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 ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Apr 20, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • All drivers should have liability coverage
  • Liability covers damages or injuries to the other driver if you are in an accident
  • There are ways to lower your liability coverage costs — including safe driving record, driving courses, and your credit score
  • Not all companies are the same, so shop around


Every driver should have liability coverage. If you own a vehicle, you need to purchase a policy to cover it because of financial responsibility laws in all 50 states.

However, if you borrow or rent a car, the rules are less clear.

One the best ways to receive a competitive rate on your liability coverage is to compare coverage. Enter your zip code in our FREE comparison tool to get started!

Table of Contents

Understanding Auto Liability Insurance

Understanding liability insurance may be easier by comparing it to other types of coverage. For instance, if you purchase full coverage, it  consists of the three types of coverage:

  • Liability – This covers damages or injuries to the other guy if you cause an accident
  • Collision – This covers damages to your vehicle in case you cause an accident
  • Comprehensive – This covers your damages if something happens to your car that is not an accident. For examples, that could include storms, theft, or vandalism

Make sure you know what kind of coverage you have because it may already include liability.

Also, notice that liability and collision usually pay for damages or injuries if you cause an accident, but if the other driver caused the accident, her insurance should cover your damages.

If she doesn’t have insurance, which some drivers don’t, you may also need uninsured and underinsured coverage to cover fixing your car.

Additionally, personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of no-fault insurance that pays for injuries no matter who caused the accident.

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How much does liability insurance cost?

Insurers consider many different factors when they decide to assign you a rate. Some of these factors can be controlled, but many cannot.

These are some of the things that your insurer considers when they decide to assign you a rate:

  • Drivers – They consider the driving record and age of the drivers named on the policy. Teens get charged more than middle-aged adults, but rates may start increasing again for seniors
  • Type of car –  Different cars may be much cheaper to insure than others. For instances, sedan or family cars will cost less to cover than a fancy sports car
  • Location – Some cities have higher average liability insurance costs for several reasons, which might include repair costs or the likelihood of accidents or vehicle thefts
  • Discounts – Insurers may offer discounts for buying multiple policies, paying in advance, or even taking a driver safety class
  • Credit – Top insurers will give better rates to people with good credit than to people with poor credit

How to Save on Auto Liability Insurance

These are some ways to save on your auto liability insurance:

  • Shop around for a company with the best deal.
  • Consider raising your deductible.
  • Work on rate factors you can improve over time

Shop Around for Good Rates

It pays to shop around and compare auto insurance companies.

If you own a car, you should shop around for the best rates every year or so. Insurance companies operate in a very competitive business environment, which benefits you.

Because of the ease of getting an auto insurance quote online, companies are also more transparent. You should compare a handful of different insurers to see who will offer you the best deal on your car insurance policy.

Raise Your Policy Deductible

If your rates are still high, you can also reduce your rates by raising your deductible. For example, a $500 deductible policy will cost more than a $1,000 deductible policy.

Just be careful because you will pay more out of pocket when filing a claim.

However, if you plan ahead and create an emergency savings account, raising your deductibles can save your money.

If you never make a claim, you will be ahead of the curve because your emergency savings account can be used for other emergencies!

Work on Other Pricing Factors

You may not be able to improve your driving record or raise your credit score right away. However, maintaining a decent driving record and a good credit score will both save you money on auto liability insurance.

You can improve your rates by taking a driver’s safety class. Since insurers offer discounts for approved classes, these classes will improve your driving and provide a price break on your insurance.

Are all auto liability insurance companies the same?

Even a small difference in your monthly premium can add up over time. Experts often advise consumers to compare rates every year or so, because insurers change their underwriting policies, or things may change in your life.

The only real way to know which auto liability insurance company will offer you the best deal is to shop around! Get started by entering your zip code in our FREE car insurance comparison tool!