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Cheapest liability-only car insurance

The cheapest liability-only insurance for most people is GEICO, though smaller carriers may be even cheaper depending on where you live.

Andrew Hurst

By

Andrew Hurst

Andrew Hurst

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Andrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.

Updated|6 min read

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We found that GEICO has the cheapest liability-only car insurance for most drivers who want minimum coverage (meaning the least amount of insurance required by law). Auto-Owners has the cheapest liability insurance overall, but it’s not available in every state.

Geico Logo

Cheapest for most people

  • Rating: 4.6/5 ★

  • Cost: $34 per month

  • What else we like: National availability and easy-to-get discounts

Auto-Owners Insurance

Cheapest overall

  • Rating: 3.9/5 ★

  • Cost: $27 per month

  • What else we like: Lots of discounts you can use to lower your rates

A liability-only insurance policy refers to a policy that does not include comprehensive or collision coverage. With liability-only insurance, you’d only be covered for damage you cause to others in an accident, not for damage to your own car.

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What is the cheapest liability car insurance?

The average cost of liability-only car insurance is $51 per month (or $617 per year), but there are a few companies with cheaper-than-average rates.

We found that the cheapest liability-only car insurance is Auto-Owners Insurance. On average, the cost of a liability car insurance policy from Auto-Owners is $27 per month, or $327 per year.

Drivers can also get some of the cheapest insurance from smaller companies like MAPFRE and Erie, as well from USAA, which only offers policies to drivers who are affiliated with the military. But since these companies aren’t available to everyone, GEICO is the cheapest liability-only insurance for most people.

A bar graph showing the cheapest companies for liability-only insurance.

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Cheapest liability-only insurance for most people: GEICO

GEICO

4.6

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

GEICO logo

Cheapest for most drivers

Monthly cost

$34

GEICO has the best rates for liability-only insurance from any nationally-available company. GEICO offers coverage in every state and Washington, D.C., drivers everywhere will be able to get a quote from GEICO.

GEICO is the cheapest liability-only insurance company of any carrier that’s nationally available. It’s the only company in our top picks that’s available in every state. 

On average, liability-only car insurance from GEICO costs $34 per month ($402 per year). That’s $215 cheaper per year than average. That’s also just $35 more expensive per year than the company with the cheapest liability-only insurance.

Company

Monthly cost

Annual cost

USAA*

$31

$369

GEICO

$34

$370

State Farm

$40

$402

Nationwide

$52

$475

Travelers

$57

$526

Five major car insurance companies with the cheapest liability insurance.

GEICO also has a range of discounts that drivers can use to get even cheaper rates. You can save on your GEICO policy if you:

  • Own a car with safety and anti-theft tech

  • Stay accident-free for at least five years

  • Take a defensive driving or driver’s education class

  • Keep your grades high if you’re a student

  • Are a federal employee or a member of the military

  • Bundle more than one policy with GEICO

  • Insure more than one vehicle on the same policy

  • Are a part of one of GEICO’s affiliate organizations

Cheapest liability-only insurance from a smaller company: Auto-Owners

Auto-Owners

3.9

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

Auto-Owners logo

Cheapest for liability-only insurance

Monthly cost

$27

Auto-Owners has the cheapest liability-only insurance overall, though it’s not available in every state. But if you live in one of the 26 states where Auto-Owners offers coverage, you might be able to get liability coverage for less than $30 a month.

Auto-Owners has the cheapest liability-only car insurance of any company on our list. On average, the cost of a minimum-coverage liability-only policy from Auto-Owners is $27 per month ($327 per year). That’s $290 less per year than the national average.

Company

Monthly cost

Annual cost

Auto-Owners Insurance

$27

$327

MAPFRE

$28

$335

USAA

$31

$369

Erie

$31

$370

GEICO

$34

$402

Cost of liability car insurance from the five cheapest companies.

