With the exception of Florida, all states require personal injury liability (BI) insurance, while all 50 states plus Washington, DC, C. Most, but not all, states require you to purchase specific types of insurance protection. If you don't have the car insurance required by law, you could end up having to go to court and face fines and other penalties. You could also face significant out-of-pocket costs if something goes wrong.
Auto insurance is required in almost every state. State minimums and types of coverage vary, but almost all states that require insurance require liability coverage for property damage and bodily injury. The only exception is Florida, which only requires property damage liability coverage in addition to PIP coverage. The main reason car insurance is mandatory in almost every state is because of your personal liability (liability) if you cause an accident.
By requiring liability insurance for auto insurance, specifically, victims of an accident caused by you can receive financial relief for injuries and property damage without seriously affecting their own financial well-being. That's why it's also important to know how much car insurance you need, so you don't jeopardize your personal assets in the event of an accident. No, all states don't require car insurance, but all require financial responsibility to operate a vehicle on the road. Known as a mandatory minimum, drivers must purchase and maintain a certain level of car insurance from an insurance company in the event of an accident or injury to another person or property.
If you don't maintain coverage, you could be breaking the law. There are a handful of states that don't require you to purchase car insurance, but instead show evidence of financial responsibility in some other way, such as with a security bond, a cash deposit in the state, or a self-insurance certificate. Credit institutions also often need you to have full coverage auto insurance if you rent your vehicle. If you're traveling out of state, carry your physical auto insurance card (or other proof of financial responsibility) and check your policy for any limitations on another state's policy (such as only the designated insured being covered) before you hit the road.
Some coverages are almost universally required, for example, property damage liability coverage is included in auto insurance policies in all states, and bodily injury insurance is part of liability coverage in all states. However, costs often exceed minimum limits, so you may want to consider increasing your coverage above the state's minimum auto insurance requirements. Car insurance with minimum coverage is usually cheaper on average than a full coverage policy, which provides extra protection for your vehicle, so it can be a way to save on insurance premiums. If you don't have collision or comprehensive insurance to replace a damaged windshield, you may be able to purchase windshield insurance instead.
A good rule of thumb is to supplement the car insurance required by your state with enough additional coverage to match your net worth. Below is a state-by-state chart of auto insurance laws, including the type of liability insurance you must have and the basic minimums for each type of coverage. Kara McGinley is a licensed editor and homeowners insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about homeowners and renters insurance. Some states allow drivers to meet the minimum requirements through a bond, deposits, evidence of self-insurance, or by having an auto insurance policy.
However, you don't need auto insurance in New Hampshire and Virginia to legally operate a motor vehicle. Policies that meet the state's minimum auto insurance requirements do not include collision and comprehensive insurance. A full coverage auto insurance policy generally includes liability insurance and your state's minimum coverage requirements (if applicable), as well as comprehensive and collision coverage. Liability insurance includes both personal injury liability insurance and property damage liability insurance and pays for the other driver's expenses after any accidents you cause.
It's a good idea to consider getting quotes for various levels of coverage before choosing the minimum amount of car insurance coverage available in your state to save on auto insurance premiums. . .
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