Cheapest Liability-Only Car Insurance (December 2023)
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By, Senior Writer & Editor
By, Director, Corporate Communications, Insurance Information Institute
The cheapest liability-only car insurance is from State Farm, which also offers the most affordable option for high-risk drivers. For teens, State Farm offers the cheapest options. For young drivers and seniors, GEICO offers the lowest average annual rate. Nationwide is the cheapest insurer for drivers with poor credit. It’s smart to compare options in your state for a more accurate cost estimate.
Cheapest Liability-Only Car Insurance
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 the costs of repairing their vehicle.
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 compared average car insurance rates across the country and found that the cheapest providers for a liability-only policy are:
- 22–29 years old: State Farm ($494 per year)
- 30–59 years old: State Farm ($409 per year)
- 60+ years old: State Farm ($391 per year)
The cheapest liability-only car insurance is typically the cheapest option available as it only covers the cost of damages or injuries other parties incur when you’re at fault. This type of policy may only meet the state minimum coverage requirements and can leave you on the hook for major losses.
Depending on how much car insurance you need, you may choose higher limits. Use the table below to view the cheapest companies and rates based on your age range and coverage limits.
State Farm: $409 per year
Nationally, the top choice for most drivers looking for cheap liability car insurance is State Farm. State Farm also offers add-on coverages, such as roadside assistance and rental car and/or travel reimbursement, for drivers who want more protection. Drivers can lower premium rates by taking advantage of savings opportunities like bundling, defensive driving, safe driving and anti-theft system discounts.
You can opt for a liability-only no down payment car insurance policy which is being offered by different companies.
Cheapest Liability-Only Car Insurance by State
The cost of car insurance policies can vary greatly since car insurance companies calculate rates differently between states. The cheapest option at a national level may not necessarily be the most affordable choice in your state. Additionally, there may also be regional insurance providers that are only available where you live.
Select your age range and state to see which company offers the cheapest state minimum coverage policy for you.
Cheapest Liability-Only Car Insurance by Age
Age is one of the most important considerations when determining the cost of car insurance. Insurers tend to charge higher premiums for teens, young drivers and seniors due to inexperience and/or risk.
For instance, the National Safety Council reports that 16–19-year-old drivers are only 3.5% of licensed drivers. However, 8.9% of drivers in car crashes fall within this age range. Drivers 65–74 and those 75 and older account for 6.9% and 3.4% of all crashes, respectively.
Use the table below to compare average rates by age range for different liability-only policies, including state minimum and increased coverage options.
Cheap Liability Car Insurance for High-Risk Drivers
Drivers with a clean record typically get lower car insurance rates compared to those who have a ticket, at-fault accident or DUI on record. Individuals with bad credit also tend to pay more for auto insurance.
- Cheapest for Drivers with a Ticket: State Farm — $480 per year
- Cheapest for Drivers with an At-Fault Accident: State Farm — $523 per year
- Cheapest for Drivers with a DUI: State Farm — $614 per year
- Cheapest for Drivers with Poor Credit: Nationwide — $621 per year
Cheapest Liability-Only Car Insurance for Drivers With a Ticket
The cheapest liability car insurance for drivers who have a ticket on their record may vary, depending on their age.
- 22–29 years old: State Farm ($571 per year)
- 30–59 years old: State Farm ($480 per year)
- 60+ years old: State Farm ($450 per year)
There are various factors to consider when searching for the cheapest car insurance after a ticket. Use the table below to see the most affordable options and coverage limits across ages.
Cheapest Liability-Only Car Insurance for Drivers With an Accident
An at-fault accident will likely increase the cost of your car insurance, even more than a speeding ticket, unless you have accident forgiveness coverage. Based on average rates, the top options for cheap car insurance for drivers after an accident are:
- 22–29 years old: State Farm ($623 per year)
- 30–59 years old: State Farm ($523 per year)
- 60+ years old: State Farm ($491 per year)
The table below provides information on the cheapest liability car insurance for different ages and coverage limits.
Accident forgiveness is an optional coverage you may be able to add to your auto policy. With it, your first at-fault accident won't cause your premium to increase. You must have a clean driving record to qualify for accident forgiveness coverage. With some companies, you pay for the coverage, and with others, such as GEICO, you may get it for free because of your driving record. — Mark Friedlander, Director, Corporate Communications, Insurance Information Institute
Cheapest Liability-Only Car Insurance for Drivers With a DUI
Driving under the influence typically causes a significant premium rate increase. For a liability-only policy, the cheapest car insurance companies for drivers with a DUI are:
- 22–29 years old: Progressive ($726 per year)
- 30–59 years old: State Farm ($614 per year)
- 60+ years old: State Farm ($572 per year)
Select your age and preferred coverage limits below to see the cheapest insurer for you.
Cheapest Liability-Only Car Insurance for Drivers With Poor Credit
Insurance companies also consider a driver’s credit history when calculating car insurance premiums in most states, excluding California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan. Typically, drivers with poor credit tend to pay more on auto insurance because insurers consider them a higher risk.
The cheapest company for state minimum liability-only coverage for drivers with poor credit is:
- 22–29 years old: Nationwide ($793 per year)
- 30–59 years old: Nationwide ($621 per year)
- 60+ years old: Nationwide ($601 per year)
Credit scores falling in the 300–579 range for FICO and 300–600 for VantageScore are considered poor.
Cheapest Liability-Only Car Insurance by Car Model
Another important factor that insurance companies consider when determining car insurance rates is the make and model of the car. For the average driver with an Acura MDX 2012, the cheapest state minimum coverage insurance is from State Farm at $395 per year on average.
You can also use this information when evaluating your auto insurance needs. For instance, new car models may require higher coverage limits than used cars. If you’re financing your vehicle through a loan, your lender will likely require full coverage car insurance. The same applies if you lease a vehicle.
Input your car make and model and model year to find the cheapest minimum coverage car insurance provider and rate for you.
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 $489 per year. That's $126 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 that increases liability limits and adds comprehensive and collision insurance.
Adding comprehensive and collision coverage creates a full coverage policy. It is the best option if you want additional financial protection. Full coverage includes liability, and comprehensive and collision provide other benefits: replacing or repairing your vehicle if it is damaged in an at-fault accident with a vehicle or collision with an object like a light pole or another event, such as fire, flood or animal damage. 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.
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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 may be more than your car is worth.
When to buy liability-only insurance:
Say your car insurance company charges you $500 a year for collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible. If an at-fault accident with another vehicle totals your car, you are effectively paying $1,500 that year for the insurance to cover replacing your vehicle, the sum of the cost of collision coverage and the deductible. If your car is worth less than $1,500, you’re paying more for the added coverage 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 market 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 coverage.
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 at-fault accident. For that, you’ll have to add comprehensive and collision coverage, creating a full coverage policy.
- 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 a 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 most cases, shopping online can also get you a policy on the same day.
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 (such as birthdate and driver's license number); and your current address, former addresses and the occupations of all the drivers on the policy.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Liability Car Insurance
On average, 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.
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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