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How to find the best liability car insurance

If you own a registered vehicle, car insurance is a legal requirement in most states. At a minimum, drivers must carry personal liability insurance, which covers another driver’s losses when you cause an accident. In addition, each state has its own liability car insurance coverage requirements for damages per person and per accident.

Because liability insurance is often mandated, it’s important to choose the best liability car insurance policy. It’s worth shopping around and getting quotes from multiple providers to find the best policy from a company that fits your unique needs. Here’s what you need to know about getting the best car liability insurance.

Written by Elizabeth Rivelli

Reviewed by Alyssa DiCrasto

Last updated: October 04, 2022

What does liability coverage mean for auto insurance?

Personal liability insurance provides coverage for your financial responsibilities when you cause an accident. Here’s what is covered under a basic liability insurance policy:

  • Bodily injury liability: If you cause an accident and the other driver gets injured, your bodily injury liability insurance will pay for their medical expenses and rehabilitation costs. If you get sued, it will also help cover your legal fees.
  • Property damage liability: If you hit another driver and their vehicle gets damaged, or if you damage private property, like a fence or storefront, property damage liability insurance will help cover the cost of repairs, plus your legal expenses if you get sued.

Like all types of car insurance, liability insurance has a policy limit, which is the amount your insurance company will pay for a claim. There’s a minimum amount of coverage you are required to carry per your state’s laws, but there’s no guarantee that the minimum coverage limit will be sufficient to cover all costs if you get into an accident.

If you cause an accident and the other driver’s losses exceed your liability policy limit, you could be responsible for paying the difference out-of-pocket. Because of that, most insurance agents advise drivers to purchase more coverage than what’s required by the state for more financial protection.

What is not covered in liability car insurance?

Liability insurance is a very specific type of coverage. It only applies when you cause an accident, and the other driver gets injured or their vehicle or property is damaged. Liability insurance provides no coverage for your own medical costs or vehicle damages.

Here are some other things that liability insurance does not cover:

  • Your vehicle’s repairs after an accident you cause
  • Your medical expenses if you get injured in a crash
  • Your vehicle’s maintenance
  • Rental cars
  • Weather-related vehicle damage
  • Animal-related vehicle damage
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Hit and runs

How much does liability insurance cost?

In the U.S., the average cost of liability insurance is $650 per year, according to data from the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I). However, the cost of liability insurance is different for every driver. Some of the unique factors that impact the price of your policy include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Credit score
  • Driving record
  • Insurance claim history
  • Make and model of your vehicle
  • Coverage limits
  • Car insurance company

In addition to these factors, your state has a big impact on your liability insurance premium. For example, a driver in Rhode Island pays $918 per year on average for liability coverage, whereas the same driver only pays $350 per year on average in Iowa.

To find the most affordable personal liability insurance policy for your situation, you should shop around and compare quotes from a few providers. You can also re-shop for liability insurance before your policy renews or after a claim to see if you can find a cheaper rate elsewhere.

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What is the difference between collision and liability?

Liability insurance and collision insurance are both well-known car insurance policies, but they differ in a number of ways.

Collision insurance pays for your own vehicle repairs after an accident that you cause, whereas liability insurance only applies to the other driver’s losses when you are responsible for a crash. Collision insurance is also optional in most states, whereas liability insurance is legally required in most states that mandate car insurance.

Additionally, collision insurance has a deductible which you must pay if you have a claim. The deductible is a fixed amount of money that gets subtracted from your claim payout. With liability insurance, there’s usually no deductible because you aren’t collecting money from the insurance company.

In terms of cost, collision insurance is much cheaper than liability insurance. The average cost of collision insurance in the U.S. is $381 annually, per Triple-I, compared to $650 for liability insurance. However, collision insurance costs differ based on factors like your state, age, gender and accident history.

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Is liability coverage worth it?

Liability insurance is well worth the cost. When you cause an accident, liability insurance pays for the other driver’s expenses, which you are responsible for. Without liability insurance, you would have to compensate the other driver for their losses in full, which could be $100,000 in medical expenses or $15,000 in vehicle repairs.

Even if you consider yourself to be a safe driver, you never know when an accident can happen. Having liability insurance provides some peace of mind knowing that you’re financially protected if you cause an accident that results in bodily injury or property damage to the other party.

Find the best car insurance company that sells liability insurance by taking our short quiz. Based on your responses, you’ll get matched with a provider in your area that meets your coverage needs. From there, you can get a quote and purchase a liability policy.