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What is Liability Insurance?

Liability, or liability-only insurance, is the most basic type of coverage. In the event you are at fault in an accident, it financially protects you from paying out-of-pocket, since it will cover the costs of the other party’s medical expenses and vehicle repairs (or replacement).

Liability insurance typically consist of two parts:

  1. Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: If you are at fault in a car accident and other people are injured -- either passengers in your car or people in the other vehicle -- your bodily injury liability coverage can cover you for the following:
    • Ambulance costs
    • Medical expenses
    • Rehabilitative therapy
    • Lost wages compensation
    • Funeral expenses
    • Legal defense fees

  2. Property Damage Liability Coverage: If you are responsible for damage to another person’s property as the result of a car accident, property damage liability coverage can help pay for:
    • Vehicle repair or replacement
    • Structural damage to homes or buildings
    • Damage to any other objects (stop light, electrical pole, etc.)

Liability insurance will have a predetermined maximum amount the insurance will payout for each part. For example:

  • Bodily Injury: $25,000 max per person and $50,000 max per accident
  • Property Damage: $50,000 max per accident

Should I get Liability-Only?

With liability-only coverage, in the event you are at fault in an accident, keep in mind that you would be responsible for your own medical expenses and vehicle repair or replacement costs. If you have good health insurance, then you may already have enough coverage for medical expenses as a result from an accident. If you do not have good health insurance, consider purchasing medical payments (MedPay) coverage or personal protection (PIP) coverage, both of which will pay for your medical expenses, even if you are at fault. PIP can also pay for lost wages.

Note that MedPay and PIP are available only in certain states. If you reside in one of the 12 “no-fault” states -- Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey (no-fault is optional), New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah -- then by default your insurance will cover medical expenses, no matter who is at fault. In such states, PIP coverage is mandatory.

State Minimum Insurance:

By law, nearly every state requires you purchase liability insurance. Known as “state minimum insurance,” this is the minimum predetermined amount of coverage you need to be considered legally insured. Some states also require you purchase additional coverage, such as personal injury protection coverage or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

The good news is that state minimum insurance will have the most affordable premiums. If you are at fault in a minor accident, this type of coverage is usually enough to pay for the other party’s medical and property expenses. If you own and drive an older car (since financed/leased cars typically require collision coverage), then this coverage may be good enough (particularly if you have good health insurance for yourself). The bad news is that serious accidents can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in medical and tens of thousands or more in property damage expenses. For such reasons, consider getting liability amounts above the state minimum, with coverage of $100,000 in bodily injury per person if possible.

State Minimum Insurance

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Alabama:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Alaska:

  • Bodily injury liability: $50,000 max per person & $100,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Arizona:

  • Bodily injury liability: $15,000 max per person & $30,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $10,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Arkansas:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for California:

  • Bodily injury liability: $15,000 max per person & $30,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $5,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Colorado:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $15,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Connecticut:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily damage: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Delaware:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $10,000 max per accident
  • Personal injury protection coverage: $15,000 max per person & $30,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for the District of Columbia:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $10,000 max per accident
  • Uninsured motorist bodily damage: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Uninsured property damage: $5,000 max per accident with a $200 deductible

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Florida, a no-fault state, where your own insurance provides coverage for yourself, no matter who is at fault:

  • Bodily injury liability: not required but recommended
  • Property damage liability: $10,000 max per accident
  • Personal injury protection: $10,000 max per person

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Georgia:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Hawaii, a no-fault state, where your own insurance provides coverage for yourself, no matter who is at fault:

  • Bodily injury liability: $20,000 max per person & $40,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $10,000 max per accident
  • Personal injury protection: $10,000 max per person

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Idaho:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $15,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Illinois:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $20,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Indiana:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Uninsured property damage: $25,000 max per accident
  • Underinsured motorist bodily injury: $50,000 max per person

