Car insurance Laws by state
The minimum limits your state requires, however, may not necessarily be adequate. A car accident can cost far more than the limits mandated by most states. The Insurance Information Institute recommends you carry at least $100, 000 of bodily injury protection per person and $300, 000 per accident (known as 100/300).
How to read auto insurance liability limits
- First number: Bodily injury liability maximum for one person injured in an accident.
- Second number: Bodily injury liability maximum for all injuries in one accident.
- Third number: Property damage liability maximum for one accident.
For example, if you live in New York, the minimum liability limits are $25, 000 for injury liability for one person, $50, 000 for all injuries and $10, 000 for property damage in an accident (written as 25/50/10). Plus, New York requires you to have personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UM).
Here's your guide to the car insurance acronyms in the chart below.
- UM = Uninsured motorist coverage.
- UIM = Underinsured motorist coverage.
- UM BI: Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage.
- UMPD: Uninsured motorist property damage coverage.
- PIP: Personal injury protection.
- PPI: Property protection insurance (Michigan).
- BI liability: Bodily injury liability.
Car insurance requirements by state
|State||Minimum auto insurance limits|
but many carriers require 10/20
UM/UIM BI: 50/100
Medical payments: $2, 000
UM/UIM BI: 20/40
PIP: $8, 000
|New Hampshire*||Liability: 25/50/25
UM/UIM BI: 25/50
Medical payments: $1, 000
*Insurance not mandatory in New Hampshire
|New Jersey||Liability: 15/30/5 (standard policy)
UM/UIM BI: 15/30
UMPD: $5, 000
PIP: $15, 000
First party benefits (PIP): $5, 000
* New Hampshire doesn't require car insurance, but you must be able to show proof of financial responsibility if you're in an accident.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
Uninsured motorist bodily injury covers medical expenses if you or your passengers are injured by an uninsured driver. Underinsured motorist is triggered when the at-fault party is insured but his insurance limits are too low to pay all of your medical bills.
Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) covers damage your car received from an accident with an at-fault uninsured driver. UMPD is required in only eight states.
What is no-fault car insurance?
If your state has a "no-fault" auto insurance law, your auto insurance policy must pay medical bills for you and your passengers regardless of who caused the accident.