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Cheapest liability-only car insurance

Auto-Owners has the cheapest liability car insurance at $27 per month, but more drivers can get affordable coverage with more widely available GEICO.

Andrew Hurst


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.

Published April 20, 2022 | 6 min read

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Liability insurance is the part of your policy that covers the injuries and damage to another person’s car after an accident that’s your fault. Almost every state requires at least some amount of liability insurance, and getting just the amount of coverage required in your state is usually called “liability-only.”

Our analysis of rate data found that Auto-Owners Insurance has the cheapest liability-only car insurance at $27 a month, though GEICO is available in more states. USAA and Erie are the cheapest liability-only companies for members of the military and people looking for the best service, respectively. 

What is the cheapest liability car insurance?

Our analysis found that the cheapest liability car insurance company is Auto-Owners Insurance. Along with Auto-Owners Insurance, MAPFRE is another smaller company that also has cheap liability-only auto insurance. While these insurance companies tend to offer low-cost liability insurance, they only sell coverage in some states.

Of nationally available companies, GEICO has the cheapest liability car insurance. USAA is another major company with cheap liability insurance, but it’s only available to active and retired members of the military and their families.

A graph showing the cheapest car insurance companies for liability coverage. Auto-Owners has the lowest rates at $27 per month.

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While GEICO and USAA are two of the cheapest companies for liability-only insurance, they’re also some of the best in terms of the flexibility that they offer. If you decide you want more than liability-only insurance in the future, you can upgrade to full coverage with these companies and still pay less than $100 per year.

RankCompanyLiability-only insuranceFull-coverage
1Auto-Owners Insurance$27$101
6State Farm$40$103
7Farm Bureau$40$127
8COUNTRY Financial$44$126
11National General$52$148
12The Hartford$54$181
13American Family$56$126
16Auto Club Group$59$226
19Shelter Insurance$63$170
23Sentry Insurance$89$313
24Mercury Insurance$90$214
25The Hanover$124$320

Table shows the monthly costs of a liability-only and full-coverage insurance policy. The liability-only policy comes with the minimum amounts of liability coverage and any other required types of insurance that drivers must carry in each state.

Should you get liability-only insurance?

No, unless you can’t afford more than the minimum amount of coverage your state requires, you should not get a policy with just liability-only insurance.

If you cause an accident that results in serious injuries or the death of another person and you have liability-only insurance, you’ll be on the hook for any costs that exceed your limits. 

It’s also pretty affordable to add more liability coverage to your policy — so you should buy as much as you can. We found that a policy with $100,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person and $300,000 per accident is only 5% more expensive than a policy with just $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per person and $100,000 per accident.

→ Estimate your cost of car insurance for the coverage level you want

Cheapest liability-only car insurance: Auto-Owners

Auto-Owners Insurance

Auto-Owners Insurance logo

Cheapest overall

Auto-Owners has the cheapest liability-only auto insurance, but the company offers policies in only 26 states.

The cost of liability-only car insurance from Auto-Owners Insurance is just $27 per month (or $327 per year). This means Auto-Owners has the lowest average rates around — 47% cheaper than the average cost of coverage nationally.

While Auto-Owners is the best company for cheap liability insurance, coverage isn’t available everywhere. Auto-Owners only offers car insurance in 26 states, but drivers in California, Texas, and New York won’t be able to take advantage of the company’s cheap rates.

Map of states where you can get Auto-Owners Insurance

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

Cheapest liability-only car insurance from a big company: GEICO



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 large company

GEICO’s minimum liability car insurance policies are just $402 per year and available in every state.

On average, the cost of a liability insurance policy from GEICO is $34 per month (or $402 per year). This is 35% cheaper than the overall average cost of liability insurance. If you decide you want more coverage than a liability-only policy, GEICO remains the most affordable company for full coverage.

While GEICO is $35 more expensive per year than Auto-Owners for liability car insurance, it’s available in every state. This means more people can get cheap liability insurance quotes from GEICO. Available discounts for your vehicle, your driving habits, and your personal record also mean more chances to get even cheaper coverage with GEICO.

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


USAA logo

Cheapest for military families

One of four companies that offers liability-only insurance for less than $400 per year, USAA is only available to active and retired members of the military.

While it’s slightly more expensive than the smaller Auto-Owners and MAPFRE, USAA has cheaper liability-only insurance than GEICO. On average, the cost of liability insurance only (plus your state’s other required insurance coverages) is just $31 per month with USAA.

Although USAA’s liability car insurance rates are much cheaper than average, the company offers fewer discounts than some competitors. Also, only active, reserve, and retired members of the military — and their families — will qualify for coverage.

