Which Companies Have the Cheapest Liability-Only Car Insurance in 2022?
MoneyGeek found the cheapest widely-available insurer for liability-only coverage is GEICO at $513 per year. Shopping around could save you over $400 per year, and costs may differ greatly depending on where you live and your driving history.
Liability-only car insurance is more affordable than full coverage insurance, but it won't protect you against the cost of damages to your own vehicle.
MoneyGeek found that GEICO, Nationwide and State Farm rank among the cheapest companies for liability-only insurance, but it's recommended you compare options in your state for a more accurate cost estimate.
Liability insurance is usually the cheapest level of car insurance because it only covers the costs of injuries and damages for the other vehicle if you are at fault in an accident.
Cheap liability insurance is best for drivers with a paid-off vehicle who have enough savings to cover their medical and other expenses.
Although liability-only insurance is the cheapest option, it may not provide enough coverage for all of your expenses if you are at fault in an accident.
Which Companies Have Cheap Liability Car Insurance?
MoneyGeek analyzed dozens of car insurance companies across hundreds of cities and all 50 states to find the cheapest car insurance companies for liability-only coverage and found that GEICO is the cheapest widely-available insurer for minimum liability-only insurance, at a cost of $513 per year. It's also the cheapest for increased liability limits, with an average rate of $628 per year.
If you're an active or former military member, USAA is usually the cheapest insurer on average. It's more affordable than GEICO for both state minimum and increased liability.
These rates are based on a 40-year-old driver with a clean driving record and analysis in this section is limited to companies offering car insurance in 30 states or more. Rates will differ depending on an individual’s age, driving record, gender and the type of car insured. If you want a deeper look at how costs change depending on these factors, MoneyGeek has a car insurance cost calculator that allows you to get estimates on the cheapest companies for several different coverage levels.
GEICO is the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S. and provides coverage in all states. It's the cheapest liability-only insurer that is widely available:
State-minimum liability: $513 average annual premium
Increased liability: $628 average annual premium
Drivers can get even cheaper rates with GEICO by taking advantage of bundling, multiple car, anti-theft and passive restraint discounts. Current or former federal employees are also eligible for additional savings.
The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) provides insurance across the country and tends to be the most affordable choice for active military members, veterans and their families.
State-minimum liability: $409 average annual premium
Increased liability: $490 average annual premium
Considering its strong reputation in both car and home insurance, USAA is a good option for those looking to buy homeowners insurance too, which will allow you to take advantage of its bundle discount.
Cheapest Liability-Only Car Insurance by State
If you're looking for cheap liability-only insurance near you, you should examine the insurers that are cheapest in your state rather than a national level. While GEICO is the cheapest insurer in 26 states, MoneyGeek found that 14 different insurers are the cheapest insurer in a given state, including State Farm (seven states) and Erie (four states).
This analysis excludes USAA because of its eligibility requirements. But if you're part of a military family you should get a quote, as it ranked as the cheapest company for liability-only insurance in 38 states.
Click your state below to learn more about the cheapest liability insurance where you live. Rates are for a policy that only meets the state's minimum liability requirements.
Cheapest Minimum Liability Insurance Company by State - Excluding USAA
Cheap 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. MoneyGeek found that GEICO typically offers the cheapest liability-only insurance to those with a violation on their record.
If you've recently received a citation or been found at fault in an accident, comparing car insurance quotes may help you find a lower premium if your current insurer increases your rate.
Cheap Car Insurance With a Ticket
If you have a ticket on your record, GEICO is the cheapest widely-available insurer on average for drivers with a ticket on their record for both state minimum liability and increased liability. Getting a speeding ticket can add hundreds of dollars per year to your insurance costs.
USAA is most affordable overall but most drivers won't be eligible for a policy. MetLife is at the bottom with the highest average annual premiums.
If you have a speeding ticket on your record, you can still find affordable rates with GEICO, one of the nation's largest insurers.
State-minimum liability with a ticket: $687 per year on average
Increased liability with a ticket: $847 per year on average
If you're looking to lower your rates further, GEICO offers a discount for those who complete a defensive driving course.
Cheap Car Insurance With an Accident
After an accident, your liability car insurance rates are likely to increase by even more than they would after a speeding ticket. GEICO is the cheapest insurer for state minimum liability insurance after an at-fault accident at $819 per year. An accident can increase your insurance costs by hundreds of dollars per year and cancel out benefits you could obtain by comparing quotes across insurers. For example, if you paid $819 per year as a safe driver, it would be one of the most expensive policies in the country.
State Farm and Nationwide are similarly affordable for drivers with an accident, while USAA remains the cheapest for those who are eligible.
