In Plain English
Posted on: Jun 03, 2015
Unfortunately shopping for insurance isn’t quite as simple as your weekly grocery store run (we know you’ve got that routine down—ice cream, pizza, gummy bears, repeat). What kind of insurance you need depends on your ride, your financial situation, and other personal factors. At the minimum you'll need liability insurance coverage and we'll explain why.
Ever heard the phrase “state minimum”? Though it sounds like a jail sentence, it’s actually a car insurance term. Insurance is regulated state-by-state (rather than by Big Brother/Uncle Sam), but across most states, the laws are very similar: You must carry liability insurance that will protect the other driver in the event of an accident that’s your fault. (To be liable means you are legally responsible.) This type of insurance offers very little in terms of coverage, but it will be your least expensive option.
You might choose liability insurance if…
- You’re a super price-sensitive, budget-minded consumer.
- You drive a car worth everything to your heart but not so much in terms of actual cheddar.
Does liability insurance cover uninsured motorists?
No, liability insurance pays damages on your behalf in the event of an accident. To protect yourself against drivers with no insurance of their own, you will need to have uninsured motorist coverage.
Does liability insurance cover my medical bills?
Liability insurance would cover the medical bills of the other driver if you were declared at-fault in an accident, and you would be responsible for your own medical bills. If you were not at-fault, you should receive compensation from the driver who was, although this depends on the scope of the driver’s own coverage. To better protect yourself you may want to look into PIP to cover you and your passengers in case of injury and collision insurance to cover damages to your car in the case of an at-fault accident.
Does liability insurance cover hit and run?
The coverage you gain from liability insurance will not help you pay for any damage from things like a hit-and-run, hail damage, or car theft since liability exists only to cover the damages you cause others.
How much does liability insurance cost?
The cost of liability insurance varies widely depending on a number of factors such as age, vehicle, and location. See quotes from hundreds of carriers in seconds at TheZebra.com.
State-by-State Minimum Liability Coverage Requirements
Minimum liability coverage requirements vary from state to state and are composed of three separate areas of coverage:
- Bodily Injury: Per Person, which applies to the injuries of one person injured in an accident.
- Bodily Injury: Per Accident, which applies to all injuries in one accident.
- Property Damage, which applies to property your vehicle has damaged in an accident.
For example, 25/50/25 means coverage up to $25,000 per individual injured in an accident, $50,000 for all persons injured in an accident and $25,000 coverage for property damage.
**Disclaimer**: All states, other than New Hampshire, require liability to meet their minimum insurance mandate but some states also require additional coverage (normally Uninsured Motorist or PIP coverage) to be legal. Our list below only addresses the minimum liability limits for each state but doesn't address any other coverage that may be legally required in your particular state.
|Bodily Injury: Per Person||Bodily Injury: Per Accident||Property Damage|