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State by State Auto Insurance Breakdown

Auto Insurance varies considerably state to state. First off, there are different mandates regarding coverage each state line you cross. Second, there are two entirely different kinds of auto insurance: tort and no-fault insurance. Even these two types vary considerably. Third, prices are tremendously different. We'll address each of these points below so you can use this information to get the best deal in your state.

State Mandates

Every state except New Hampshire requires some sort of auto insurance. In most cases, this is just a minimum level of Liability coverage.

Liability coverage is what you need if you are responsible for a collision in a tort state. If you hurt someone or damage their property as the at-fault driver, Liability coverage will help you out by taking care of the expenses (up to the maximum coverage in your policy) and paying your legal fees.

Liability coverage is shown as three numbers separated by slashes, like so: 50/100/20. Look at your state website for the requirement numbers. The first number, 50 in our example, represents the minimum thousands of dollars of liability coverage per person in a collision. The second number, 100, represents the minimum thousands of dollars of liability coverage total for all people in the collision. The final number, 20, represents the minimum thousands of dollars of coverage for property damage.

The same numbers will be shown when you are getting auto insurance quotes, except this will be the maximum coverage they will pay. That number must be at least as big as the one in the state mandate.

Make sure to see what other coverage your state requires.

Tort Vs. No-Fault States

Most states in the US are what are called tort states. These resolve accidents by having authorities and insurers designate degrees of fault to drivers. If the drivers and insurers do not agree with the assessments and who owes what, the matter is resolved in court.

Because this process is so expensive and involved, other states have sought to work around it by getting rid of the idea of degrees of fault. These are called no-fault states. In one of these states, you are required to cover your own injuries with a minimum amount of Personal Injury Protection coverage.

In no-fault states, you can only sue if your damages are higher than the verbal or quantitative state threshold.

The Cheapest and Most Expensive States for Auto Insurance

The Five Cheapest States, starting with the cheapest:

  • 1. Maine
  • 2. Vermont
  • 3. Ohio
  • 4. Wisconsin
  • 5. New Hampshire


The Five Most Expensive States, starting with the most expensive:

  • 1. Louisiana
  • 2. Michigan
  • 3. Oklahoma
  • 4. Montana
  • 5. California

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