Liability Insurance Minimums The minimum level of auto insurance that drivers must purchase in each state.
Every state's minimum insurance levels are slightly different, but all of them include these three basic components:
- Individual Bodily Injury Liability (BIL): This is the maximum amount that your insurance company will pay for an individual person injured in a car accident. National minimums range from $10,000 to $50,000.
- Total Bodily Injury Liability: This is the maximum amount that your insurance company will pay in total for every person injured in a car accident. National minimums range from $20,000 to $100,000.
- Property Damage Liability (PIL): This is the maximum amount that your insurance company will pay for property damage caused by a car accident. This includes all physical damage such as vehicle damage, damage to road signs and telephone poles, and any other non-medical expenses caused by a car accident. National minimums range from $5,000 to $25,000.
Because many states' minimum insurance levels are low compared to the national averages, it's important to consider purchasing more than the bare minimum. Some states only require drivers to carry $5,000 in Property Damage Liability, but with so many cars worth well over that, a large percentage of car accidents cause far more than $15,000 worth of property damage. The same goes for Bodily Injury Liability requirements. It's definitely worth paying a few dollars more for higher coverage levels instead of risking finding out after an accident that you weren't carrying enough insurance.
While it may sound like a lot, insurance companies recommend around 100/300/100 for most drivers (that's $100,000 and $300,000 for BIL and $100,000 for PIL). In today's hyper-litigious culture, paying a little extra for significantly more protection is a prudent decision that could save you a huge headache (and cash!) down the road.
What are the limits in your state? Check out the following chart:
|Minimum Liability Insurance Levels by State|
|District of Columbia||25/50/10|