The chart also outlines the states that require drivers to carry uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage or pay for personal injury protection (PIP). According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, in no-fault states, PIP coverage pays you, or any other person in your vehicle, a minimum amount per person for injuries from an accident regardless of who is at-fault.

State

Insurance Required

Minimum Liability Limits

AK

BI & PD Liab

50/100/25

AL

BI & PD Liab

25/50/25

AR

BI & PD Liab, PIP

25/50/25

AZ

BI & PD Liab

15/30/10

CA

BI & PD Liab

15/30/5

CO

BI & PD Liab

25/50/15

CT

BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM

20/40/10

DC

BI & PD Liab, UM

25/50/10

DE

BI & PD Liab, PIP

15/30/10

FL

PD Liab, PIP

10/20/10

GA

BI & PD Liab

25/50/25

HI

BI & PD Liab, PIP

20/40/10

IA

BI & PD Liab

20/40/15

ID

BI & PD Liab

25/50/15

IL

BI & PD Liab, UM

20/40/15

IN

BI & PD Liab

25/50/10

KS

BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM

25/50/10

KY

BI & PD Liab, PIP

25/50/10

LA

BI & PD Liab

15/30/25

MA

BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM

20/40/5

MD

BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM

20/40/15

ME

BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM

50/100/25

MI

BI & PD Liab, PIP

20/40/10

MN

BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM

30/60/10

MO

BI & PD Liab, UM

25/50/10

MS

BI & PD Liab

25/50/25

MT

BI & PD Liab

25/50/10

NC

BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM

30/60/25

ND

BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM

25/50/25

NE

BI & PD Liab

25/50/25

NH

FR only, UM

15/30/5

NJ

BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM

15/30/5

NM

BI & PD Liab

25/50/10

NV

BI & PD Liab

15/30/10

NY

BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM

25/50/10

OH

BI & PD Liab

12.5/25/7.5

OK

BI & PD Liab

25/50/25

OR

BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM

25/50/20

PA

BI & PD Liab, PIP

15/30/5

RI

BI & PD Liab, UM

25/50/25

SC

BI & PD Liab, UM

25/50/25

SD

BI & PD Liab, UM

25/50/25

TN

BI & PD Liab

25/50/15

TX

BI & PD Liab

25/50/25

UT

BI & PD Liab, PIP

25/65/15

VA

BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM

25/50/20

VT

BI & PD Liab

25/50/10

WA

BI & PD Liab

25/50/10

WI

BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM, Med

50/100/15

WV

BI & PD Liab, UM

20/40/10

WY

BI & PD Liab

25/50/20

(1) Compulsory Coverages:

BI Liab=Bodily injury liability
PD Liab=Property damage liability
UM=Uninsured motorist
PD=Physical damage
Med=First party (policyholder) medical expenses
UIM=Underinsured motorist
PIP=Personal Injury Protection. Mandatory in no-fault states. Includes medical, rehabilitation, loss of earnings and funeral expenses. In some states PIP includes essential services such as child care.
FR=Financial responsibility only. Insurance not compulsory.

(2) The first two numbers refer to bodily injury liability limits and the third number to property liability. For example, 20/40/10 means coverage up to $40,000 for all persons injured in an accident, subject to a limit of $20,000 for one individual, and $10,000 coverage for property damage.

(3)

a. Insurer must notify Department of Motor Vehicles or other state agency of cancellation or nonrenewal.

b. Insurer must verify financial responsibility or insurance after an accident or arrest.

c.Insurer must verify randomly selected insurance policies upon request.

d. Insurers must submit entire list of insurance in effect, which may be compared with registrations at a state agency. Also known as a computer data law. Also includes cases where insurers are required to report new issues and/or renewals.

(4) Low-cost policy limits for low-income drivers in the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan are 10/20/3.

(5) Instead of policy limits, policyholders can satisfy the requirement with a combined single limit policy. Amounts vary by state.

(6) In addition, policyholders must also carry at least $1,000 for medical payments.

(7) May be waived for the policyholder but is compulsory for passengers.

(8) Minimum coverage requirements will increase to 30/60/15 on January 1, 2011.

(9) Basic policy (optional) limits are 10/10/5. Uninsured and underinsured motorist converge not available under the basic policy but uninsured motorist coverage is required under the standard policy.

(10) In addition, policyholders must have 50/100 for wrongful death coverage.

(11) Policyholders can decline to purchase uninsured coverage if he or she chooses to buy only the minimum limits of bodily injury and property damage liability coverage.

(12) Minimum coverage requirements will increase to 30/60/25 on January 1, 2011.

(13) Effective June 1, 2010.

Source: Property Casualty Insurers Association of America; state departments of insurance and motor vehicles.

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