Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Nov 7, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • Minimum state insurance requirements provide less than what you might need for coverage
  • Getting the right car insurance isn’t simple; there are multiple things you need to consider
  • Supplemental coverage options exist to make sure you are fully covered
  • Car insurance discounts and car insurance factors can either help or hurt your car insurance rate

Every driver is required to have car insurance, but finding the right coverage can be very confusing.

Every state has different requirements, different types of auto insurance cover different things, and premiums vary depending on where you live, the car you drive, and more.

When it comes to finding the best car insurance rates, you need to understand what the basic requirements mean.

It’s a fact that consumers who spend time learning about car insurance always get better rates than those who just sign up with the first company to provide a quote.

Online car insurance comparison will be your most straightforward way to get the best car insurance rates, but for now, let’s learn some basics.

But if you’d like to go ahead and start comparison shopping, enter your ZIP code above and find better and more affordable car insurance today!

Table of Contents

How much car insurance is required by law?

Every state has different requirements. You can learn more about state minimum car insurance requirements here.

Take note that most state requirements are far less than what most drivers should need and are in place only to provide some kind of protection based on minor accident damage.

Once you learn more about the types of coverage, google items like “Florida state car insurance requirements” and look for your official state department page for the most current requirements.

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What do numbers like 15/50/15 mean?

These are three main categories of liability car insurance coverage, and these numbers reflect the amount of insurance coverage per item. In order, they always go like this:

  • Amount of bodily injury (liability) coverage per person for an accident
  • Total amount of coverage for ALL persons injured in a car accident
  • Amount of coverage for property damage

So, in this example 15/50/15 would be:

  • $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person for an accident
  • $50,000 total coverage for ALL persons injured in a car accident
  • $15,000 in coverage for property damage

Any damages beyond these limits will fall outside of your insurance company’s responsibility, ultimately subjecting you to litigation and/or personal liability.

Most state minimum requirements are so low that most people opt for numbers which meet or exceed $100,000 for each category above.

Other Questions to Consider

1. Do part-time drivers need car insurance?

Yes, they do.

Even though a student or part-time driver can be simply added to an existing policy, they still need to be driving with valid insurance.

It’s common for car insurance policies to cover any driver operating a vehicle under the vehicle owner’s policy as long as the use is limited (such as giving your friend keys to go the store).

However, strict limitations exist, and before handing over the keys to anyone – including family members – always contact your car insurance company to understand who is automatically covered.

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2. Is no-fault car insurance cheaper?

No-fault is not a form of car insurance. It’s simply a law designed to avoid designation of blame where each parties respective car insurance company will pay for damages.

You cannot buy a no-fault car insurance policy.

3. Can I get car insurance with bad credit?

Yes, but since most car insurance companies use credit as a qualifying factor, you will most likely have higher rates.

Studies show that drivers with bad credit pose a higher risk to file a future claim, and sometimes (depending on your credit score and the particular company), you may be even denied coverage or quoted with much higher car insurance rates than you expected.

Anyone with bad credit should always compare car insurance companies online as many providers exist who specialize and provide fair premiums for drivers with bad credit.

Making Sure You Have Enough Coverage

Remember that most state minimum requirements are much lower than you should have, and few states require comprehensive car insurance which provides insurance to protect damages to your vehicle. You really need to understand this —

Most states require drivers to obtain car insurance to protect other people but rarely require car insurance to cover your own vehicle.

Instead, many drivers opt for additional types of coverage in addition to expanded policy limits beyond state requirements. Some of the most common types of car insurance include:

  • Comprehensive
  • GAP insurance
  • Collision
  • Rental car coverage

You can learn about the different types of car insurance coverage here.

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How to Get the Lowest Car Insurance Rates

There are many ways to get lower insurance rates including asking about car insurance discounts, attending approved driver education courses, opting for a low-mileage policy, and more.

But the most influential three items will be:

  • The type of vehicle insured
  • Your driving record
  • Your credit history

These three items make up a large portion of your car insurance rates, so always pay particular attention to them.

Want to get better and more affordable car insurance rates? Enter your ZIP code below and compare at least three to four policies today!

References:

  1. https://wallethub.com/edu/types-of-car-insurance/9636/
  2. https://www.moneycrashers.com/factors-affect-car-insurance-rates/
  3. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/automobile-liability-insurance.asp
  4. http://www.benchmark-ins.com/adding-driver-affect-car-insurance
  5. https://www.iii.org/article/background-on-no-fault-auto-insurance
  6. https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/car-insurance/credit-scores-affect-auto-insurance-rates/index.htm