What do car insurance numbers mean?

If you’ve taken the time to review the auto insurance card you’re legally required to carry, you may have noticed your auto insurance numbers. It is a series of numbers separated by backslashes. Yours might look like this: 25/50/25.

You can tell at a glance that these car insurance numbers are not a date. What these numbers really represent are the limits of your coverage. This article will help you understand what these numbers mean and go over the minimum auto insurance requirements by state.

Once you know your auto insurance numbers, you may decide that your current provider isn’t cutting it when it comes to liability limits. The best car insurance companies can help you find the coverage you need. Enter your zip code above or call our designated quotes team at (844) 246-8209 to start comparing free, personalized insurance quotes.

Overview of car insurance numbers

No car insurance policy is unlimited and no insurance company will pay any amount in the event of a claim. Automobile insurance numbers are used to describe liability coverage limits and uninsured motorist coverage limits.

Liability insurance is used to protect you from legal liability if you are found guilty of an accident. A liability policy will help pay for property damage and the other driver’s medical bills resulting from an accident you caused. Although liability insurance generally does not have a deductible, it does have a payment cap. But even this ceiling is not a fixed number. Instead, there are three separate payout limits:

  • The maximum amount a provider will pay to cover an individual’s injuries
  • The maximum amount a supplier will pay to cover the injuries of all people in the accident
  • The maximum amount a supplier will pay to cover property damage

Car insurance numbers reflect these three categories in the order listed above by accident. Numbers are written in thousands. This means that a liability policy with 20/40/15 limits would break down as follows:

  • Maximum compensation of $20,000 for bodily injury per person
  • Maximum compensation of $40,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • Maximum payment of $15,000 for property damage

Uninsured Motorist (UIM) coverage is used to pay for damage to your vehicle and medical expenses if you have an accident with another uninsured driver. If the other driver is at fault and does not have insurance, UIM will make sure you are covered.

Car insurance numbers for uninsured motorist coverage work the same way as for liability insurance. One exception is that sometimes uninsured motorist coverage does not include reimbursement for property damage. In these cases, there are only two numbers. So, an uninsured motorist policy with auto insurance numbers of 25/50 would show:

  • Maximum compensation of $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • Maximum compensation of $50,000 for bodily injury per accident

Minimum auto insurance requirements by state

If you search for your state’s minimum auto insurance requirements, you will almost always see a set of auto insurance numbers for liability coverage. Your state may also require UM and medical coverage.

These auto insurance numbers don’t mean you shouldn’t buy more coverage. State minimums are what’s required by law, but it’s often a good idea to get more than the minimum and additional types of coverage like collision and comprehensive insurance. This way you can make sure you are covered no matter what type of accident you are in.

Our recommendations for car insurance

If you’re looking for more extensive coverage or want to compare rates between providers, we recommend a few car insurance companies. USAA and Geico earned top scores in our industry-wide review for comprehensive coverage, low pricing, and excellent customer service.

Enter your postal code below or call (844) 246-8209 to get free quotes from suppliers in your area.

USAA was founded as a mutual self-insurance collective in 1922. Since then it has grown to be one of the largest companies in the United States Originally started by military officers, USAA continues to offer insurance products. insurance and banking exclusively to military service members and their families. USAA is the only provider we rated 4.8 stars out of 5.0 in our review.

The company is also highly regarded by customers and industry experts. It has an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best and scored high (“among the best”) in every region in JD Power’s 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance StudySM. This shows that customer satisfaction is high across the country.

Learn more about coverage in our full USAA insurance review.

We rated Geico 4.6 stars out of 5.0 due to its extensive coverage and customer service. It has an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

One of the reasons Geico car insurance is cheap for so many customers is that the company offers a wide range of discounts, including:

  • Good driver discount
  • Defensive driver discount
  • military discount
  • Discounts for federal employees
  • Good student discount
  • Discount for several vehicles
  • Discount on multiple policies
  • Discounts for airbags, anti-lock brakes and anti-theft devices

Read our Geico review to learn more about coverage and discounts.


In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our team of experts collects data from dozens of car insurance providers to compile rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, along with an overall weighted score of 5.0 stars.

  • Industry ranking: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-focused business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
  • Availablity: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
  • Cover: This rating is based on the types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits and supplemental policies.
  • Cost and discounts: Our research team examines auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many auto insurance discount opportunities receive the highest scores.
  • Customer service: We look at customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like JD Power.
  • Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.