How much is liability-only car insurance?

The national average for a liability-only policy with limits of 50/100/50 is $637 a year or $53 a month. Premiums can vary based on several factors including your age, marital status, driving record, credit score, where you live, as well as the vehicle you drive.

In comparison, a full coverage policy with higher liability limits averages $1,895 a year or $157 a month. 

Cheapest liability-only car insurance rates by company

Insurance companies use proprietary algorithms to help set car insurance rates, which can result in dramatic differences in premium quotes. Because of this, it’s important to shop your coverage on a regular basis. 

The national average for a liability-only policy with limits of 50/100/50 is $637. A full coverage policy, which includes d in addition to higher liability coverage, is a 197% increase at $1,895. 

According to our data, Geico offers the cheapest liability-only policy among top companies at $545 annually, though USAA offers cheaper coverage to eligible customers. Travelers follows at an average annual premium of $634.

The most expensive insurance company for a liability-only policy is Farmers at $942 a year, almost 73% higher than Geico for the same coverage. 

Here are the cheapest (and most expensive) insurers for liability-only coverage:

Cheapest Liability-Only Car Insurance rates by company
CompanyAvg. liability insurance premiumAvg. monthly liability insurance
Geico$545$45
State Farm$647$54
Allstate$845$70
USAA$433$36
Progressive$681$57
Farmers$942$79
Nationwide$639$53
Travelers$634$53

    While liability-only coverage is cheaper than a full coverage policy, it’s not always an option. If you have a loan or lease on your vehicle, your lender will require that you carry full coverage insurance to protect their investment in your car. 

    Additionally, a liability-only policy will not pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident or other incident. So while liability-only is cheaper, it offers far less financial protection.

    Cheapest liability-only car insurance by state

    Each state has its own set of unique risks such as severe weather, crime rates, urban density and local laws which can result in dramatically different insurance rates. For example, Florida, the most expensive state for liability-only coverage, faces severe weather and hurricanes, pushing up the cost of coverage for Florida’s residents. 

    As the numbers below show, your state impacts how much you pay for coverage. A liability-only policy runs $315 a year or $26 a month in Iowa while Florida drivers pay $1,575 — a staggering 400% higher.

    Below are rates for a liability-only policy by state with limits of 50/100/50.

    Cheapest Liability-Only Car Insurance by state
    State Name Avg. Liability Insurance Premium Avg. Monthly Liability Insurance
    Alaska$499$42
    Alabama$619$52
    Arkansas$568$47
    Arizona$745$62
    California$864$72
    Colorado$708$59
    Connecticut$753$63
    Washington, D.C.$777$65
    Delaware$998$83
    Florida$1,575$131
    Georgia$775$65
    Hawaii$572$48
    Iowa$315$26
    Idaho$438$36
    Illinois$469$39
    Indiana$488$41
    Kansas$457$38
    Kentucky$804$67
    Louisiana$1,241$103
    Massachusetts$655$55
    Maryland$753$63
    Maine$342$29
    Michigan$646$54
    Minnesota$504$42
    Missouri$577$48
    Mississippi$634$53
    Montana$524$44
    North Carolina$523$44
    North Dakota$360$30
    Nebraska$371$31
    New Hampshire$413$34
    New Jersey$893$74
    New Mexico$636$53
    Nevada$1,012$84
    New York$815$68
    Ohio$436$36
    Oklahoma$632$53
    Oregon$674$56
    Pennsylvania$504$42
    Rhode Island$800$67
    South Carolina$901$75
    South Dakota$332$28
    Tennessee$537$45
    Texas$762$63
    Utah$724$60
    Virginia$469$39
    Vermont$325$27
    Washington$695$58
    Wisconsin$415$35
    West Virginia$581$48
    Wyoming$333$28

    Liability-only vs. full coverage car insurance

    There are major differences between liability-only and full-coverage car insurance. Here is a quick overview of liability and full coverage car insurance.

    Liability-only coverage

    Most states require liability insurance to drive legally, though the required coverage levels vary by state. Liability helps pay for medical and legal costs related to injuries you are responsible for if you cause an accident. It will also help pay for any property damage caused by the accident. This includes another person’s vehicle, fences, mailboxes, garage doors and other property. Liability-only coverage also includes personal injury protection and any other legally required coverages. 

    It is important to remember that liability-only car insurance doesn’t offer any protection for your own vehicle. 

    Getting liability-only coverage can pose a serious risk to your financial health if you are in an accident. The minimum coverage levels required at the state level are rarely enough to cover the damages in a serious accident. Most industry experts recommend carrying liability levels of 100/300/100, which translates into coverage levels of $100,000 for injuries per person, $300,000 for injuries per accident, and $100,000 in property damage coverage.

    In some states, you may be required to carry additional coverage beyond liability, including personal injury protection in no-fault states and uninsured motorist coverage.

    Full coverage

    Full coverage car insurance is a term that usually refers to a policy with collision and comprehensive coverages in addition to liability and any other coverages required in your state. These coverages protect your vehicle and will repair or replace it if it is damaged in a collision or another covered incident. 