Drivers can get even cheaper liability-only auto insurance with discounts. Auto-Owners offers discounts for drivers who:

  • Bundle multiple policies with Auto-Owners

  • Insure more than one car on the same policy

  • Make on-time payments for three consecutive years

  • Pay their entire annual premium at once

  • Enroll in paperless billing

  • Switch to make online payments

  • Request a quote before their policy’s start date

  • Own a car with safety and anti-theft tech

While Auto-Owners has cheap liability insurance, it isn’t available everywhere. Auto-Owners only offers car insurance in 26 states, and doesn’t offer coverage to drivers living in California, New York, or Texas.

Auto-Owners Insurance states - pic

States where you can get car insurance with Auto-Owners shown in orange.

Cheapest liability-only insurance for people in the military: USAA

USAA

4

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

USAA logo

Cheapest for military families

Monthly cost

$31

USAA has some of the cheapest rates for liability-only insurance, but it’s only offered to active and retired members of the military and their families. In addition to cheap rates, USAA has some of the best claims satisfaction in the industry.

Drivers in the military (and their families) can get cheap liability car insurance from USAA. We found that the average cost of a liability-only insurance policy from USAA is $31 per month ($369 per year). That’s $248 less per year than the national average.

Besides having excellent rates for liability insurance for military families, USAA has a few discounts that drivers can use to lower their costs. You can get qualify for discounts from USAA if you:

  • Keep your garage on a military base

  • Maintain high grades if you’re a student

  • Bundle your home and auto policies with USAA

  • Own a new car or one with anti-theft tech

  • Drive less than average

USAA also has great customer service. It ranks near or at the top of J.D. Power’s Auto Claims Satisfaction Survey year after year, which means customers feel good about the claims process with USAA. [1]

Cheapest liability-only car insurance after an accident: State Farm

State Farm

3.8

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

State Farm logo

Cheapest after an accident

Monthly cost

$49

Rates go up after an accident, but you can still get cheap liability-only car insurance from State Farm. Unlike the other companies that also have cheap insurance for drivers with an accident on their records, State Farm is available in almost every state.

State Farm has the cheapest liability-only car insurance for people with a recent accident on their driving record. On average, we found that liability-only insurance from State Farm costs $49 per month ($585 per year) after you’re in an at-fault accident.

We found that the cost of liability-only insurance from State Farm is still $331 less per year than the average after an accident. There are a few companies that have slightly lower rates for higher-risk drivers, but none are as widely available as State Farm.

State Farm doesn’t have as many discounts as competitors, but it does offer some opportunities to save, including for drivers who:

  • Bundle home and auto insurance with State Farm

  • Drive a newer car

  • Own a vehicle with safety and anti-theft tech

  • Insure more than one car on the same policy

Cheapest liability car insurance in every state

The cost of liability-only car insurance depends heavily on where you live. In some states, the difference between the cheapest company and the average cost of insurance can be hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars per year.

We found that the cheapest companies at the statewide level are GEICO and USAA, which have the best rates for liability-only insurance in a combined 32 states.

Since the cheapest company for liability car insurance varies so much depending on where you live, it’s even more important to compare quotes from the best companies before you get insurance.

