A liability-only auto insurance policy is the cheapest coverage you can buy. However, it usually only provides the minimum coverage required by state law. In this article, we at the Guides Auto Team will show you which large providers offer the cheapest liability car insurance on average. We’ll also explore average liability insurance costs by state and how liability coverage stacks up against full-coverage insurance.
When you’re looking for cheap auto insurance, we recommend getting quotes from the best car insurance companies in the industry. It helps to compare car insurance quotes to find the best rates possible.
Cheapest Liability Car Insurance
If you want cheap car insurance, you may want to consider purchasing liability-only coverage that matches your state’s minimum car insurance requirements.
We researched the cheapest car insurance companies and the states that tend to have the most affordable liability insurance. The estimates in the sections below are based on a married 35-year-old driver with good credit and a clean driving record.
Which Companies Offer the Cheapest Liability Car Insurance?
Based on our research, USAA typically offers the cheapest liability coverage on average, at $28 per month or $333 per year. The next cheapest liability car insurance often comes from Auto-Owners Insurance, which charges an average of $29 per month or $349 per year.
*USAA is only available to active-duty military members, veterans and members of their immediate families.
Cheapest Liability Car Insurance by State
According to our estimates, the state with the cheapest liability auto insurance is Vermont. The average cost of a liability-only policy in the Green Mountain State is typically $23 per month or $282 per year. Michigan has the most expensive liability insurance, with rates that tend to average $133 per month or $1,604 per year.
What Is Liability Car Insurance?
Liability car insurance covers the cost of property damage and personal injuries to another party if you’re found to be at fault for a car accident. Your insurance provider pays out the cost of repairs for someone else’s vehicle or the cost of medical bills if the other party is injured.
Each state sets its own legally required minimum coverage, which usually includes some form of liability insurance. Virginia and New Hampshire are the only exceptions, as neither state requires motorists to have any car insurance.
Liability Car Insurance Coverage
Coverage amounts for liability insurance are indicated by three numbers. Each number represents one kind of the following types of liability coverage:
- Bodily injury liability (BI) per person: This covers medical bills, lost wages and pain-and-suffering expenses.
- Bodily injury liability per accident: This is the maximum amount of bodily injury expenses the insurance company will pay out per accident.
- Property damage liability (PD) per accident: This covers vehicle and other property damage, as well as any cleanup costs associated with the accident. If you’re sued, this also helps pay for court costs.
An example liability insurance policy could be 25/50/25, which would mean you’d have $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident and $25,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident.
What Does Liability Car Insurance Not Cover?
Liability car insurance doesn’t cover damages to your vehicle or costs related to your injuries. Collision insurance covers the cost of repairs to your car. Medical payments coverage (MedPay) or personal injury protection (PIP insurance) covers your medical bills.
If you aren’t deemed at fault for the accident, you and your insurance company won’t be responsible for the other person’s property damage or injuries.
Liability Car Insurance vs. Full-coverage Car Insurance
A full-coverage policy typically includes state-required liability limits as well as collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. Some full-coverage policies may also include uninsured motorist coverage (UM) since some states require it.
Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates
When calculating auto insurance quotes, insurance companies take a look at several factors to estimate what you’ll pay.
Here are some items that have major influence on your car insurance rates:
- Location: Drivers in areas with high rates of theft, vandalism and car accidents tend to pay more for car insurance.
- Age: Insurers consider young drivers a higher risk than drivers with more experience, which is why teen drivers’ insurance usually costs more.
- Driving record: If you have a good driving history, you’ll likely pay less for insurance. Drivers with speeding tickets or DUI convictions often pay much more for coverage.
- Credit history: Insurance providers view drivers with higher credit scores as less likely to file claims than those with poor credit, so drivers with good credit pay lower insurance premiums in most states.
- Gender: Women tend to get into fewer accidents and have fewer traffic violations than men, so they often pay less for coverage in most states.
- Marital status: Married drivers have an easier time finding low-cost auto insurance than single drivers because they’re considered safer drivers and more financially stable.
- Vehicle details: Insurers charge higher rates for cars that are more expensive, cost more to repair after accidents and are more likely to be stolen. A vehicle’s safety record also plays a part in determining insurance costs.
- Coverage options: Your car insurance rates are affected by the type of car insurance you get, the amount of coverage you purchase and the deductible you select.
To find more affordable car insurance, you can work to raise your credit score and avoid traffic violations. We also recommend asking your provider about any available car insurance discounts. Some providers offer discounts to good drivers or to policyholders who bundle their car insurance with homeowners or renters insurance.
Cheapest Liability Car Insurance: Conclusion
The cheapest liability car insurance is usually the minimum coverage level your state requires for you to legally drive. Each state sets its own requirements, so the cost of liability-only insurance varies from state to state.
Cheapest Liability Car Insurance: Recommended Providers
If you plan to buy a liability-only car insurance policy, we recommend looking at policies offered by USAA and Erie Insurance.
USAA: Low Rates for Military
From researching the top insurance companies in the country, we found that USAA consistently offers some of the lowest car insurance rates available. In addition to having the cheapest liability coverage on average, USAA offers a wide range of coverage options that include accident forgiveness and classic car insurance.
USAA also holds an A++ rating from AM Best as well as an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau, which showcases its financial strength and credibility as a business. Keep in mind that USAA coverage is only available to active-duty members of the military, veterans and their immediate family members.
Read more: USAA insurance review
Compare: USAA vs. Geico
Erie Insurance: Affordable for Basic Coverage
If you live in Washington, D.C., or any of the 12 states Erie serves, it may be the right choice for cheap car insurance. The company is known for its affordable rates, charging an average of 28% less for both liability coverage and full coverage than the national average.
In addition to cheap liability coverage, Erie offers a slate of full-coverage options and many optional add-ons. The provider holds an A+ financial strength rating from AM Best and an A+ from the BBB.
Read more: Erie Insurance review
Cheapest Liability Car Insurance: FAQ
Below are frequently asked questions about the cheapest liability car insurance.
Because consumers rely on us to provide objective and accurate information, we created a comprehensive rating system to formulate our rankings of the best car insurance companies. We collected data on dozens of auto insurance providers to grade the companies on a wide range of ranking factors. The end result was an overall rating for each provider, with the insurers that scored the most points topping the list.
Here are the factors our ratings take into account:
- Cost (30% of total score): Auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services and discount opportunities were both taken into consideration.
- Coverage (30% of total score): Companies that offer a variety of choices for insurance coverage are more likely to meet consumer needs.
- Reputation (15% of total score): Our research team considered market share, ratings from industry experts and years in business when giving this score.
- Availability (10% of total score): Auto insurance companies with greater state availability and few eligibility requirements scored highest in this category.
- Customer Experience (15% of total score): This score is based on volume of complaints reported by the NAIC and customer satisfaction ratings reported by J.D. Power. We also considered the responsiveness, friendliness and helpfulness of each insurance company’s customer service team based on our own shopper analysis.
*Data accurate at time of publication.