You’ve been injured in a car accident. You’ve suffered a serious injury. In all likelihood, the amount of money you will collect from the negligent party will depend on the amount of liability insurance that person carried on his or her vehicle. This is what is known as the “insurance limit” or “policy limit.” Each state sets it own mandatory policy limits for the operation of a motor vehicle within the state.
If you are going to be involved in a serious car accident, you want it to be in one of those states that have high minimum bodily injury coverages. You want a state like Alaska, Maine, or Wisconsin. The minimum bodily injury coverage in those states is $50,000 per person. Whatever you do, you do not want that accident to be in the state of Florida. Florida is the only state without a mandatory minimum bodily injury coverage requirement! The state does require mandatory PIP insurance of $10,000 (to pay medical bills) and property damage insurance also for $10.000 (most Floridians, however, do carry at least $10,000 of bodily injury coverage on their vehicle.)
As a personal injury lawyer, I’ve seen too many cases involving horrific personal injury where the negligent driver carried minimum insurance coverage. The truth is those drivers carrying the minimum coverage do not have much in assets they need to protect. For the most part, they are judgment proof.
Below is a list of all states with their corresponding minimum car insurance limits. The numbers denote the specific minimum limits for bodily injury and property damage. For example, Alaska’s 50/100/25 policy limit means coverage up to $50,000 per individual; $100,000 for all persons injured; and up to $25,000 for property damage.
New Hampshire 25/50/25
New Jersey 15/30/5
New Mexico 25/50/10
New York 25/50/10
North Carolina 30/60/25
North Dakota 25/50/25
Rhode Island 25/50/25
South Carolina 25/50/25
South Dakota 25/50/25
West Virginia 20/40/10
If you were to take an accident victim with a serious injury, let’s say three fractured ribs, and situated that accident in two different states, let’s say Alaska and Florida, you would get two completely different settlement results. It doesn’t seem right or just, but minimum car insurance coverages are set by the states, not the federal government. As I like to say, “The only thing in life that’s fair is the weather.”
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements by State
This information was verified with each state’s insurance commission. In some cases, the limits and requirements may have recently changed. Check with each particular state.
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