Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: May 7, 2021

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Auto insurance is mandatory for almost all vehicles in America, and each state has different car insurance requirements. Some states have no-fault car insurance laws while many more operate under traditional tort liability law.

Driving with no car insurance is never a good idea.

Not only will you be subject to serious fines and possibly even the suspension of your driver’s license, but you will not have the financial security needed in a world where car accident lawyers are just waiting to file suit.

Compare auto insurance rates by using our FREE quote tool today!

Why is auto insurance mandatory?

State governments have a duty to enact laws in the interest of public safety, and liability insurance (the most common mandatory type of insurance) is a key ingredient in proving residents’ protection while operating a vehicle.

It’s important to understand that state laws never require you to purchase auto insurance to cover damages for your own vehicle but simply enough insurance to cover reasonable damages to other people. The catch, however, is that these state minimum car insurance requirements are still much lower than you really need.

While having just state minimum requirements will certainly provide you with liability coverage for a minor accident, any type of medium-size accident can leave you on the hook financially.

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How much does auto insurance cost?

Auto insurance premiums vary based on a number of variables, and each auto insurance company has their own unique formula for calculating the cost of car insurance. While most drivers pay between $1,000 and $2,000 annually, it’s very possible to pay much more if you need high-risk auto insurance.

Some of the factors outside of your driving history that also contribute to the cost of auto insurance are:

  • Your credit
  • Type of vehicle insured
  • Where you live
  • Number of household drivers
  • And more

There are well over 100 variables used to calculate the cost of auto insurance, so you need to shop around and compare auto insurance companies.

Auto Insurance Requirements by State

How much auto insurance do you need?

View your state requirements by choosing your state below, and quickly access local car insurance laws, auto insurance company reviews, and even start a car insurance comparison search.
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Related Links:

  1. What is no-fault insurance?
  2. What is liability auto insurance?
  3. High-risk Car Insurance