Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and Cinncinati....

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Mar 28, 2022

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The Full Review

  • Liability insurance only covers property damage and bodily injuries of others if you cause an accident
  • Although liability insurance rates are the lowest, coverage doesn’t protect you, your passengers, or vehicle
  • Adding collision and comprehensive coverages increase rates by around $30 a month

Most states require at least a minimum amount of liability auto insurance. Although liability offers cheap car insurance rates, the coverage is low.

Liability insurance helps pay for bodily injuries and property damage if you cause an accident. However, it lacks coverage for you, your passengers, and your vehicle.

Liability-only coverage may be a good fit for drivers with inexpensive vehicles and who can afford to pay for repairs and replacement vehicles themselves.

However, drivers with a loan or lease probably won’t be able to choose liability-only coverage. Lenders typically require full coverage car insurance.

Keep reading to learn about cheap liability insurance and if it provides the right coverage for you.

What is liability auto insurance?

Almost every state requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of auto insurance to drive legally. However, each state creates its own laws and coverage requirements.

In general, liability coverage is the minimum amount of coverage allowed by states that require auto insurance. However, many states also require personal injury protection and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as part of minimum coverage.

Liability insurance doesn’t offer protection for damages to your vehicle or bodily injuries to you and your passengers. It only covers damages you inflict on others.

Many drivers choose liability coverage simply based on costs. However, while liability auto insurance is the cheapest, coverage is also limited. Most experts recommend full coverage car insurance for the most coverage.

What is considered full coverage auto insurance? Full coverage car insurance typically includes liability, collision, comprehensive, and any other coverage required by your state, such as medical payments, personal injury protection, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Collision pays for damage to your vehicle from an accident. On the other hand, comprehensive pays for damages unrelated to an accident, including fire, theft, vandalism, falling debris, and acts of nature like hail or tornados.

Full coverage offers the most protection and reduces your out-of-pocket costs.

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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What states have cheap liability insurance?

Each state sets its own rules and has different auto insurance rates. While other factors — such as your age and driving record— are significant, where you live also plays a part in your rates.

This table shows average liability auto insurance rates by state. See how your state stacks up.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rate for Liability Coverage By State
StateAverage Annual Rate for Liability Coverage
District of Columbia$628.09
New Hampshire$647.07
New Jersey$393.24
New Mexico$865.55
New York$462.21
North Carolina$784.98
North Dakota$357.59
Rhode Island$495.02
South Carolina$720.06
South Dakota$497.50
West Virginia$501.44
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Liability coverage averages $40 a month, but rates vary by state and driver. While Ohio, Florida, and Kansas offer the cheapest liability rates, Georgia, New Mexico, and North Carolina have the highest rates.

Remember, liability coverage doesn’t protect you, your passengers, or your vehicle. Consider adding full coverage car insurance for the most protection. Shop around to find the cheapest full coverage car insurance.

Who should consider liability auto insurance?

Although liability-only coverage comes with risks since you’re not protected, sometimes it makes sense.

Consider liability auto insurance if:

  • You don’t have a car loan or lease. If you have a car loan or lease, your lender mandates what coverage you need. Most lenders require full coverage auto insurance to protect their investment.
  • Your car isn’t worth much money. New and expensive cars are also costly to repair or replace. Also, custom vehicles can be expensive to repair.
  • You can afford to pay for repairs or a replacement vehicle yourself. Full coverage may be cheaper if you don’t have enough savings to cover repairs and replacement costs.

If the cost of full coverage plus your deductible is more than your car is worth, consider liability-only coverage. Carefully consider whether it’s cheaper to maintain full coverage car insurance than to pay out of pocket for repairs or a replacement vehicle.

How can you save money on auto insurance?

Regardless of the auto insurance coverage you choose, there are simple ways to save money.

Add car insurance discounts for significant savings. Most auto insurance companies offer a variety of discounts based on the driver, policy, and the car’s safety features. Save the most by bundling all the discounts available to you.