State

Cheapest company

Average monthly cost

Minimum liability required

Alabama

GEICO

$68

$25,000/$50,000/$25,000

Alaska

State Farm

$66

$50,000/$100,000/$25,000

Arizona

GEICO

$62

$25,000/$50,000/$15,000

Arkansas

USAA

$70

$25,000/$50,000/$25,000

California

Wawanesa

$81

$15,000/$30,000/$5,000

Colorado

American National

$61

$25,000/$50,000/$15,000

Connecticut

GEICO

$55

$25,000/$50,000/$25,000

Delaware

Travelers

$93

$25,000/$50,000/$10,000

District of Columbia

GEICO

$69

$25,000/$50,000/$10,000

Florida

GEICO

$107

$10,000 property damage

Georgia

Auto-Owners

$68

$25,000/$50,000/$25,000

Hawaii

GEICO

$51

$20,000/$40,000/$10,000

Idaho

American National

$37

$25,000/$50,000/$15,000

Illinois

Pekin

$51

$25,000/$50,000/$20,000

Indiana

USAA

$50

$25,000/$50,000/$25,000

Iowa

West Bend

$53

$20,000/$40,000/$15,000

Kansas

USAA

$66

$25,000/$50,000/$25,000

Kentucky

GEICO

$74

$25,000/$50,000/$10,000

Louisiana

USAA

$115

$15,000/$30,000/$25,000

Maine

GEICO

$41

$50,000/$100,000/$25,000

Maryland

USAA

$63

$30,000/$60,000/$15,000

Massachusetts

USAA

$77

$20,000/$40,000/$5,000

Michigan

GEICO

$76

$50,000/$100,000/$10,000

Minnesota

Farm Bureau

$60

$30,000/$60,000/$10,000

Mississippi

USAA

$65

$25,000/$50,000/$25,000

Missouri

USAA

$54

$25,000/$50,000/$10,000

Montana

USAA

$62

$25,000/$50,000/$10,000

Nebraska

Auto-Owners

$65

$25,000/$50,000/$25,000

Nevada

GEICO

$72

$25,000/$50,000/$20,000

New Hampshire

State Farm

$51

Optional

New Jersey

GEICO

$74

$15,000/$30,000/$5,000

New Mexico

State Farm

$65

$25,000/$50,000/$10,000

New York

American Family

$80

$25,000/$50,000/$10,000

North Carolina

GEICO

$45

$30,000/$60,000/$25,000

North Dakota

USAA

$55

$25,000/$50,000/$25,000

Ohio

Erie

$43

$25,000/$50,000/$25,000

Oklahoma

USAA

$69

$25,000/$50,000/$25,000

Oregon

State Farm

$74

$25,000/$50,000/$20,000

Pennsylvania

Erie

$56

$15,000/$30,000/$5,000

Rhode Island

State Farm

$71

$25,000/$50,000/$25,000

South Carolina

American National

$49

$25,000/$50,000/$25,000

South Dakota

Kemper

$65

$25,000/$50,000/$25,000

Tennessee

USAA

$62

$25,000/$50,000/$15,000

Texas

Farm Bureau

$76

$30,000/$60,000/$25,000

Utah

GEICO

$58

$25,000/$65,000/$15,000

Vermont

USAA

$53

$25,000/$50,000/$10,000

Virginia

USAA

$58

$25,000/$50,000/$20,000

Washington

USAA

$71

$25,000/$50,000/$10,000

West Virginia

USAA

$65

$25,000/$50,000/$25,000

Wisconsin

USAA

$50

$25,000/$50,000/$10,000

Wyoming

American National

$52

$25,000/$50,000/$20,000

Rates for the minimum amounts of insurance required in every state.

How to get cheaper liability-only insurance

A liability-only policy will usually be cheaper than a full-coverage policy (which includes comprehensive and collision), but it’s still possible to find even cheaper liability insurance.

The best way to find the cheapest liability-only car insurance is by comparing quotes from multiple companies before you buy. That way, you can see right away which one offers the cheapest liability insurance. You can also get cheap liability-only auto insurance by:

  • Signing up for usage-based insurance: When you sign up for usage-based insurance, your insurance company monitors your driving for a few weeks and awards lower rates for safe driving.

  • Enrolling in a defensive driving course: You could get cheaper liability-only insurance by taking a defensive driving course (or a driver’s education course if you’re a young driver).

  • Switching companies if your rates go up: When your policy is up for renewal, it’s a good idea to compare rates again and switch if there’s a company that offers cheaper liability-only car insurance.

  • Getting a broad form policy: A broad form policy is cheaper than even a minimum liability policy, but only one driver is allowed to use the insured vehicle and you can’t add comprehensive or collision coverage.

How does liability-only insurance work?

Liability-only insurance only covers the cost of the other driver’s medical expenses and repair bills after an at-fault accident. Your policy will cover you up to its limits, which are usually shown per person and per accident.

