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Most Leniant U.S. States When it Comes to Auto Insurance

Let’s be real. Adulthood is expensive. Way more expensive than you thought it would be. Between rent, car payments, groceries, and taxes, you barely have any money left. You may be trying to figure out where you can cut corners to save yourself some dough, but it seems everything has a minimum payment or requirement.

When it comes to minimum requirements, you don’t want to mess around, especially when it comes to auto insurance. Not all states are super strict, though. Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need liability, uninsured motorist, medical, and personal injury coverage in every state. There is no national minimum requirement; each state mandates their own minimum. If you’re wondering where you may be able to skate by with fewer minimum coverages required, here are some of the most lenient U.S. States:

New Hampshire

The Granite State is widely known for being lenient with their minimum auto insurance requirements, provided individuals assume and can prove financial responsibility. While it doesn’t have the cheapest of all U.S. states (though it’s close, ranking 5th with an average car insurance payment of $941 for the year of 2016), New Hampshire is one of only two states that take this approach to car insurance. The state also rewards those who elect to purchase auto insrance coverage with lower premiums.


Old Dominion is similar to New Hampshire, in that it only requires that drivers assume financial responsibility and provide coverage for uninsured motorists. Virginia’s $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee, which expires yearly and must be renewed with the vehicle’s annual registration, gives car owners the option of opting not to insure their vehicles. This is certainly a risky choice to make, so many drivers opt to insure their cars, meeting the minimum coverage requirements of $25,000 for the injury or death of one person, $50,000 for the injury or death of two or more people, and $20,000 for property damage.


The Badger State is not only flexible, only requiring liability insurance coverage with minimum limits of $25,000 for the injury or death of one person, $50,000 for the injury or death of two or more people, and $10,000 for property damage, and uninsured motorist with the same minimum coverages, but also has an exceptionally low average car insurance payment ($912 in 2016, the 3rd lowest in USA). Plus, with beautiful landscapes and wide open roads, Wisconsin is one of the safer states to be driving in.


The Magnolia State, like 48 other states and the District of Columbia, requires drivers to have liability auto insurance coverage. With minimum limits of $25,000 for the injury or death of one person, $50,000 for the injury or death of two or more people, and $25,000 for property damage, and no requisite Uninsured Motorist coverage, Mississippi keeps the Southern laid-back attitude going by allowing drivers the option to post a bond or make a cash or security deposit equal to the minimum coverage amount, according to Plus, Mississippi’s annual average auto insurance payment of $1,277 is right below the national average.


The Buckeye State is more restrictive than other states on our list, but is still quite lenient. With a high percentage of uninsured drivers despite a legal requisite for insurance, you may get into some trouble if you get in an accident. With only Bodily Injury and Property Damage liability coverage required, you may also want to protect yourself with optional Uninsured Motorist coverage. Since the average auto insurance payment in Ohio (with an average annual rate of $900 in 2016) is less than all other states but Maine, you’ll have a little extra cash to better protect yourself.

The next two states are lenient in their requirements, but have a relatively high average car insurance payments, so don’t look here for savings.


The Golden State may have some of the most lenient coverage requirements, demanding only liability and not medical or uninsured motorist coverage, but the average yearly auto insurance premium of $1,752, does not seem to reflect that. In addition to the high insurance premiums, California can be a risky state to drive in, so you may want to bulk up on your coverage to avoid hefty costs in the long-run.


The Sunshine State is one of the most dangerous states in the U.S. to drive in, but really lenient on liability coverage. In addition to Liability, Medical and Personal Injury Coverage also required. Uninsured Motorist coverage, however, is not. With 23.8 percent of Florida drivers on the road as of 2012 being uninsured, you may want to purchase the optional Uninsured Motorist coverage, too. With an average annual insurance premium of $1,654, your insurance will cost you.

While you may not be moving today, the above states are definitely good options to keep in mind if you’re looking to make a big move in the future and want to find ways to save or at least reduce the amount of coverage required of you when you’re on the road.

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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The content on is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not financial advice and we are not certified financial advisors. strives to keep its information accurate and up to date, but it may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with companies listed on our site. We may receive compensation for the placement of sponsored products or services. We work hard to write authentic and accurate articles.