Cheap Liability-Only Car Insurance: Which Companies Have the Cheapest Liability Car Insurance in 2021
Liability insurance is the most affordable type of car coverage for most drivers. 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 caused. Any costs that exceed your insurance limits will have to be paid by you, so it's important 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. MoneyGeek compared costs from top companies to help you find cheap liability insurance that meets your needs.
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 coverage. We analyzed only companies that provide coverage in at least 30 states.
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.
9 Cheapest Companies for Liability Car Insurance
Scroll for more
- CompanyState Minimum Liability50/100/50 Liability
- 4.State Farm$660$800
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. 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 many states.
- State-minimum liability: $515 average annual premium
- 50/100/150 liability: $628 average annual premium
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company offers insurance, investment and retirement products and services.
- State-minimum liability: $729 average annual premium
- 50/100/150 liability: $798 average annual premium
The United Services Automobile Association provides insurance, banking and other financial services to active military members, veterans and their families.
- State-minimum liability: $409 average annual premium
- 50/100/150 liability: $490 average annual premium
Cheap Liability Insurance vs. Full Coverage Costs
Liability auto insurance is the most basic policy you can purchase in most 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. Minimum coverage levels vary by state. The average cost of state-minimum liability car insurance is $728 annually.
The next step up in coverage from state-minimum liability coverage is 50/100/50 liability insurance, with an average annual premium of $864. This type of insurance covers the expenses for the other vehicle, with $50,000 in bodily injury protection per person, $100,000 in bodily injury protection per accident and $50,000 in property damage coverage per accident. It does not cover your injuries, medical costs or property damage.
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. Comprehensive and collision coverage costs an average of $1,270 per year.
Average Annual Premium by Coverage Level
Scroll for more
- Coverage LevelAnnual Premium
- 50/100/50 Liability$864
- Comprehensive and Collision$1,270
State-minimum liability insurance is 42.7% cheaper than collision and comprehensive, while 50/100/50 liability insurance is 32% cheaper than collision.
Should You Buy Liability-Only Insurance Instead of Full Coverage?
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.
For example, 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.
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.
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.
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. 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
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 coverage 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
State Minimum Liability
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.
If you have an accident on your record, you can still find affordable rates with Geico, one of the nation's largest insurers.
- State-minimum liability: $687 average annual premium
- 50/100/150 liability: $847 average annual premium
Nationwide provides coverage for a wide range of vehicle types, even if you have a ticket on your record.
- State-minimum liability: $852 average annual premium
- 50/100/50 liability: $925 average annual premium
USAA provides coverage for military, veterans and their families at competitive rates.
- State-minimum liability: $473 average annual premium
- 50/100/50 liability: $566 average annual premium
Cheap 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.
Average Annual Premiums After an Accident
State Minimum Liability
Even after an accident, you'll find a variety of coverage and bundling options with Geico.
- State-minimum liability: $819 average annual premium
- 50/100/50 liability: $1,003 for after an accident
State Farm offers some of the lowest rates for drivers with an accident on their record.
- State-minimum liability: $857 average annual premium
- 50/100/50 liability: $1,038 for after an accident
USAA offers the lowest rates for drivers with an accident on their record, but this company is only available to military members, veterans and their families.
- State-minimum liability: $628 average annual premium
- 50/100/50 liability: $756 for after an accident
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 42.7% cheaper than comprehensive collision coverage, but it can be risky to choose the cheapest amount of coverage. Cheap 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.
Cheap 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.
Find Cheap Car Insurance by State
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?
Associate Professor of Marketing at Duquesne University
Assistant Professor of Marketing at Washington State University
Associate Professor of Marketing at George Mason University
Associate Professor of Marketing at Case Western Reserve University
Assistant Professor of Marketing at Southern Illinois University
Assistant Professor of Marketing at Elon University
Founder | Managing Partner of The Insurance Loft
Associate Professor of Finance and Chair of the Department of Finance at California State University San Marcos
Assistant Professor of Finance at California State University, Bakersfield
Professor of Finance at Florida Gulf Coast University
Robert F. Bird Distinguished Professor of Risk and Insurance at East Carolina University; Director, Risk Management and Insurance Program
Account Executive at Royalty Insurance
Owner of E&L Insurance Services
Entrepreneurship Program Director at Milwaukee Area Technical College
Assistant Professor of Marketing at Northern Michigan University
Associate Professor at Saint Leo University
Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Gonzaga University
Associate Professor at Suny Morrisville
Assistant Professor in Residence at the University of Connecticut
Professor of Marketing and Department Head at UNC Greensboro
Licensed Agent at Insurance Brokers of Arizona
Assistant Professor of Marketing at Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Professor of Marketing at the University of West Georgia
Wayne Angell Chair of Economics and Director/Founder Gwartney Institute at Ottawa University
Director of the University of South Florida's Financial Planning & Wealth Management Program
Adjunct Professor - Wayne Law at Wayne State University and COO at Miller & Tischler P.C.
Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame
Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Professor & Dean, School of Business and Family & Consumer Sciences at Carson-Newman University
Associate Professor at the Daytona Beach Campus of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
Continuing Lecturer at The Rady School of Management, UC San Diego
Professor of Economics at Stephen F. Austin State University
Chief Strategist and CIO at Omega, Professor at Anderson School of Management, UCLA
Managing Director of Brantley Risk and Insurance Center, IIANC Distinguished Professor of Insurance at Appalachian State University
Assistant Professor of Finance at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Executive in Residence and Lecturer, Wealth Management at Fairleigh Dickinson University
Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of California, Irvine
Professor of Economics at Sonoma State University
Director, Consumer Law Center at the University of Houston, Professor Emeritus
Assistant Professor of Economics & Finance at Canisius College
Clinical Professor of Finance at the University of San Diego School of Business
Assistant Professor of Business and Management at Palm Beach Atlantic University
Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Associate Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator at The University of Alabama
Money Education Advisor III at Texas A&M University
Department Chair and Professor of Economics and Management at Albion College
Professor of Finance, Risk Management and Insurance at the University of Hawaiʻi
Professor of Business and Economics at Johns Hopkins University
Associate Professor of Finance at California State University, Long Beach
Professor of Finance at Mississippi State University, College of Business
Instructor in Marketing at Southeast Missouri State University
Professor of Marketing at The University of Scranton
Professor of Economics and History at Eastern Florida State College
Adjunct Professor of Finance at Metropolitan College of New York
Lecturer of Finance, Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois
Professor of Marketing at Winthrop University
Professor of Management and Economics at La Sierra University
Assistant Professor, School of Business at Endicott College
Director, Center for Innovation and Professional Development at Webster University
Assistant Professor at the University of San Francisco School of Management
Assistant Professor of Finance at California State University, Fullerton
Professor of Finance at Western Carolina University
ACFE Endowed Professor of Fraud Examination at York College, CUNY
Professor, Justice Studies, Berkeley College School of Professional Studies
Lecturer in Strategic Communication at Columbia University School of Professional Studies
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
- Insurance Information Institute. "Nine ways to lower your auto insurance costs." Accessed July 30, 2020.