Car Insurance Requirements

New Hampshire and Virginia are the only states that do not have state minimum car insurance requirements. Compare car insurance rates below by entering your ZIP code in our online comparison tool.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 29, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Each state has its own requirements when it comes to car insurance
  • If you are in a car accident, be sure not to leave the scene until you are dismissed by the police
  • If you have a new car, you may be interested in purchasing gap insurance

Insurance can be a confusing topic, yet finding the car insurance requirements for your state is easy with the help of the internet. When it comes to car insurance, the confusion can be costly.

Enter your ZIP code above to receive car insurance rates from multiple companies today!

Most states require drivers to carry liability insurance on themselves or on their car. With some, you can purchase a surety bond instead.

How do you know if you have enough insurance or if you are over insured?

What does 25/50/20 mean?

The set of numbers refers to the liability bodily and property damage limit.

The first set of numbers refers to the limit the insurance covers for the bodily injury of one person if involved in an accident.

The second set of numbers refers to the maximum amount of coverage for people involved in an accident.

This means that if there are more than two people involved in an accident and the cost of medical care exceeds $50,000, the person responsible for the accident can be sued to recover the rest of the cost that is not covered by the insurance.

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Do students with learners permits need insurance?

Anyone planning to get behind the wheel of a car needs to be covered by insurance or they are in violation of the law. However, a student can receive coverage on a parent’s policy.

What is no-fault insurance?

Some states have embraced the no-fault insurance method to help reduce the cost of accidents.

Since no one is held at fault for any accident, each driver’s coverage pays their costs. Each insurance company pays only for the costs of their policy holder’s medical bills and repair costs.

In many of the states that have this type of insurance requirement, lawsuits are prohibited or limited.

What steps should be taken after an accident?

Knowing the proper procedure after a car accident can affect your ability to receive a claim.

  • The first thing anyone should do when they are involved in an accident is to call the police. This will result in an accident report being on file with the police. Do not leave the scene of the accident until the police have arrived and taken all the necessary statements.
  • Take photos of the accident. Photos of all vehicles involved in the accident can help reduce the chance of claims that are exaggerated.
  • Write down the facts of the accident as soon as possible. This will be an aid if there are many questions concerning the accident. Be sure to include the location of the accident, make and model of vehicles in the accident, and how the accident occurred.
  • The drivers involved in an accident will need to exchange information. This includes, but is not limited to, driver license number, license plate number, name, address, phone number, company that issued their insurance, policy number, also any information on passengers that were involved in the accident.
  • Get the name, address, and phone number of any witnesses.

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What does comprehensive insurance cover?

Comprehensive insurance covers damage to the vehicle that is not caused by an accident. This includes flood damage, fire, storm damage, vandalism, and damage due to theft.

New cars, or cars that are still under financing, should be covered by comprehensive insurance.

Does filing a comprehensive claim increase insurance rates?

Unlike a claim filed for an accident, a comprehensive claim will not cause an increase in the insurance rates. Comprehensive claims have nothing to do with driving ability.

What is GAP insurance?

Gap insurance covers the difference between what a vehicle is worth and what is owed on it.

Cars lose value as soon as they are driven off the showroom floor. This means that many cars are considered upside down in regards to owing more than their value.

Gap insurance helps ensure that the owner is not left paying off a car that has been totaled.

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What are some ways to lower car insurance rates?

The following tips may help  you lower your car insurance rates:

  • Choose a higher deductible.
  • Use public transportation or carpool more. Discounts are available for people who drive less than 10,000 miles per year.
  • Take a defensive driving course. Many insurance companies offer discounts for people who take this course.
  • Consider getting a different car. Some cars cost less to insure. If you have a sports car, consider getting a family car or a hybrid for cheaper insurance.
  • Combine all of your insurance with one company. Many companies offer multiple policy discounts.
  • Keep track of your credit rating. Companies consider customers with good credit ratings to be better risks than those with poor ratings.
  • Avoid accidents and traffic tickets. Every moving violation on record will cause an increase in insurance.
  • Cancel comprehensive and collision insurance on older cars.
  • Pay for some of the small claims out-of-pocket.
  • Buy your policy online. Many companies will offer discounts if you handle all the transactions online. Maintaining a website is cheaper than a brick and mortar building.

Before buying any insurance, make sure you have the facts and do a comparative search online. Comparing car insurance quotes is the best way to save money.

Compare car insurance rates from multiple companies today with just your ZIP code!

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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

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