Each state sets the minimum car insurance coverage amounts that you must have to legally drive. Some states require only liability insurance. Some states also require uninsured motorist coverage (UM) and personal injury protection (PIP) or MedPay. Here's a quick explainer:

  • Liability insurance: Pays for injuries or property damage to others if you cause a car accident.
  • Uninsured motorist insurance: Pays for the injuries of you and your passengers if you're hit by a driver without insurance or without enough to pay all your medical bills. In some states you can also buy uninsured motorist insurance that pays for your car's damage.
  • PIP and MedPay: Pay for the injuries of you and your passengers no matter who was at fault.

If you're looking for cheap car insurance, one method is to choose your state's minimum amounts and shop around to compare rates.

No states require comprehensive or collision insurance, which pay for damages to your own car. But if you have a car loan or lease, your lender or leasor probably requires you to buy these coverage types.

Use the map below to find out what the minimum insurance where you live.

The risk of buying only the minimum car insurance

The minimums above show only what's required to legally drive your car. They're not "recommended" amounts, and buying only the minimum auto insurance doesn't get you off the hook if you cause a big car accident. You can still be sued for damages after your insurance is maxed out. If you have assets to protect -- such as savings or a house -- buy at least 100/300/50 in liability insurance.

An umbrella insurance policy can also provide a large amount of extra liability insurance at a good price.