Liability Insurance Requirements By State

and some helpful advice about purchasing coverage

All states require their drivers to carry liability policies to protect themselves against law suits and cover damages if they are at fault in a collision, and the result is an injured person or destroyed property. However, different states have different requirements, and some even operate using no-fault systems in which the motorist's own insurance is used for his or her personal reimbursements no matter who caused the accident.

Reading the Limits

When you look at the posted limits here or on your state's division of motor vehicle website, they can be a bit difficult to understand. They are written out as three numbers, divided by slash marks: 25/50/10, for example. The first number indicates how much money can be given to each injured party. The second indicates the maximum amount that will be spent on injuries, all parties combined. The third is the amount that can be used on property damages, either to the automobile or to something that was hit in a collision.

Liability in No-Fault States

In the following states, you can be covered under the no-fault system. That means that the liability coverage you purchase will be used on your medical expenses and those of your passengers, and also to reimburse you for damages or total loss of your car, truck, or SUV. Remember, if you are in one of these states, this is YOUR coverage if you are hurt.

The following states allow motorists to choose how they would like to be covered, either through the tort/legal system or through the no-fault system. The limits are the same regardless.

  • Kentucky (25/50/10)
  • New Jersey (15/30/5)
  • Pennsylvania (15/30/5)

The following states are no-fault with provisions for lawsuits under certain conditions.

  • Florida (10/20/10)
  • Hawaii (20/40/10)
  • Kansas (25/50/10)
  • Massachusetts (20/40/5)
  • Michigan (20/40/10)
  • Minnesota (30/60/10)
  • New York (25/50/10)
  • North Dakota (25/50/25)
  • Utah (25/65/15)

Liability in Other States

In other states, your liability policy is used to protect you against lawsuits if you are ever at fault in an accident that injures someone or damages property other than your own. No one wants to face a serious legal problem - nor the related expenses - if found to be responsible for a bad collision, and carrying an appropriate policy will help to protect you against civil suits or other claims. While it is only mandated that you must adhere to the posted amounts of coverage, most motorists decide to purchase additional amounts in order to protect themselves. The price differences are not staggering, and extra is advisable. The lowest limits below should be your guideline only.

  • Alabama (20/40/10)
  • Alaska (50/100/25)
  • Arizona (15/30/10)
  • Arkansas (25/50/15)
  • California (15/30/5)
  • Colorado (25/50/15)
  • Connecticut (20/40/10)
  • Delaware (15/30/5)
  • Georgia (15/30/10)
  • Idaho (20/50/15)
  • Illinois (20/40/10)
  • Indiana (25/50/10)
  • Iowa (20/40/15)
  • Louisiana (10/20/10)
  • Maine (50/100/25)
  • Maryland (20/4010)
  • Mississippi (25/50/25)
  • Missouri (25/50/10)
  • Montana (25/50/10)
  • Nebraska (25/50/25)
  • New Hampshire (25/50/25)
  • New Mexico (25/50/10)
  • Nevada (15/30/10)
  • North Carolina (30/60/25)
  • Ohio (12.5/25/7.5)
  • Oklahoma (10/20/10)
  • Oregon (25/50/10)
  • Rhode Island (25/50/25)
  • South Carolina (15/30/10)
  • South Dakota (25/50/25)
  • Tennessee (25/50/10)
  • Texas (20/40/15)
  • Vermont (25/50/10)
  • Virginia (25/50/20)
  • Washington (25/50/10)
  • Wisconsin (25/50/10)
  • West Virginia (20/40/10)
  • Wyoming (25/50/20)
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