Best cheap liability-only car insurance for customer service: Erie



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.

Erie logo

Best for good customer service

Compared to other companies Erie best combines low rates for liability-only insurance with highly rated customer service.

Erie is the best company if you want to balance outstanding customer service with cheap liability-only car insurance. The cost of liability insurance from Erie is just $31 per month (or $370 per year). This is cheaper than GEICO and virtually the same price as USAA.

In addition to cheap costs, Erie has consistently highly rated customer service. In 2021, Erie placed third behind USAA and The Hartford for customer satisfaction on J.D. Power’s Claims Satisfaction Study. [1] Erie also receives a much lower number of complaints from its customers, according to the NAIC. [2]

What does liability car insurance cost?

Liability-only car insurance costs $52 per month (or $620 per year) on average. Keep in mind that despite its name, “liability-only insurance” still has to include the minimum required amounts of the other coverages that your state requires.

The cost of liability insurance varies significantly depending on where you live. The most expensive state for liability car insurance is Florida, while the cost of coverage is cheapest in Iowa.

StateLiability-only costMinimum liability limits
District of Columbia$678$25,000/$50,000/$10,000
Florida$1,253$10,000 property damage
New Hampshire$462Optional
New Jersey$1,154$15,000/$30,000/$5,000
New Mexico$459$25,000/$50,000/$10,000
New York$974$25,000/$50,000/$10,000
North Carolina$423$30,000/$60,000/$25,000
North Dakota$406$25,000/$50,000/$25,000
Rhode Island$868$25,000/$50,000/$25,000
South Carolina$779$25,000/$50,000/$25,000
South Dakota$339$25,000/$50,000/$25,000
West Virginia$626$25,000/$50,000/$25,000

Table shows the annual costs of a liability-only insurance policy. The liability-only policy comes with the minimum amounts of liability coverage and any other required types of insurance that drivers must carry in each state. The minimum limits show the required amounts of bodily injury liability per person, per accident, and property damage liability.

→ Read more about car insurance costs by location and coverage levels

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How do you get liability insurance only?

You’ll only be able to get a policy with only liability insurance if your state doesn’t require any other types of coverage. While some states require drivers to get other types of coverage, like uninsured motorist and personal injury protection, nearly half require only liability coverage.

If you want a policy with only the minimum amount of liability insurance, it’s easy to make sure you’re not driving with less coverage than what’s legal. Whether you get quotes online from an insurance company’s site or compare quotes with Policygenius, you won’t be allowed to request rates for less than the legal amount of insurance required where you live. 

You could also consider getting broad form car insurance if it’s available near you and you just want enough coverage to meet your state’s requirements. Broad form insurance is cheaper than even a minimum liability policy, but only one driver is allowed to use the insured vehicle. You also wouldn’t be able to add comprehensive or collision coverage to a broad form policy. 

→ Read about how to shop for auto insurance, no matter the coverage you want

What does liability car insurance cover?

Liability insurance refers to your policy’s bodily injury liability (BIL) and property damage liability (PDL). Together, your liability coverage pays for the costs of injuries and property damage that you cause to another driver and their vehicle. If you’re at fault for a crash, liability coverage can cover:

  • Medical bills for the other driver and their passengers

  • Repairs to the other driver’s car

  • Costs of other damaged property, like fences, furniture, and structures

  • Legal fees if you’re sued by the other driver

  • Bail if you’re jailed after an accident

Your liability insurance doesn’t cover damage to your own car or medical expenses for your injuries. You’d need to have added collision coverage or comprehensive coverage to your policy to avoid paying for the damage yourself. 

→ Read our in-depth breakdown of liability auto insurance

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 have a policy with only bodily injury and property damage liability coverage, along with any other types of insurance required by your state.

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 far 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.


Policygenius analyzed the cost of car insurance for a liability-only and full-coverage policy using rates provided by Quadrant Information Services for every ZIP code across the country, plus Washington, D.C. For liability-only policies, we analyzed rates for policies that met the state’s minimum required limits of coverage. For full coverage policies, the following coverage limits were used:

  • Bodily injury liability: 50/100

  • Property damage liability: $50,000

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: 50/100

  • Comprehensive: $500 deductible

  • Collision: $500 deductible

Rates for overall average rate, rates by ZIP code, and cheapest companies determined using averages for single drivers age 30. Our sample vehicle was a 2017 Toyota Camry LE driven 10,000 miles/year.

Some carriers may be represented by affiliates or subsidiaries. Rates provided are a sample of costs. Your actual quotes may differ.