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Liability car insurance is the minimum car insurance drivers must carry at all times. It includes bodily injury and property damage liability coverage, which are both required in almost all states. Liability auto insurance covers the other driver's expenses in an accident if you are at fault. It covers the other car's occupants' medical expenses and property damage, but it does not cover your own injuries and property damage.

If you are at fault in an accident, liability insurance ensures that you are not responsible for coming up with the money to pay for the damages and injuries you cause. Any costs that exceed your insurance limits will have to be paid by you, so it's vital that you purchase the right amount of liability car insurance.

Liability car insurance is generally more affordable than full coverage insurance. Still, it is a riskier option because it doesn't cover your medical bills or damage to your vehicle in an accident.

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Which Companies Have the Cheapest Liability Car Insurance?

The average cost of state-minimum liability car insurance is $728 annually, compared with $864 for 50/100/50 liability insurance and $1,270 for comprehensive and collision coverage, sometimes known as full coverage.

State-minimum Liability insurance is 42.7% cheaper than collision coverage, while 50/100/50 liability insurance is 32% cheaper than collision.

MoneyGeek analyzed dozens of car insurance companies across hundreds of cities and all 50 states to find the nine cheapest liability insurance companies. We analyzed only companies that provide coverage in at least 30 states.

The three cheapest companies nationwide were: USAA, GEICO and Nationwide.

USAA

The United Services Automobile Association provides insurance, banking and other financial services to active military members, veterans and their families.

GEICO

GEICO is the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S. and provides coverage in a wide range of states. You'll find a variety of coverage and bundling options.

Nationwide

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company offers insurance, investment and retirement products and services. Nationwide provides coverage for a wide range of vehicle types.

The table below shows the nine cheapest auto insurance for state-minimum liability and 50/100/50 liability.

These rates are based on a 40-year-old driver with a clean driving record. Rates will differ depending on an individual’s age, driving record, gender and the type of car insured.

9 Cheapest Companies for Liability Car Insurance

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Cheapest Liability Car Insurance After a Ticket or Accident

Safe drivers with a clean driving record will typically be able to source the most affordable liability car insurance. Getting a ticket or having an accident will usually increase the cost of liability car insurance. If you've recently received a citation or been found at fault in an accident, shopping around for car insurance may help you find a lower premium if your current insurer increases your rate.

Cheapest Car Insurance With a Ticket

According to MoneyGeek's research, USAA, GEICO and Nationwide offer the lowest rates for liability insurance for drivers with a ticket on their record are.

USAA

With USAA, drivers with a ticket could pay an average of $473 for state-minimum liability and $566 for 50/100/50 liability.

GEICO

With GEICO, drivers with a ticket pay an average of $687 for state-minimum liability and $847 for 50/100/50 liability coverage.

Nationwide

Drivers with a ticket insured by Nationwide pay an average of $852 for state-minimum liability and $925 for 50/100/50 liability coverage.

USAA is not available to all drivers — the company offers its products to military members and veterans only.

The table below shows the average annual premiums for state-minimum liability and 50/100/50 liability only after a ticket for the top nine insurers nationally.

USAA is at the top of the list with an average yearly premium of $473 for state-minimum liability and $566 for 50/100/50 liability coverage, while MetLife is at the bottom with the highest average annual premiums for both state-minimum and 50/100/50 coverage.

Average Annual Premiums With a Ticket

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Cheapest Car Insurance With an Accident

After an accident, your liability car insurance rates are likely to increase as well.

The three lowest-cost insurance companies following an accident for state-minimum liability insurance and 50/100/50 are USAA, GEICO and State Farm.

USAA

With USAA, drivers who were involved in an accident could pay an average of $628 state-minimum liability and $756 for 50/100/50 liability coverage.

GEICO

Drivers insured by GEICO pay an average of $819 for minimum liability and $1,003 for 50/100/50 liability coverage after an accident.

State Farm

After an accident, drivers with State Farm could pay an average of $857 for the state-mandated liability minimum and $1,038 for 50/100/50 liability coverage.

