Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that exis...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Apr 22, 2020

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Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Things to Remember...

  • All states, except New Hampshire, have auto insurance laws requiring a certain amount of liability insurance
  • The age of your vehicle does not affect the minimum amount of auto insurance required
  • Find out exactly how much insurance you need to make sure your car, no matter how old, is adequately covered

Most states will require bodily injury and property damage liability insurance. Depending on the state, the minimum coverage amounts for these products may vary.

Bodily injury liability coverage will protect you in the event that an injury to another driver results from a car accident in which you were at-fault.

Property damage liability coverage will handle the damage to any property that occurs as a result of an accident in which you were at-fault.

Some states refer to this form of minimum coverage as PLPD which stands for public liability and personal damage.

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Are there any other requirements for auto insurance?

If you have a lien against your vehicle, you may have minimum insurance requirements set by the financial institution that holds your title.

If you get into an accident without coverage on your vehicle, you still owe money on the loan to the financial institution.

A customer with a totaled vehicle is less likely to continue paying on that loan. The bank protects its assets by requiring a minimum amount of insurance on any vehicle with a loan.

The minimum requirement in most cases is to have full coverage which includes collision and comprehensive:

  • Collision insurance – handles damage to your vehicle in an accident with another vehicle or object, generally an accident in which you are considered at-fault
  • Comprehensive coverage – takes care of any other damage that may occur to your vehicle in the event of a fire, vandalism or flood

Other requirements may include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. In some states, these are considered the same thing.

In other states, they are separate options available for your auto insurance policy.

This handles damage to your vehicle in the event of an accident that is caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

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Does the age of my car affect my auto insurance rate?

If you are insuring an older vehicle, your auto insurance rate should decrease. As vehicles age, they decrease in value.

If the car is valued less, then the insurance company has less risk involved in the insurance policy.

However, this point may not affect the basic PLPD coverage as these relate to damage to other drivers and vehicles.

The insurance rate may still vary greatly a car that is seven years old depending on what type of vehicle it is.

Sports cars are considered high risk and thus have larger premiums than alternative vehicles. If it will cost more to replace the automobile, then it will cost more for you to insure the vehicle.

What is the significance of seven years for auto insurance?

There isn’t a significance of seven years for auto insurance. Many financial institutions have limitations as to which vehicles they will allow you to use as collateral when applying for a loan.

Seven years is a common breaking point for these banks and credit unions.

If you apply for a new loan on a car that is more than seven years old, there are many places that will not approve your loan for that reason.

The reason for this limitation is the same as the reason for minimum insurance requirements. As an automobile ages, it decreases in value.

A consumer who applies for a loan on a vehicle that is more than seven years old is deemed to be a higher risk. The vehicle is more likely to become un-drivable based on normal wear and tear.

Since the vehicle is not worth as much, consumers are more likely to skip on the bill without concern for the consequences.

The consequence is a repossession of the vehicle, and it will damage your credit history.

Get your free auto insurance quotes from several companies by entering your zip code!

References:

  1. http://www.naic.org/state_web_map.htm
  2. https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-plpd-527422
  3. http://www.carsdirect.com/auto-loans/what-does-it-mean-when-a-collector-liens-a-car
  4. https://www.allstate.com/tools-and-resources/car-insurance/underinsured.aspx
  5. https://www.edmunds.com/car-loan/how-long-should-my-car-loan-be.html