For instance, let’s say that you have liability-only car insurance with these limits:

  • Bodily injury liability insurance: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident

  • Property damage liability insurance: $25,000 per accident

This means that your bodily injury liability insurance would cover up to $25,000 in injuries for the other drivers and their passengers. But you’ll only be covered for up to $50,000 for the entire accident.

Your liability-only insurance does not cover damage to your own vehicle after a crash that you cause. That’s where a full-coverage policy would come in. Without collision and comprehensive coverage, you’d be stuck paying to replace your car yourself if you damage it in a crash.

Should you get liability-only insurance?

It’s tempting to get liability-only insurance instead of full-coverage. Liability-only insurance is, on average, $1,035 per year less than the cost of a full-coverage policy. But most drivers need the protection of a full-coverage policy.

Liability-only insurance won’t cover damage to your own car after an accident that you cause. While the other person’s injuries and property damage would be covered up to your policy’s limits, you would have to repair (or replace) your car yourself.

There are some cases when it makes sense to get liability-only insurance, so you may want to drop full-coverage if:

  • Your car is an old clunker that wouldn’t cost much to replace

  • Your car is worth less than your collision or comprehensive deductible amount

If you do get liability-only insurance, you should still get more than the minimum amounts required in your state. It’s not very expensive to add more liability insurance, so you should get as much as you can afford even if you don’t get full-coverage.

It can be easy for the cost of someone else’s damage or injuries to exceed your state’s minimum liability limits after a crash. With only enough insurance to drive, you could easily be stuck paying tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket.

Can I have liability-only on one car and not the other?

Yes, if you have a newer car you use for yourself but your teen drives a beat-up minivan that isn’t worth much, you can have full-coverage on one car and liability-only on the other, even on the same policy.

How much is liability-only insurance compared to full-coverage?

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the cost to go from liability-only policy insurance to a full-coverage policy is $518 per year. But the cost for you to upgrade your liability-only insurance depends on how much insurance you have. [2]

For example, if you had liability-only insurance with higher limits it will be closer in price to a full-coverage policy. But let’s say you have the legal minimum amounts of liability insurance, and you want to add more liability insurance and full-coverage. Then it would cost an average of $1,035 to upgrade your policy.

The cost of liability-only insurance compared to full-coverage also depends on your insurance carrier. Among our cheapest companies for liability-only car insurance, we found that the cost to upgrade to full-coverage is lowest at MAPFRE, USAA, and State Farm.

Company

Cost difference

Liability-only coverage

Full-coverage

Auto-Owners Insurance

$888

$324

$1,212

MAPFRE

$732

$336

$1,068

USAA

$756

$372

$1,128

Erie

$780

$372

$1,152

GEICO

$768

$408

$1,176

State Farm

$756

$480

$1,236

Farm Bureau

$1,044

$480

$1,524

COUNTRY Financial

$984

$528

$1,512

Frequently Asked Questions

Who has the cheapest liability insurance?

On average, Auto-Owners Insurance has the cheapest liability car insurance. But because Auto-Owners insurance offers coverage in 26 states, GEICO, which is available nationwide, is the cheapest option for most people.

What does it mean to only have liability insurance?

If you only have liability insurance, then you don’t have full-coverage. That means that your policy doesn’t have comprehensive or collision insurance and that damage to your own car wouldn’t be covered after an accident.

Why would someone only carry liability insurance?

Some drivers only carry liability insurance to save money on their car insurance. While carrying only liability insurance leaves you unprotected from serious accidents and from certain types of damage, it’s cheaper to get a bare-bones policy than it is to carry full coverage.

How much liability insurance do you need?

The amount of liability insurance you need depends on your state’s laws. Even after you get enough coverage to meet your state’s requirements, we recommend getting as much liability insurance as you can afford so you don’t have to pay for the cost of medical bills or serious property damage on your own.

References

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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of our

editorial standards.
  1. J.D. Power

    . "

    2021 Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction Study

    ." Accessed October 07, 2022.

  2. National Association of Insurance Commissioners

    . "

    2018-19 Auto Insurance Database Report

    ." Accessed October 07, 2022.

Author

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Andrew Hurst

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

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Andrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.

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