You should have liability-only insurance if the annual cost of full coverage exceeds 10% of your car’s value. At that point, the extra coverage might not be worth the added cost of paying for more than liability-only insurance. But this is just a general rule of thumb, and the decision to switch to liability-only insurance depends on state coverage requirements and each driver’s financial situation.
When Liability-Only Insurance Is Worth It
The main advantage of liability-only insurance is that you’ll save on your premium. Since liability insurance offers minimal protection for the policyholder, it is less expensive than full coverage insurance.
However, if your car is damaged by an accident that you cause or another damage-causing event, then you’ll have to pay for the repairs out of pocket. If you have the financial means to pay for repairing or replacing your car, and your state doesn’t require you to have any other types of insurance, then you could take the risk of switching to liability-only insurance.
Liability-Only Insurance & State Coverage Requirements
Liability only insurance pays for other people’s property damage and injuries resulting from accidents that you cause. Almost every state requires that drivers carry a certain amount of liability insurance.
Some states also require drivers to carry other types of insurance, including uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection (PIP). If your state requires you to have multiple types of coverage, then you cannot legally drive with liability-only insurance.
Liability-Only Insurance vs. Full Coverage
If your state allows it, then you’ll need to decide whether to purchase liability-only insurance or full coverage. Full coverage insurance generally refers to a policy that includes both collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision insurance covers damage to your vehicle after an accident. Comprehensive coverage, on the other hand, pays to repair or replace your car if it’s damaged by something other than an accident, like vandalism or a natural disaster.
If your car is leased or financed, you will likely be required to carry full coverage insurance. Even if your car is paid off, you shouldn’t purchase liability-only insurance if your vehicle is still worth a lot or you’re not in the financial position to pay to repair or replace it. Liability-only insurance could also be risky if you live a high-traffic area where your vehicle is more likely to be damaged.
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