I started Insurance Blog by Chris™ because I have a passion for insurance. Here at the blog, our job is to educate and inform people about the best insurance for them. Since then, we have grown into national brands with a large team of researchers helping people understand all forms of insurance.

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Written by Chris Huntley
Founder of Huntley Wealth & Insurance Services Chris Huntley

Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insu...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

UPDATED: Feb 8, 2022

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Here's the Scoop

  • Every driver’s insurance needs will be different
  • If you have a newer vehicle, you may need full coverage
  • You can shop for more extensive insurance coverage online

Drivers across the country are trying to save money, and if you don’t want to pay high car insurance rates knowing how much insurance coverage you actually need can keep you from draining your bank account.

It’s important to have enough insurance, but no two drivers will have the same coverage needs. For example, if you have a classic car, your coverage needs will be very different from someone driving a Saturn Ion.

But how can you tell how much insurance you need to be adequately protected while out on the road? In addition to that, you may also be wondering, How much insurance coverage do I need to protect myself if I were to cause an accident?

If you want to know how to get affordable car insurance and how much insurance coverage you need, keep reading to learn all that and more.

Enter your ZIP code to get free insurance quotes if you want to know how much insurance coverage you can get at the lowest rates possible.

Cheap car insurance doesn’t always mean you’ll get good quality service when it comes to purchasing car insurance.

If you were to ask a car insurance company, “How much insurance coverage do I need?” you would most likely be told to examine the value of your car, your assets, and to consider how much you could afford to pay for your medical bills if you sustained serious injuries during a car accident.

So, bearing that in mind, how much car insurance coverage do I need?

Well, if you are in possession of a newer vehicle, you’ll want to consider how expensive that vehicle would be to repair or replace. It is typically recommended that drivers purchase full coverage for newer cars. On the other hand, if you own a car that was over 10 years old, you would most likely only need liability insurance as the car would, realistically, be totaled if it were involved in an accident.

Now that you know how best to protect your vehicle, you’re probably thinking, “How much insurance do I need to protect myself if I hurt someone in a car accident?” When you buy car insurance, understanding how much insurance coverage you’ll need to protect, not only your car, but yourself is vital as failing to do so could have dire consequences.

Typically, it is recommended that you set your liability limits to a minimum of 100/300/100. This means that you have $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident, and $100,000 per accident in property damage. Most drivers don’t have easy access to $100,000, but if you hurt someone in a car crash, their medical bills could pile up quickly, and you could be responsible for paying for them.

Other drivers could take you to court if you didn’t have enough insurance. Having your liability limits set to 100/300/100 could prevent that and could also reduce the chances of your wages being garnished to cover the cost of their medical bills.

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

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How much does car insurance cost?

Understanding how much insurance costs can help you better plan your budget. Every driver will pay a different rate since no two people are identical. Insurance companies take the personal data of every applicant and use it to calculate a unique rate for that individual.

Of course, if you would like an idea of what you may end up paying for different coverage levels in your state, feel free to use this chart as a guide:

Car Insurance Rates by State

StateMonthly Liability-Only Car Insurance RatesMonthly Full Coverage Car Insurance Rates
Arizona$41$81
California$39$82
Georgia$41$87
Illinois$36$74
Indiana$31$63
Louisiana$61$117
Maryland$50$93
Missouri$33$73
Nebraska$29$69
Ohio$31$66
Oklahoma$37$84
Pennsylvania$41$81
Texas$42$92
Utah$39$73
Wisconsin$30$61
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Clearly, different coverage levels come with different price tags. So, when you shop online for car insurance quotes, consider how much insurance coverage you need alongside how much you can afford. Don’t forget though that if you take a car out on the road, you’ll need to have an active car insurance policy.

Are drivers required to have car insurance?

Nearly every state requires that you have, at the very least, liability insurance. If you are caught driving without insurance you could face serious consequences, such as these:

  • Paying over $1,000 in fines
  • Having your driver’s license suspended
  • Having your vehicle registration suspended
  • Facing time in jail
  • Having your car impounded

Driving without insurance is reckless. Not only are you putting yourself at risk of serving jail time, but let’s say that you collided into someone’s car and totaled it. If you had insurance that person would be able to file a claim and get the financial assistance they needed to get their car fixed. By contrast, if you didn’t have insurance, you wouldn’t be able to help that person get the aid they needed to fix their car.

If this individual needed their car to commute to work, you’ve not only destroyed their ride, but you could also cause other problems for them by making it harder, if not impossible, for them to get to work and earn a living.

Understanding How Much Insurance Coverage You Need: The Bottom Line

In order to determine how much insurance you need, you’ll have to take a look at your vehicle and consider how much the car is worth. Drivers with newer vehicles typically purchase full coverage since new vehicles are typically more expensive to fix while drivers with older vehicles only carry liability.

Now, it’s recommended that drivers have their liability limits set to 100/300/100 at the very least. This way, if they are involved in a costly accident, their limits will be able to cover the damage they cause. While you will need to reconcile your insurance needs with your budget, you should never operate a vehicle without an active insurance policy.

If you are having a hard time finding an affordable policy, shop online to compare multiple quotes that match your coverage and financial needs at once.

Don’t wait to see how much insurance coverage you could buy at a low rate. Enter your ZIP code to get free quotes from insurance companies near your city today.