If you’re buying car insurance for the first time, you’re probably wondering, “How much car insurance do I need?” The answer depends on what state you’re in.
No matter where in the U.S. you live, if you drive on public roads, you need car insurance.
This isn’t quite true; not every state requires auto insurance, but most do. The only exceptions are New Hampshire and Virginia.
While Virginia and New Hampshire don’t require auto insurance, “every state requires motor vehicle operations to provide proof of financial responsibility,” Hamill said.
For example, in Virginia, drivers without insurance must pay a $500 “uninsured motor vehicle fee” to the DMV7. In New Hampshire, you must demonstrate that you can meet these “motor vehicle financial responsibility requirements.”
- Bodily injury liability per person: $25,000
- Bodily injury liability per accident: $50,000
- Property damage liability per accident: $25,000
You’ll have to deposit this money or securities and then give a receipt to the state treasurer or, for securities, purchase them from a savings bank or from your trust fund, if you have one.8 But for most people, this isn’t an option, and buying auto insurance will be more affordable.
Even though not paying auto insurance premiums is appealing, keep in mind that you’ll still be responsible for bodily injuries and property damage, both to your vehicle and to the other parties, in accidents in which you are at fault. You’ll also be responsible for any damages outside of your control, from natural disasters to vandalism.
You may not get in legal trouble for driving without insurance in these two states, but it’s a good idea to get insurance anyway and avoid financial obligations you can’t afford.