The table below shows the average yearly premiums following an accident for the state minimum liability and 50/100/50 liability only for the top nine insurers in the U.S.

USAA is at the top for the lowest state minimum and 50/100/50 liability coverages, while MetLife is at the bottom. The average annual premiums range from $628 to $1,835 for the state minimum and range from $756 to $2,141 for 50/100/50 liability coverage.

Average Annual Premiums After an Accident

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How to Shop for the Cheapest Liability-Only Policy

MoneyGeek’s analysis found that drivers can save up to 47% on their insurance policies by shopping around for car insurance and getting multiple quotes.

When searching for the best auto insurance, consider getting quotes from at least three different companies. Keep in mind that many factors influence liability-only car insurance rates. The easiest way to shop and compare is to get multiple online quotes for free.

In order to get an accurate quote, make sure you have the following information at the ready: the make, model and year of the vehicle that needs to be insured; the information for any drivers in the household; and your current address, former addresses and the occupations of all the drivers on the policy.

Frequently Asked Questions About Liability Car Insurance

Liability auto insurance is 42.7% cheaper than comprehensive collision coverage, but it can be risky to choose the cheapest amount of coverage. Liability insurance does not take into account that liability claims for accidents could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Knowing the limits and risks of liability insurance can help you make an informed decision when selecting auto insurance coverage.


What is liability coverage?This is an icon

Liability car insurance is the minimum insurance required to operate a vehicle. It covers damages and injuries to the other parties involved in an accident where you are at fault. It does not cover your damages or injuries.

What do the liability limits mean?This is an icon

The standard liability limit (or minimum) is 50/100/50. The first number, which represents $50,000, is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay for an injury to an individual involved in the crash. The second number, representing $100,000, is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay for all injuries in the accident. The third number, $50,000, is the maximum the auto insurance company will pay for property damage.

What are the risks of liability-only insurance? Should you choose the cheapest option?This is an icon

The risk of purchasing liability-only insurance is that you could be involved in an accident where the damages or medical bills are higher than your insurance coverage, which means you would be responsible for the difference. For example, if you have 50/100/50 coverage and the other driver's medical payments were $60,000, you would be responsible for the $10,000 gap in coverage.

What isn’t included in the cheapest liability-only car insurance?This is an icon

Most importantly, liability-only insurance does not cover your vehicle or passengers' medical payments if you are at fault in an accident. Other items not covered include emergency roadside assistance, automatic breakdown coverage, rental car coverage, modified or gap coverage, rideshare driver coverage, classic car, non-owner or self-driving car coverage.

When Does It Make Sense to Get the Cheapest Liability-Only Policy?

Liability car insurance is usually only a good option for drivers who own their vehicles outright. If you are making car payments, you should have comprehensive and collision coverage. Liability insurance may be a good option for those who drive inexpensive or older vehicles that wouldn't be worth replacing in the event of a crash. It might appeal to people on a strict budget, but make sure to have the funds to replace the vehicle in case of an accident.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, if the vehicle's value is less than 10 times the cost of the annual premium for collision and comprehensive coverage, you may want to consider a liability-only policy. You can check Kelly Blue Book to find the approximate value of your vehicle.

However, liability coverage does not cover costs associated with your own injuries in an accident where you are at fault, so consider adding additional medical payments coverage.

Cheapest Liability Insurance in Your State

Where you live is a factor in determining costs when shopping for car insurance. To find the cheapest liability car insurance where you live, click on your state below.

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Methodology


Average annual car insurance costs are based on a 40-year-old driver with a Toyota Camry LE. Unless otherwise stated, rates are based on a driver without a record of tickets or accidents. Learn more about MoneyGeek’s average premium methodology.

About the Author


Laura Longero Holman is an award-winning writer and editor who lives in sunny Reno, Nevada. Nevada is home to some of the country's highest auto insurance rates, so she is experienced in shopping around for coverage.

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