The Basics of Getting Coverage in the USA

USA car insurance must meet each state's minimum coverage requirements except for in New Hampshire. USA Car Insurance types include collision, comprehensive, liability, and uninsured motorists.

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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: Jun 22, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Every state, except New Hampshire, has mandatory car insurance minimums that must be respected
  • Understanding the types of car insurance available in the USA is important when searching for coverage
  • Know how you can help lower your insurance rates by personalizing your coverage and comparing quotes

In all parts of the USA, car insurance is important to carry if you own a vehicle. Therefore you should be familiar with the guidelines where you live and abide by them.

Keep in mind that these mandatory levels of coverage are always considered low, and higher limits will be recommended.

Even in New Hampshire, you must prove financial responsibility if your drive without coverage.

Get started shopping for USA car insurance quickly by putting a car insurance quotes comparison tool now.

Understanding USA Car Insurance


It is important to understand the various types of car insurance in America. In most states liability coverage is mandatory.

Liability is the coverage that will protect you from lawsuits over injuries or losses you cause, bodily injury coverage usually has a per person and a per accident limit, and property damage liability will have a separate limit.

There are different types of coverage to deal with injury:

  • (PIP) personal injury protection – provides for medical expenses, regardless of who is at fault in an accident, and will cover things typically not covered by medical insurance
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage – pays for bodily injury if you are hurt in an accident and the at-fault party has no insurance or not enough insurance to cover expenses
  • Property damage coverage – takes care of repairing or replacing your car if it is damaged or totaled in an accident
  • Collision coverage – covers property damage in those situations when you are at fault in an accident
  • Comprehensive coverage – covers the property damage caused by things such as theft, vandalism, weather damage or animal collision

Both types of property damage coverage are required if your car is financed and recommended if your car is still worth more than you can afford to replace.

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How to Save on USA Car Insurance

Even though car insurance in mandatory in the USA, it does not have to be costly.

While premiums will vary greatly depending on where you live, the kind of car you drive, your age and other factors, there are things that you can control to help bring the cost of car insurance down.

  • Make changes to the coverage you carry – Raise deductibles on collision and comprehensive coverage and remove any unnecessary coverage
  • Improve your driving record – Drive defensively and follow driving laws. Usually, after three years of accident and infraction-free driving, you will see a major improvement in your insurance rates
  • Change your driving habits – Use your car as little as possible. Putting low mileage on your vehicle annually will save you significantly on your coverage. Avoid using your vehicle for business purposes
  • Educate yourself before buying a car – Research the cost of insurance for the type of car you are considering purchasing including the initial cost and any replacement costs
  • Comparison shop – This is the best way to get a competitive price on car insurance, and there can be enormous price differences between companies

Shop for USA Car Insurance

In your quest to save money on car insurance, you will need to get quotes from different insurance companies, as they each have their own guidelines and discount criteria.


Use a free online quote tool to get car insurance quotes from leading insurers serving your area.

Narrow down your choices to the most competitive prices to ensure you are being quoted on the same coverage and the same duration.

You should look at their financial stability and future economic outlook by getting their insurance rating from one of the independent insurance rating companies like Standard & Poor’s.

Get information about the insurer’s customer service record by checking with your local state department of insurance and by doing online searches for the company by name.

Compare car insurance quotes with our FREE online tool below!

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