This table shows car insurance discounts from top companies. The savings amount is listed if available.

Auto Insurance Discounts By Company
Auto Insurance DiscountsAllstate (%)American Family (%)Farmers (%)GEICO (%)Liberty Mutual (%)Nationwide (%)Progressive (%)State Farm (%)Travelers (%)USAA (%)
Adaptive Cruise ControlN/AN/AN/AN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Adaptive HeadlightsN/AN/AxN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Anti-Lock Brakesxxx555x5xx
Claim Freexxx26x10x152312
Continuous CoveragexxxxN/AN/AxN/A15N/A
Daytime Running Lightsxxx155xN/Axx
Defensive Driverxxxx105105103
Distant StudentxxxxN/A10xx7x
Driver's Edxxxx10N/A101583
Driving Device/AppxxN/Ax30402050305
Early SigningxxxxN/A8xN/A1012
Electronic Stability ControlxxxN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Emergency DeploymentN/AN/AN/A25N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Engaged CoupleN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Family LegacyN/AxN/AxN/AN/AxN/AN/A10
Family PlanN/AxxN/AN/A25N/AN/AN/AN/A
Farm VehiclexN/AxxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Federal EmployeeN/AN/Ax810N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Forward Collision WarningN/AN/AN/AN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Full PaymentN/Axxx$5N/AxN/A7.5N/A
Further EducationN/AN/AN/Ax1015N/AN/AxN/A
Good CreditxxN/AN/AN/AxxxN/AN/A
Good Studentxxx1522.510x2583
Green VehiclexN/A5N/A10N/AN/AN/A10N/A
Lane Departure WarningN/AN/AN/AN/AxxxN/AN/AN/A
Life InsurancexN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/A
Low Mileagexxxxxxx30xx
Military GaragingN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15
Multiple DriversN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Multiple Policies1029x102010121713x
Multiple Vehiclesxxx25102010208x
New Customer/New PlanN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
New GraduateN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Newer VehiclexN/AxxN/Axx401012
Newly LicensedN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Occasional OperatorN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax
On-Time PaymentsxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15N/A
Online ShopperN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A7N/AN/AN/A
Paperless DocumentsxxxN/AN/A5$50N/AN/AN/A
Paperless/Auto BillingxxxN/Ax$30x$233
Passive Restraintxxx40x20x40xx
Recent RetireesN/AN/AN/AN/A4N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Roadside AssistanceN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Safe DriverN/AN/Ax15N/A3531152312
Seat Belt UseN/AN/AN/A15N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Senior DriverxN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax
Stable ResidenceN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AxxN/AN/AN/A
Students & AlumniN/AxN/Ax107N/AN/AN/AN/A
Switching ProviderN/AxxN/A10N/AxN/AN/AN/A
Utility VehiclexN/AxxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Vehicle Recoveryxxx153525x5xx
VIN EtchingN/AN/AxN/A5xxN/Axx
Young DriverN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AxN/AN/A$75

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While you can’t change some things like your age, make changes where you can to reduce auto insurance rates. For example, keep your driving record clean and raise your credit score to get lower car insurance rates.

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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Cheap Liability Insurance: The Bottom Line

Liability insurance is the cheapest form of car insurance and the minimum amount of coverage required by most states. However, liability coverage only extends to the bodily injuries and property damage to others.

Liability rates vary by state and driver but average $40 a month. While low rates are attractive, remember that coverage is also severely limited.

Add full coverage car insurance to protect you and your vehicle best.  Collision and comprehensive insurance cover damage to your car from an accident, fire, theft, vandalism, and acts of nature, such as hail, floods, and tornadoes.

Whether you choose liability or full coverage car insurance, add discounts to lower rates. In addition, keep a clean driving record and raise your credit score to see lower rates.

Shop around to find the cheapest car insurance available to you. Compare rates and discounts from multiple companies to find the best coverage with the lowest rates.