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...

Full Bio →

Written by

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...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Jul 8, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident auto insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one auto insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

In most states across the U.S., drivers are required by state law to carry a minimum amount of liability auto insurance coverage. While some drivers do make the decision to purchase additional coverage, such as collision or comprehensive insurance, liability is a “must” in most states.

You can easily use a FREE rate comparison tool by entering your ZIP code into a comparison website right now to compare rates.

However, before you do, you may want to know more about why this coverage is required and if it is the only auto insurance coverage you need.

The Penalties for Not Complying With State Law

Almost every state in the United States requires drivers to maintain a liability auto insurance policy. The requirements vary by state, but most drivers are required to carry proof of coverage with them each time they get behind the wheel.

In addition, drivers may also be asked to present proof of coverage when pulled over by law enforcement, when registering their vehicle or renewing vehicle registration, when they get in a car accident and more.

The penalties for not carrying adequate coverage also vary by state, but they may include a monetary fine, the suspension of your license for repeat violations or continuous violation of state law and even imprisonment in certain instances.

Personal Ramifications for Not Carrying Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is coverage that pays for other drivers’ expenses that you may be liable for after an accident. This may include repairs needed on their car, repairs needed on personal property or real estate that you damaged and medical expenses.

Without adequate liability coverage, you will be required to pay for these expenses out of your own pocket.

If you do not pay, the other driver can file a civil lawsuit against you. This may result in additional costs to you such as lawyer and court fees. It also may lower your credit rating, as a civil judgment against you will be reported on your credit report.

How Much Liability Insurance Do You Need?

Whether your state requires liability insurance or not, most drivers agree that this is coverage that they do not want to drive without. So how much liability insurance do you need? To determine this, first start by reviewing your own state’s insurance requirements.

Some states have very low liability requirements, and you may decide that you want to purchase additional coverage. Other states have higher liability requirements, and you may decide the state requirements are sufficient.

Keep in mind that if the damages caused by an accident are higher than your coverage limits, you will be required to pay the difference out-of-pocket.

Do You Need Additional Coverage?

Liability insurance will pay for the expenses another driver incurs during an accident, but this coverage does not pay for any of your expenses. Many drivers opt to purchase additional coverage that will pay for:

  • Repairs costs on their vehicle
  • Replacement cost, if necessary, on their vehicle
  • Replacement of personal property that was lost or stolen

Keep in mind that if you have an auto loan on your vehicle, your auto lender may require you to carry a minimum amount of collision insurance as a condition of the loan.

FREE Auto Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top auto insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Comparing Rates Between Insurance Companies

Once you have determined your state’s requirements, your lender’s requirements and your own needs for auto insurance, you may have a clear picture of how much auto insurance you need to purchase.

One of the best ways to find cheap insurance today is to compare rates between insurance companies.

Before you contact a dozen insurance companies to request full quotes, however, it is a good idea to use a FREE rate comparison tool online.

By entering your ZIP code into one of these free tools, you can easily gather together numerous rate estimates. These can be compared and analyzed at your convenience to quickly determine which companies you should contact for a full quote.

Discounts Can Save You Money

If you want to find the cheapest auto insurance available, consider putting some of the many discounts that different auto insurance companies offer to use.

Most auto insurance companies offer a host of discounts that can yield significant savings to you, but the discounts offered are generally unique to a company.

Many companies offer traditional discounts such as a multiple vehicle discount or a multiple policy discounts. However, others may offer the same discount with a twist.

For example, most companies offer a safe driving discount, but this discount may be available to you in different forms. One company may require you to prove your status as a safe driver by maintaining a claims-free status for a year or longer.

Another company may simply require you to take a driver’s safety course to qualify. Because each company offers discounts to you in different ways, you may find that one company’s discounts are more advantageous to you than the discounts offered by another company.

Liability insurance is a “must” for drivers for so many reasons. For drivers who live in a state where this coverage is not required, it does provide minimize your liability if you get into an accident.

You can shop for cheap liability insurance today by using a FREE rate comparison tool online. You simply enter your ZIP code into the tool to compare rates.

Related posts:

  1. What is Liability Auto Insurance?
  2. Where can I find auto insurance company ratings?
  3. Full Coverage Car Insurance vs Liability Insurance
  4. Who is the best auto insurance company?