How to Calculate How Much Car Insurance You Need to Cover Your Total Assets

When buying car insurance, make sure to purchase enough to cover your assets, such as your car and any cars involved in an accident you cause.
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Before purchasing car insurance, make sure you know how much and what type of coverage to buy to cover the cost of your car. In addition, consider protecting your other assets, such as your house, retirement accounts, bank accounts and other assets from litigation if you cause a car accident.
If you possess few actual assets, then you can probably get away with having state minimums when it comes to liability and the required comprehensive and collision coverage when it comes to lender requirements. On the other hand, if you possess many personal assets, then you should seriously consider purchasing more insurance than you think you might need in order to keep a driver from suing you and seizing your assets if they take you to court.
The following information covers how much of each type of car insurance coverage you need to purchase depending on the worth of your total assets. Part 1 discusses liability coverage and Part 2 looks at comprehensive, collision, and uninsured motorist coverage.

Part 1 of 2: Liability coverage

Liability coverage protects you if you cause an accident with your vehicle. This type of coverage covers both property damage and bodily injury, with each state setting a minimum amount that you must carry, as detailed in this chart from ValuePenguin:
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Coverage Requirements By State
State Body Injury Liability Per Person / Bodily Injury Liability Per Accident / Property Damage Coverage Requirements
Alabama $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
Alaska $50,000 / 100,000 / 25,000
Arizona $15,000 / 30,000 / 10,000
Arkansas $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
California $15,000 / 30,000 / 5,000
Colorado $25,000 / 40,000 / 10,000
Connecticut $20,000 / 40,000 / 10,000
Delaware $15,000 / 30,000 / 10,000
District of Columbia $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
Florida $10,000 / 20,000 / 10,000
Georgia $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
Hawaii $20,000 / 40,000 / 10,000
Idaho $25,000 / 50,000 / 15,000
Illinois $20,000 / 40,000 / 15,000
Indiana $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
Iowa $20,000 / 40,000 / 15,000
Kansas $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
Kentucky $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
Louisiana $15,000 / 30,000 / 25,000
Maine $15,000 / 30,000 / 10,000
Maryland $30,000 / 60,000 / 15,000
Massachusetts $30,000 / 60,000 / 15,000
Michigan $20,000 / 40,000 / 10,000
Minnesota $20,000 / 40,000 / 10,000
Mississippi $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
Missouri $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
Montana $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
Nebraska $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
Nevada $15,000 / 30,000 / 5,000
New Hampshire $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
New Jersey $15,000 / 30,000 / 5,000
New Mexico $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
New York $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
North Carolina $30,000 / 60,000 / 25,000
North Dakota $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
Ohio $12,500 / 25,000 / 7,500
Oklahoma $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
Oregon $25,000 / 50,000 / 20,000
Pennsylvania $15,000 / 30,000 / 5,000
Rhode Island $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
South Carolina $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
South Dakota $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
Tennessee $25,000 / 50,000 / 15,000
Texas $30,000 / 60,000 / 25,000
Utah $25,000 / 65,000 / 15,000
Vermont $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
Virginia $25,000 / 50,000 / 20,000
Washington $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
West Virginia $25,000 / 50,000 / 25,000
Wisconsin $25,000 / 50,000 / 10,000
Wyoming $25,000 / 50,000 / 20,000
The above represents the minimum coverage amount you need to carry by state, which should adequately cover you if you don’t have many assets. When trying to determine how much additional insurance above the minimum you might need to cover your assets, go by the following rules of thumb, according to carinsurance.com:
  • $50,000/100,000/50,000: Financial experts recommend this as the basic level of coverage as it covers drivers who have an older car and few assets.
  • $100,000/300,000/100,000: This level of coverage serves as the recommended amount by financial experts because it provides an adequate coverage level for middle-income earners who have an average level of savings in their bank account. This amount costs, on average, about $96 more a year compared to the basic level of recommended coverage.
  • $250,000/500,000/100,000: This level of coverage serves as the recommended amount for drivers who own an expensive home or who have a personal worth in the millions of dollars. In addition, many financial experts recommend that drivers with this level of coverage also opt for an umbrella liability policy to further protect their assets.

Part 2 of 2: How much car insurance do you need? Comprehensive, collision, and uninsured motorist coverage

When it comes to protecting your own property from damage during an accident, whether by another vehicle or other non-accident cause, comprehensive and collision coverage should provide adequate protection. In addition, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage provide coverage even if the other driver has no insurance, which represents a worthwhile investment.
  • Comprehensive and collision coverage: Comprehensive coverage insures your car against damage from extreme weather, natural disaster, act of nature, theft, vandalism, and hitting an animal. Collision coverage covers your car if you have an accident, hit an object, or roll the car over.
When purchasing comprehensive and collision coverage, lenders require you to carry certain levels of coverage that allow you to repair or replace your car if needed. Once you pay your car off, you must decide whether to keep comprehensive and collision coverage or not. Cars worth $3,000 or less, or if you can afford to repair or replace you car, usually do not require comprehensive or collision coverage.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage covers you if another at-fault driver does not have or has inadequate liability coverage. In addition, some states actually require drivers to buy uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage, as shown in this table from Insure.com:
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Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist State Minimums
State Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Limits
Alabama Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Alaska Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Arizona Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Arkansas Not required; may reject in writing N/A
California Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Colorado Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Connecticut UM/UIM $20,000/40,000
Delaware Not required; may reject in writing N/A
District of Columbia UM $25,000/50,000
Florida Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Georgia Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Hawaii Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Idaho Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Illinois UM $25,000/50,000
Indiana Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Iowa Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Kansas UM/UIM $25,000/50,000
Kentucky Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Louisiana Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Maine UM/UIM $50,000/100,000
Maryland UM/UIM $30,000/60,000
Massachusetts UM/UIM $20,000/40,000
Michigan Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Minnesota UM/UIM $25,000/50,000
Mississippi Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Missouri UM $25,000/50,000
Montana Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Nebraska UM/UIM $25,000/50,000
Nevada Not required; may reject in writing N/A
New Hampshire UM $25,000/50,000
New Jersey UM/UIM $15,000/30,000
New Mexico Not required; may reject in writing N/A
New York UM $25,000/50,000
North Carolina UM $30,000/60,000
North Dakota UM/UIM $25,000/60,000
Ohio Not Required N/A
Oklahoma Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Oregon UM $25,000/50,000
Pennsylvania Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Rhode Island Not required; may reject in writing N/A
South Carolina UM $25,000/50,000
South Dakota UM/UIM $25,000/50,000
Tennessee Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Texas Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Utah Not required; may reject in writing N/A
Vermont UM/UIM $50,000/100,000
Virginia UM/UIM $25,000/50,000
Washington Not required; may reject in writing N/A
West Virginia UM $25,000/50,000
Wisconsin UM $25,000/50,000
Wyoming Not required; may reject in writing N/A
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