Every state sets its own law about how much auto insurance a driver has to have – at a minimum. Are the state minimums enough?Are the state minimums enough?

Every state sets its own law about how much auto insurance a driver has to have – at a minimum. Are the state minimums enough?

But is it enough?

Maybe, maybe not.

Minimum required protection is exactly that: Minimum required protection. Each state has established laws that spell out the minimum amount of coverage each driver has to have, to provide a basis for paying for damages, injury and/or death that they may be responsible for while driving.

Having state-required minimum coverage allows you to drive legally. But only having state-required minimum coverage may not provide sufficient financial protection to you if you cause a serious accident.

Consider this:

  • Minimum coverage may be enough to cover your liabilities in a small fender bender.
  • Minimum coverage may not be enough to cover your liabilities in a major accident involving multiple cars, serious injuries and/or death of others.

If your coverage limits are maxed out, the burden falls directly on you to cover any money still due to those affected. How you will you pay for that? Out of savings? Home equity? Will you have to declare bankruptcy?

It may be in your best interest to carry additional coverage above the state minimums. Most insurance professionals recommend that your coverage limits be at least $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident.

 

What the numbers mean

You will hear people refer to coverage limits by saying three numbers, “20/40/10” or “25/50/10.”

Here’s what the numbers mean:

Example: “25/50/10”

The first number, “25” represents $25,000, which is the per-person bodily injury coverage limit. This means your insurance company will pay up to $25,000 to provide medical care for someone hurt in an accident for which you are responsible.

The second number, “50” represents $50,000, which is the limit your insurance company will pay per accident to provide medical care to someone hurt in an accident for which you are responsible.

The third number, “10” represents $10,000, which is the maximum amount of money your insurance company will pay to cover damages to someone else’s property, due to an accident for which you are responsible.

Those coverage limits are sufficient IF you hit a car worth $10,000 or less and no more than two people sustain injuries that only require $25,000 or less of medical care.

What happens if you hit a more expensive car – or a car full of people? Minimum coverages are unlikely to be sufficient, and you’ll be on the hook for the rest.

State-by-state minimum coverage requirements

The table below lists each state’s minimum coverage requirements.

State        Type(s) of Coverage Required Minimum Liability Limits
AL Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 25/50/25
AK Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 50/100/25
AZ Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 15/30/10
AR Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 25/50/25
CA Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 15/30/5
CO Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 25/50/15
CT Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist 20/40/10
DE Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Personal Injury Protection 15/30/10
DC Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Uninsured Motorist 25/50/10
FL Property Damage Liability, Personal Injury Protection 10/20/10
GA Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 25/50/25
HI Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Personal Injury Protection 20/40/10
ID Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 25/50/15
IL Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Uninsured Motorist 20/40/15
IN Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 25/50/10
IA Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 20/40/15
KS Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Personal Injury Protection, Uninsured Motorist 25/50/10
KY Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Personal Injury Protection 25/50/10
LA Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 15/30/25
ME Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist 50/100/25
MD Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Personal Injury Protection, Uninsured Motorist 20/40/15
MA Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Personal Injury Protection, Uninsured Motorist 20/40/5
MI Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Personal Injury Protection 20/40/10
MN Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Personal Injury Protection, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist 30/60/10
MS Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 25/50/25
MO Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Uninsured Motorist 25/50/10
MT Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 25/50/10
NE Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 25/50/25
NV Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 15/30/10
NH Financial Responsibility Only, Uninsured Motorist 25/50/25
NJ Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability (Standard Limits Shown), Personal Injury Protection, Uninsured Motorist 15/30/5
NM Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 25/50/10
NY Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Personal Injury Protection, Uninsured Motorist 25/50/10
NC Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 30/60/25
ND Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Personal Injury Protection, Uninsured Motorist 25/50/25
OH Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 12.5/25/7.5
OK Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 25/50/25
OR Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Personal Injury Protection, Uninsured Motorist 25/50/10
PA Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Personal Injury Protection 15/30/5
RI Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Uninsured Motorist 25/50/25
SC Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Uninsured Motorist 25/50/25
SD Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Uninsured Motorist 25/50/25
TN Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 25/50/15
TX Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 25/50/25
UT Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Personal Injury Protection 25/65/15
VT Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist 25/50/10
VA Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Uninsured Motorist 25/50/20
WA Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 25/50/10
WV Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Uninsured Motorist 20/40/10
WI Financial Responsibility Only, Uninsured Motorist 50/100/15
WY Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability 25/50/20

 

 

If you are driving with state-required minimum coverages, you have minimal coverage. It may, or may not, be enough to protect you and your assets if you are responsible for an accident and injuries.

We’ll be happy to talk through options with you.

 

 

George W. Page Jr.

[email protected]

Page Insurance, Ltd

102 Boston Street

Guilford, CT 06437

(203) 453-5258

www.pageins.com