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Iowa

  • Bodily injury liability: $20,000 max per person & $40,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $15,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Kansas, a no-fault state, where your own insurance provides coverage for yourself, no matter who is at fault:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident
  • Personal injury protection: $4,500 per person for medical expenses; $900 per month for disability/loss of income; $4,500 for rehabilitation services; $25/day for in-home services; and $2,000 for funeral related
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Kentucky, a no-fault state, where your own insurance provides coverage for yourself, no matter who is at fault:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident
  • Alternatively, a combined single limit of $60,000

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Louisiana:

  • Bodily injury liability: $15,000 max per person & $30,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Maine:

  • Bodily injury liability: $50,000 max per person & $100,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident
  • Alternatively, a combined single limit of $125,000

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Maryland:

  • Bodily injury liability: $30,000 max per person & $60,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $15,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Massachusetts, a no-fault state, where your own insurance provides coverage for yourself, no matter who is at fault:

  • Bodily injury liability: $20,000 max per person & $40,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $5,000 max per accident
  • Personal injury protection: $8,000 per person
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury: $20,000 max per person & $40,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Michigan, a no-fault state, where your own insurance provides coverage for yourself, no matter who is at fault:

  • Bodily injury liability: $20,000 max per person & $40,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $10,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Mississippi:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Minnesota, a no-fault state, where your own insurance provides coverage for yourself, no matter who is at fault:

  • Bodily injury liability: $30,000 max per person & $60,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $10,000 max per accident
  • Personal injury protection: $40,000 per person
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Missouri:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Montana:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $20,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Nebraska:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Nevada:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $20,000 max per accident

New Hampshire is the only state where car insurance is not mandatory. However, if you cause an accident, you would still be required to cover the costs out-of-pocket. Below are the recommended minimum liability limits:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $10,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for New Jersey, an optionally no-fault state, where your own insurance provides coverage for yourself, no matter who is at fault:

  • Bodily injury liability: Not mandatory but recommended minimum of $15,000 max per person & $30,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $5,000 max per accident
  • Personal injury protection: $15,000 per person

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for New Mexico:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $10,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for New York, a no-fault state, where your own insurance provides coverage for yourself, no matter who is at fault:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident for injuries. $50,000 max per person & $100,000 max per accident for death
  • Property damage liability: $10,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for North Carolina:

  • Bodily injury liability: $30,000 max per person & $60,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for North Dakota, a no-fault state, where your own insurance provides coverage for yourself, no matter who is at fault:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident
  • Personal injury protection: $30,000 per person
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Ohio:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Oklahoma:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Oregon:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $20,000 max per accident
  • Personal injury protection: $15,000 per person
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Pennsylvania, a no-fault state, where your own insurance provides coverage for yourself, no matter who is at fault:

  • Bodily injury liability: $15,000 max per person & $30,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $5,000 max per accident
  • Medical benefits: $5,000 max per person
  • Alternatively, a combined single limit of $35,000

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Rhode Island:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for South Carolina:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident with a $200 deductible. Underinsured is not mandatory
  • Uninsured/underinsured property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident. Underinsured is not mandatory

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for South Dakota:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Tennessee:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $15,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Texas:

  • Bodily injury liability: $30,000 max per person & $60,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Utah, a no-fault state, where your own insurance provides coverage for yourself, no matter who is at fault:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $65,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $15,000 max per accident
  • Personal injury protection: $3,000 per accident
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury: $25,000 max per person & $65,000 max per accident is recommended but not mandatory

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Vermont:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $10,000 max per accident
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury: $50,000 max per person & $100,000 max per accident
  • Uninsured property damage: $10,000 max per accident with a $150 deductible

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Virginia:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $20,000 max per accident
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Uninsured property damage: $20,000 max per accident with a $200 deductible

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Washington:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $10,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for West Virginia:

  • Bodily injury liability: $20,000 max per person & $40,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $10,000 max per accident
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury: $20,000 max per person & $40,000 max per accident
  • Uninsured property damage: $10,00 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Wisconsin:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $10,000 max per accident

Here are the state minimum insurance amounts for Wyoming:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 max per person & $50,000 max per accident
  • Property damage liability: $20,000 max per accident

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