Even after an accident, you'll find a variety of coverage and bundling options with GEICO.
State-minimum liability: $819 per year on average
Increased liability limits: $1,003 per year on average
GEICO also offers Accident Forgiveness, a feature that means your rates won't go up after your next at-fault accident. This can either be earned through years of safe driving or purchased.
How Much Does Liability Insurance Cost vs. Full Coverage
Liability-only car insurance that only meets state requirements for car insurance coverage costs an average of $728 per year. That's almost $150 cheaper per year than a policy that increases liability limits — as defined in our methodology — and more than $500 cheaper per year than a full coverage policy; a policy that increases liability limits and adds comprehensive and collision insurance.
Average Annual Premium by Coverage Level
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Increased Liability (50/100/50)
Comprehensive and Collision
Comprehensive and collision coverage, sometimes known as full coverage, is the best option if you want additional coverage. This type of insurance includes liability coverage, but also provides other benefits, like coverage to replace or repair your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident or event other than an accident. Full coverage costs an average of $1,270 per year.
You can use the MoneyGeek car insurance calculator to figure out how much car insurance will cost for you depending on how much coverage you select.
Auto Insurance Calculator
Comprehensive and Collision Insurance
Click the section of the wheel in your price range to see options.
Click your preferred price range to see company options.
Click an insurer below to visit their review page or continue to your personalized quote.
Should You Buy Liability-Only Insurance Instead of Full Coverage?
How much car insurance you should get depends on the risks you think are worth protecting against. If you fully own your car, and if it's an older vehicle, you should consider purchasing liability-only car insurance. For lower-value vehicles, the cost of adding comprehensive and collision insurance may be more than your car is worth.
When to buy liability-only insurance:
Say your car insurance company charges you $500 for comprehensive and collision insurance with a $1,000 deductible. If an accident totals your car, you’re effectively paying $1,500 that year for insurance to cover the costs, the sum of your premium and deductible. If your car is worth less than $1,500, you’re paying more for the insurance on the car than the car itself is worth. Drivers in this situation should consider buying liability-only insurance. You can check Kelly Blue Book to find the approximate value of your vehicle.
When to add comprehensive and collision insurance:
Generally, if you own a newer, more valuable vehicle, you should consider buying comprehensive and collision insurance in addition to liability insurance. It will compensate you in the event that your vehicle is badly damaged, on or off the road, or stolen. If you lease your vehicle or took out a loan to finance the purchase, you will generally be required by your lender to buy comprehensive and collision insurance.
MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP
The type of car insurance policy that’s best for you will depend on several factors, most notably the value of your vehicle.
If you have a less-valuable vehicle, it may make the most sense to buy liability-only insurance, the cheapest type of car insurance policy. Minimum liability policies cost $728 per year on average.
Liability-only insurance will not cover damages to your vehicle after an accident. For that, you’ll have to buy a policy with comprehensive and collision insurance, also known as full coverage.
Full coverage policies cost $1,270 per year on average. Only pay extra for full coverage if your car is valuable enough to be worth the extra cost.
How to Shop for Cheap Liability-Only Policy
MoneyGeek’s analysis found that drivers can save up to 47% on their insurance policies by shopping around for car insurance online 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 over 40% cheaper than full coverage insurance, but there are risks associated with getting the lowest amount of coverage. Low liability insurance limits will not cover you for claims running upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars. And your own vehicle won't be covered at all. Knowing the limits and risks of liability insurance can help you make an informed decision when selecting auto insurance coverage.
Nationally, GEICO is the cheapest company for liability-only insurance meeting minimum state requirements, with average rates of $513 per year. If you increase your liability limits to cover $100,000 in bodily injury and $50,000 in property damage, GEICO is still the cheapest but costs an average of $628 per year.
Often, the best way to find the cheapest liability insurance is to investigate options in your state. GEICO is the cheapest in most states, but MoneyGeek found that 14 different insurers could be the cheapest in any given state.
The risk of purchasing cheap 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.
Expert Advice: Understanding Liability-Only Car Insurance
What type of driver should consider liability-only car insurance?
Why is liability-only car insurance less expensive than full coverage?
What are the primary risks for liability-only car insurance and who should consider full coverage?
Is there anything state and local governments can do to promote cheap car insurance rates?
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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. Rates are for a policy meeting the minimum requirements in a given state or for increased liability coverage. Increased liability coverage refers to a policy with:
$50,000 in bodily injury liability insurance per person
$100,000 in bodily injury liability insurance per accident
$50,000 in property damage liability insurance per accident
For full coverage policies including comprehensive and collision insurance, these coverages used a $1,000 deductible.
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.