Minimum requirements for car insurance by state

Car insurance requirements vary by state. Nearly all states have minimum requirements for liability coverage, but there are a number of other coverages that may or may not be required in a specific state. Car insurance coverages that may be required in your state include:

  • Liability insurance: Almost all states require a minimum amount of liability insurance. This coverage helps pay for any injuries or damages you cause in a car accident, including those of the other driver and their passengers.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage: UM/UIM coverage helps cover the cost of injuries to you and your passengers, as well as damage to your car and other property, if you're hit by a driver with little or no insurance. About half of all states require UM/UIM coverage, and some may only require you to purchase coverage for bodily injury.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP): PIP covers medical expenses for insured drivers and their passengers, regardless of fault. It can also cover lost wages or other benefits not covered by health insurance. You'll typically only need this coverage in no-fault states, but a few at-fault states require it as well.
  • Medical payments coverage: This coverage goes toward medical expenses due to injuries from a car accident. It covers you, your family, or your passengers. It doesn't cover lost wages or any additional benefits. Maine is the only state that requires medical payments coverage.

Comprehensive and collision are also common types of car insurance coverage, though no state requires them. These optional coverages pay for damages to your car due to fire, theft, vandalism, animal strikes, acts of nature, glass breakage, and collisions.

Learn more about each type of car insurance coverage.

At-fault vs. no-fault states

Most states are considered at-fault states, meaning the driver who causes an accident is responsible for covering the other driver's injuries and damages. No-fault states — including Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah — require drivers to file bodily injury claims with their own insurance through their PIP coverage. However, some no-fault states allow drivers to opt out of their PIP coverage requirement.

States that require insurance

Car insurance is mandatory in almost every state. State minimums and coverage types vary, but nearly all states that mandate insurance require liability coverage for property damage and bodily injury. The sole exception is Florida, which only requires liability coverage for property damage, in addition to PIP coverage.

States that don't require car insurance

New Hampshire is the only state that doesn't mandate car insurance. However, drivers who choose not to buy car insurance must prove they have sufficient funds to meet the state's financial responsibility requirements (PDF) in the event they cause an accident. Failure to meet the state's requirements can result in the suspension of their license and registration.

In Virginia, car insurance is required, but drivers are allowed to opt out of the state's insurance requirements if they pay a $500 uninsured motorist fee each year. This fee doesn't provide coverage — at-fault drivers are still responsible for damages.

Why it's mandatory to have car insurance

The main reason car insurance is mandatory in almost every state is because of your personal responsibility (liability) if you cause an accident. By mandating car insurance — liability insurance specifically — the victims of an accident caused by you can receive financial relief for injuries and property damage without severely impacting your own financial well-being. That's also why it's important to know how much car insurance you need, so you aren't jeopardizing your personal assets in the event of an accident.

How to get car insurance in your state

Online

Simply answer a few questions and then choose the coverages you need.

Call a rep

A licensed representative will guide you through the process.

Through an agent

Connect with a local agent in your area.