How Much Car Insurance Coverage Do I Need?

The amount of car insurance coverage you need depends on your unique financial situation. Every household needs an amount of insurance coverage to protect them against financial liability in case of an at-fault accident, which varies depending upon the household’s total assets.

Car insurance is a necessary expense for anyone who owns a vehicle. It protects you financially and helps to ensure you can get back on the road as soon as possible (assuming you have the right coverage).

Key Takeaways
The amount of car insurance coverage you need depends on several factors, such as your state’s minimum requirements, your vehicle’s value, and your personal assets.
Liability coverage is mandatory in most states and provides protection in case you cause an accident that results in property damage or bodily injury to others.
Collision and comprehensive coverage can help pay for damage to your vehicle, but they are not always necessary, especially for older cars with low values.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can provide added protection in case you are involved in an accident with someone who has insufficient insurance coverage.
Consider purchasing umbrella insurance to provide additional liability coverage above and beyond your standard car insurance policy.
Consult with an insurance agent or broker to evaluate your specific needs and determine the appropriate amount of coverage for your situation.

I’m a licensed insurance agent who often helps families and individuals create a car insurance coverage plan.

How Much Car Insurance Coverage Do I Need

In this article, we’ll explore the various factors that can impact your coverage needs and provide tips for determining the right amount of protection for your situation.

Factors That Affect Your Coverage Needs

There are several factors that can impact your car insurance coverage needs. Insurance companies have a large data set they pull from nationally to structure their rating classifications.

Even as an insurance agent, I don’t have the exact information that insurance companies rate their car insurance on! They keep it pretty secret to a degree!

But still, here are some of the most important ones to consider include:

  • Credit Score
  • Marital Status
  • Driving Record
  • The Type Of Car You Drive: Different types of vehicles may require different levels of coverage. For example, a newer or more expensive car may require more comprehensive coverage to fully protect it, while an older or less valuable car may be able to get by with less coverage.
  • Your Driving Record: Your driving history can also influence your car insurance coverage needs. If you have a history of accidents or traffic violations, you may be considered a higher risk and may need more coverage to adequately protect yourself.
  • Your Personal Circumstances: Your personal circumstances, such as your age, gender, and marital status, can also impact your car insurance coverage needs. For example, younger drivers may be considered higher risk and may need more coverage, while married couples may be able to get a discount on their car insurance premiums.
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Minimum Coverage Requirements

In most states, there are minimum car insurance coverage requirements that drivers must meet in order to legally operate a vehicle. These requirements vary by state, but typically include liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage.

In Maryland, where I have my insurance firm, the minimum coverage is different than the surrounding states! So, it varies everywhere you go!

Liability coverage helps protect you if you are at fault in an accident and are sued by the other driver for damages.

While meeting the minimum coverage requirements is important, it’s important to note that these minimums may not always be enough to protect you in the event of an accident fully.

For example, if you are involved in an accident with a high-value vehicle or suffer significant injuries, the minimum liability coverage may not be sufficient to cover the costs of damages or medical bills. In these cases, you may be responsible for paying additional expenses.

Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider your coverage needs and determine whether the minimum requirements are sufficient for your situation. 

If you have assets that you want to protect, such as a home or savings account, you may want to consider purchasing additional coverage to provide additional protection.

Determining Your Personal Coverage Needs

Determining your car insurance coverage needs involves considering several factors, including your assets and potential liability.

In my experience, it is best to total your current assets, including home equity, cash, investments, and savings, to see what you need to protect in the case of an at-fault car accident.

If you have significant assets, you may want to consider purchasing higher levels of coverage to protect them in the event of an accident. Umbrella policies are perfect for protecting yourself in the case of a big liability lawsuit!

Next, consider your potential liability. This is the amount you could be responsible for paying if you are at fault in an accident and sued by the other driver.

To determine your potential liability, consider the value of your assets and any additional costs, such as medical bills or lost wages, that may result from an accident.

Pro Tip: To get a more accurate picture of your coverage needs, working with a professional, such as an insurance agent or financial advisor, may be helpful.

If you’re not sure where to start, there are also online resources available that can help you calculate your car insurance coverage needs.

These tools typically ask for information about your car, driving history, and personal circumstances and use this information to provide recommendations for coverage levels.

Tips For Finding Affordable Coverage

While having the right car insurance coverage is important, it’s also important to find coverage that fits your budget.

My clients often call me annually to shop for their rates. That means they want to see what other options are available for their car insurance to know they are receiving the best rates possible!

Here are some tips for finding affordable car insurance coverage:

  • Shop Around: Don’t just settle for the first car insurance quote you receive. Take the time to shop around and compare quotes from multiple insurers. This can help you find the best coverage at the most affordable price.
  • Consider A Higher Deductible: A deductible is the amount of money you have to pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. Choosing a higher deductible can often result in lower premiums, but it’s important to be prepared to pay the higher deductible if you do end up needing to file a claim.
  • Bundle Your Policies: If you have more than one type of insurance, such as homeowners or renters insurance, consider bundling your policies with the same insurer. Many insurers offer discounts for bundling multiple policies together.
  • Take Advantage Of Discounts: Ask your insurer about any discounts that may be available to you. Some common discounts include those for good drivers, multiple cars, and safety features on your car.
  • Review Your Coverage Annually: It’s important to review your car insurance coverage annually to make sure it still meets your needs and that you’re getting the best value for your money. This is a good time to shop around and compare quotes from multiple insurers to ensure you’re getting the best deal.


Car insurance coverage requirements vary depending on individual circumstances. However, owning auto insurance is crucial for vehicle owners. By comprehending the various factors that can influence your coverage needs and devoting time to evaluate the appropriate level of protection for your situation, you can secure the necessary coverage to safeguard yourself and your assets.

Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to shop around and compare quotes from multiple insurers. Don’t forget to take advantage of discounts and review your coverage annually to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.