    Collision steps up when the damage is caused by a collision with another vehicle or object. Meanwhile, comprehensive will pay for damage caused by flooding, fire, theft, vandalism and even animal strikes. Comprehensive and collision both have a deductible. 

    Liability-only vs. full coverage car insurance
    State NameLiability OnlyFull coverageDifference%Difference
    Alaska$499$1,692$1,19371%
    Alabama$619$1,842$1,22366%
    Arkansas$568$1,931$1,36371%
    Arizona$745$1,807$1,06259%
    California$864$2,416$1,55264%
    Colorado$708$2,350$1,64270%
    Connecticut$780$1,734$95455%
    Washington, D.C.$777$2,168$1,39164%
    Delaware$998$2,062$1,06452%
    Florida$1,575$2,669$1,09441%
    Georgia$775$1,965$1,19061%
    Hawaii$572$1,517$94562%
    Iowa$315$1,626$1,31181%
    Idaho$438$1,444$1,00670%
    Illinois$469$1,534$1,06569%
    Indiana$488$1,511$1,02368%
    Kansas$457$1,903$1,44676%
    Kentucky$804$2,246$1,44264%
    Louisiana$1,241$2,872$1,63157%
    Massachusetts$655$1,726$1,07162%
    Maryland$753$1,755$1,00257%
    Maine$342$1,195$85371%
    Michigan$646$2,269$1,62372%
    Minnesota$504$1,936$1,43274%
    Missouri$577$1,999$1,42271%
    Mississippi$634$2,021$1,38769%
    Montana$524$2,182$1,65876%
    North Carolina$523$1,742$1,21970%
    North Dakota$360$1,681$1,32179%
    Nebraska$371$1,917$1,54681%
    New Hampshire$413$1,275$86268%
    New Jersey$893$1,912$1,01953%
    New Mexico$636$2,028$1,39269%
    Nevada$1,012$2,026$1,01450%
    New York$815$1,862$1,04756%
    Ohio$436$1,414$97869%
    Oklahoma$632$2,124$1,49270%
    Oregon$674$1,640$96659%
    Pennsylvania$504$1,871$1,36773%
    Rhode Island$800$2,072$1,27261%
    South Carolina$901$2,028$1,12756%
    South Dakota$332$2,306$1,97486%
    Tennessee$537$1,674$1,13768%
    Texas$762$2,062$1,30063%
    Utah$724$1,782$1,05859%
    Virginia$469$1,457$98868%
    Vermont$325$1,345$1,02076%
    Washington$695$1,580$88556%
    Wisconsin$415$1,653$1,23875%
    West Virginia$581$2,010$1,42971%
    Wyoming$333$1,806$1,47382%

    When to get liability-only car insurance

    A liability-only policy will help cover property damage, medical expenses, and legal fees for injuries to others in any at-fault accidents you are responsible for causing. Liability is required in most states to drive legally, but the required amount of coverage will vary by state. In almost all cases, the minimum required liability will not be enough protection if you are responsible for a serious accident.

    While liability is important to cover injuries and damage you cause to other people and their property, it will not repair or replace your vehicle, so if you only carry liability, you will be on the hook for all costs to repair your car unless another driver is at fault for the accident.

    Additionally, a liability-only policy will not be an option if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle, as your lender will require that you carry full coverage. Carrying liability only is typically only a good idea when you are driving an older, low-value vehicle that’s not worth protecting. If your vehicle is newer or if you can’t afford to repair or replace it out of pocket, you should be carrying full coverage.

    How to find affordable liability-only car insurance

    The best way to find cheap liability-only car insurance is to shop your coverage with multiple insurers. Rates can vary dramatically between insurers. For example, we found a 117% difference between the lowest liability-only rate and the highest. 

    When shopping your coverage be sure you are comparing apples to apples regarding coverage levels and deductibles. 

    A few other tips for lowering your liability-only car insurance premium:

    • Take a defensive driving course: Many insurance companies will offer a discount on your premium if take and pass a defensive driving course. Check if you would qualify as there are often age restrictions.
    • Compare discounts: Insurance companies offer various discounts, so ensuring you are getting all available discounts will help lower your premium. Compare the available discounts for each insurance company and look for ones that offer discounts you are qualified to receive. 

    How much liability-only car insurance do I need?

    Almost all states require drivers to carry liability insurance to drive legally. The amount of liability required will vary by state. Car insurance laws are controlled at the state level. 

    Required minimums can range from 10/20/10 in Florida and up to 50/100/25 in states like Alaska. 

    It is important to remember that the required liability coverage is generally not enough if you are responsible for a serious car accident. Once your coverage levels are exceeded, you will need to cover any additional costs. 

    Should I get liability-only car insurance?

    Deciding what car insurance coverage to carry requires looking at various factors. In most cases, carrying a liability-only policy may be a good idea if your vehicle is older and has a low resale value, and you can afford to handle repairs or buy a new car out of pocket. However, you will have the most robust financial protection from getting a full coverage car insurance policy.

    Methodology

    Insurance.com commissioned Quadrant Data Solutions to field rates in every state for a minimum coverage policy and for limits of 50/100/50. Rates are based on a 40-year-old male driver with a clean record driving a 2023 Honda Accord LX.