How to Compare Car Insurance Rates 2024
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LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Comparing Liability vs. Full-Coverage Car Insurance

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Content was accurate at the time of publication.

Liability car insurance only covers injuries or damage you cause to others in an accident. Full-coverage car insurance includes collision and comprehensive coverages along with liability, and so helps pay for your own vehicle damage after an accident as well.

Find the Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Liability car insurance covers the injuries and damages of others in an accident you cause. Full-coverage car insurance covers the same, plus damage to your own vehicle after an accident.

Most states require their drivers to carry at least a minimum limit of liability car insurance. Full-coverage car insurance is not legally required by states. However, if you financed your vehicle, your lender will likely require you to carry full coverage for the duration of your loan or lease.

Liability-only car insurance provides coverage for damages and injuries you’re at fault for in an accident. It includes:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: This coverage pays the injury-related expenses of others, like their hospital bills and lost wages, up to your policy limits. Also known as “minimum car insurance,” a liability auto insurance policy includes bodily injury limits for individuals and everyone injured in the accident.
  • Property damage liability coverage: This coverage helps pay to repair or replace the damaged or destroyed property of others after an accident. If you damage another driver’s car or their home in an accident, for example, property damage liability will cover the costs up to your policy limit.

Full-coverage car insurance usually combines liability coverage with comprehensive and collision coverages.

Comprehensive car insurance coverage pays for repairs to your car after it’s been damaged in a noncollision accident (such as a fallen tree branch), up to your policy limit. It also covers the replacement of your car if it is stolen.

However, comprehensive coverage doesn’t cover the theft of items in your car. For that, you need a homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy.

Collision car insurance coverage helps pay for repairs or replacement of your car after an accident, up to your policy limit. If collision coverage replaces your car after it’s totaled, you’ll be compensated up to the car’s current value adjusted for depreciation.

The average cost of liability-only car insurance is $772 a year. Full-coverage car insurance costs an average of $1,970 a year.
Insurance companies consider different factors to calculate your car insurance quote. These factors include:

  • Make and model of your car
  • The ZIP code where your car is garaged
  • Your personal insurance history
  • Your age
  • The limits and deductible you choose

Each state has different average rates based on these factors and their minimum liability requirements. South Dakota has the cheapest liability-only rate of $351 a year, on average, and Maine has the cheapest full-coverage rate of $1,100 a year.

Michigan has the most expensive average rate for both liability and full-coverage car insurance, at $1,849 a year for liability coverage and $4,638 a year for full coverage.

Liability and full-coverage rates by state

StateLiability onlyFull coverage
New Hampshire$537$1,146
New Jersey$1,393$2,236
New Mexico$632$1,953
New York$1,059$2,030
North Carolina$532$1,305
North Dakota$522$1,858
Rhode Island$1,213$2,636
South Carolina$803$1,808
South Dakota$351$2,016
Washington DC$949$2,082
West Virginia$659$1,701

When looking at the largest auto insurance companies, State Farm has the cheapest average rates for most Americans. It charges $597 a year, on average, for liability car insurance and $1,487 a year for full-coverage car insurance.

USAA has the cheapest average rates overall, at $398 a year for liability coverage and $1,199 a year for full coverage. However, USAA only sells insurance products to active duty and veteran military members, as well as their families.

Liability and full-coverage rates by company

CompanyLiability onlyFull coverage
American Family$728$1,920
State Farm$597$1,487

Auto insurance companies use different risk values when calculating your quote. For example, one company may think the age of your car is a bigger risk than another company, and quote a higher rate. This is one of the reasons you’ll see car insurance companies selling the same coverage with different premiums.

To get the best coverage for your situation at your best price, compare car insurance quotes from several different companies before you buy a policy.

Find the Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes in Your Area

All states except New Hampshire require drivers to carry liability car insurance. However, if you decide to buy liability insurance in New Hampshire, you’ll need to buy at least the minimum limit set by the state.

No state requires full-coverage car insurance. But if you finance your car, your lender will probably require you to have full coverage for the extent of your finance agreement.

If you bought a new car, you should consider getting full-coverage car insurance. If you’re in an accident that totals the car and you have to pay to replace it out of pocket, you may have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to do it without full coverage.

On the other hand, a car’s value depreciates with age. If you have an old car and/or one with a lot of miles on it, the car may be worth less than what you’d pay for full-coverage car insurance or even the deductible.


LendingTree uses insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services, using publicly sourced insurance company filings. Rates are based on an analysis of hundreds of thousands of car insurance quotes for a typical driver; your own rates may be different.

Unless noted otherwise, quotes are for a full-coverage policy for a 30-year-old man with good credit and a clean driving record who drives a 2015 Honda Civic EX.

Full-coverage policies include collision, comprehensive and liability coverage:

  • Bodily injury liability: $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000
  • Uninsured motorist: $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident if required in that state
  • Personal injury protection: Minimum limits if required in that state
  • Collision: $500 deductible
  • Comprehensive: $500 deductible

*USAA is only available to active duty military, veterans and their families.