What is the minimum amount of liability insurance coverage required?

The minimum amount of liability coverage required depends on the state. Most auto insurance companies recommend liability insurance limits of 25/50/25. However, higher coverage limits mean more expensive car insurance rates. Shop around and compare multiple insurance companies to get the best deal.

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UPDATED: Jan 27, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: Jan 27, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • Liability car insurance requirements vary by state
  • You don’t need to carry car insurance in New Hampshire
  • On average, liability car insurance rates are $48/month
  • Car insurance companies recommend UM/UIM coverage even if it’s not required

Auto insurance requirements vary for each state. Some states in the nation have similar requirements. But what is the minimum amount of liability insurance coverage required in California? What about New Hampshire?

Don’t worry – we’re here to help.

Our guide explores the minimum amount of liability auto insurance required for each state, what coverage level is recommended, and how you can lower monthly rates with car insurance discounts.

Read on to learn what is the minimum amount of liability insurance coverage required. If you’re ready to compare multiple insurance companies near you, enter your ZIP code in the free online quote tool above.

What is the minimum amount of liability insurance coverage required?

The minimum coverage amount of liability insurance you need depends on where you live.

The average minimum liability requirement is 25/50/25. But what does 25/50/50 mean?

When you see 25/50/25 or 30/60/25, it’s an abbreviation for bodily injury liability and property damage liability.

Basically, 25/50/25 means:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury of one person per accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury of multiple people per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

The number in the abbreviation represents the amount in thousands. But some states have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage along with bodily injury and property damage liability.

The state minimum car insurance meaning is another way of saying liability-only insurance.

And those coverages have policy limits, too. Insurance coverages can have limits that are $5,000 or more in some cases.

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What are the minimum car insurance requirements by the state?

California’s insurance requirements are much different from Virginia’s auto insurance needs. But what are the exact car insurance requirements for each state, and how much insurance do you need?

Check out the table below to see a complete list of liability insurance requirements by the state.

Minimum Liability Car Insurance Requirements Per State
StateInsurance required Minimum liability limits
ALBI & PD Liab25/50/25
AKBI & PD Liab50/100/25
AZBI & PD Liab15/30/10
ARBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/25
CABI & PD Liab15/30/5
COBI & PD Liab25/50/15
CTBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
DEBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/10
DCBI & PD Liab, UM25/50/10
FLPD Liab, PIP10/20/10
GABI & PD Liab25/50/25
HIBI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/10
IDBI & PD Liab25/50/15
ILBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
INBI & PD Liab25/50/25
IABI & PD Liab20/40/15
KSBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/25
KYBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/25
LABI & PD Liab15/30/25
MEBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM, Medpay50/100/25
MDBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM30/60/15
MABI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/5
MIBI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/10
MNBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM30/60/10
MSBI & PD Liab25/50/25
MOBI & PD Liab, UM25/50/25
MTBI & PD Liab25/50/20
NEBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
NVBI & PD Liab25/50/20
NHFR only25/50/25
NJBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM15/30/5
NMBI & PD Liab25/50/10
NYBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/10
NCBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM30/60/25
NDBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/25
OHBI & PD Liab25/50/25
OKBI & PD Liab25/50/25
ORBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/20
PABI & PD Liab, PIP15/30/5
RIBI & PD Liab25/50/25
SCBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
SDBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
TNBI & PD Liab25/50/15
TXBI & PD Liab, PIP30/60/25
UTBI & PD Liab, PIP25/65/15
VTBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/10
VABI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
WABI & PD Liab25/50/10
WVBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
WIBI & PD Liab, UM, Medpay25/50/10
WYBI & PD Liab25/50/20
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Some states have four or more coverages. But multiple auto insurance coverages on liability insurance won’t increase your rates.

If you need more on your coverage limits or if you want to add more to your insurance, you’ll pay more for car insurance per month.

What are the basic coverages under liability car insurance?

Some insurance coverage requirements have more than bodily injury liability and property damage liability. Personal injury protection (PIP) and medical payments (MedPay) were also part of liability insurance in some states.

Let’s define each term found in liability auto insurance.

  • Bodily injury (BI) liability – This insurance coverage pays for injuries of another driver and their passengers when you’re at fault in an accident
  • Property damage (PD) liability – Your car insurance company covers the damage to another driver’s vehicle when you’re at fault in a car accident
  • Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage – The insurance company covers the cost of injuries and damages caused by a driver with no insurance coverage (also covers the injury and property damage when a driver commits a hit-and-run on your vehicle)
  • Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage – Your insurance company provides coverage when an at-fault driver doesn’t have enough on their coverage limits to pay for your bodily injury and property damage costs
  • Personal injury protection (PIP) – This provides coverage for personal injury expenses, such as lost wages, legal fees, child care, and home care
  • Medical payments (MedPay) – This coverage pays for medical-related costs, such as x-rays, prescriptions, etc.

These are all coverages that are within most states. Bodily injury and property damage are the most common throughout the United States.

Even if it’s not required in your state, we recommend adding UM, UIM, PIP, and MedPay to your insurance policy.

New Hampshire is the only exception to the minimum coverage rule because the state doesn’t have auto insurance requirements.

How can optional car insurance coverages help you?

Liability insurance is the bare minimum coverage you need to drive in most states. However, you may need coverage options like collision and comprehensive insurance in specific situations.

For example, drivers who still make payments on their car are required to get full coverage car insurance (collision and comprehensive coverage added to your policy).

What is the recommended coverage level?

While minimum coverage is enough, some insurance companies may recommend medium-low to medium coverage limits. The most suggested coverage limit is 50/100/50.

How much is liability car insurance?

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the average cost of liability auto insurance is $48 per month.

But how much are car insurance rates by the state? Let’s examine the liability insurance rates for every state in the table below. Use our search box on the top right-hand corner to find your state quickly.

Average Monthly Liability Car Insurance Rates by State
StatesAverage Monthly Liability Rates
District of Columbia$58
New Hampshire$35
New Jersey$76
New Mexico$44
New York$71
North Carolina$31
North Dakota$25
Rhode Island$68
South Carolina$50
South Dakota$26
West Virginia$43
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Monthly auto insurance rates vary by state. Also, the cost of car insurance is different for each driver.

In other words, your rates may be close to average or more expensive. Affordable car insurance depends on multiple factors.

How much are liability car insurance rates at the best companies?

The best auto insurance companies have affordable insurance rates. You’ll need to qualify for discounts to get cheap car insurance, though.

Let’s see car insurance estimates from the top companies in the nation.

Monthly Liability-Only Car Insurance Rates by Company
CompaniesLiability-Only Car Insurance Rates
American Family$114
Liberty Mutual$203
State Farm$120
**National Average**$133
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These monthly insurance rates are based on drivers with clean driving records and a few discounts. You can save even more per month when you qualify for more deals.

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Does commercial car insurance have the same liability coverage requirements?

Commercial auto insurance has more on its coverage limits. The minimum amount of liability insurance required for a commercial motor vehicle is $750,000.  Some insurance companies sell coverage limits over $1 million.

Try to choose the recommended level and coverage options for commercial car insurance to ensure you get the best service.

Minimum Amount of Liability Coverage Required: The Bottom Line

Your liability car insurance requirements may be similar to another state, but there are some differences.

Some states only require BI and PD liability. Meanwhile, other states have PIP, UM/UIM, and MedPay in their requirements.

Buying a liability-only auto insurance policy can provide cheap rates, but it won’t cover situations where you’re at fault in an accident.

Now that you know about the minimum amount of liability coverage required, use our free online quote tool to shop around with the best insurance companies in your area.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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