Here's what you need to know to drive legally in Indianapolis and the state at large.

4 things to know about Indiana car insurance

If you live in Indiana and have a love of sports, you know that the Motor City of Detroit isn't the only place with a history rich in all things automotive. The eyes of the racing world turn to the Indianapolis 500 in May, by all accounts the cream of the crop in the Formula 1 Racing Series. In fact, Indiana's NBA team name is inspired by the state's love of racing.

Lesser known, however, are the rules that govern Indiana's motor vehicle marketplace – not on the track, but on the roads, specifically those that pertain to car insurance.

Whether you're a Hoosier State newbie or someone who'd always been here, the following are a few things you ought to know about so you're good to go now that you're on the roads:

Auto insurance minimums required

Every state where auto insurance is mandatory – which is just about all of them – requires you to have a minimum amount of coverage. Indiana is no different. State law requires you to have at least $25,000 of liability insurance for each person injured in an accident, $50,000 per accident, and at least $10,000 for property damage. Keep in mind that this is a minimum amount. Damage totals from accidents can be very expensive, so it may be worth your while to purchase additional protection just to be safe.

A core component of liability insurance in Indiana is underinsured or uninsured motorist protection. This pays for damages or injuries if you're involved in an accident with someone who isn't covered.

Other options to consider

Even though safety features are making today's cars safer, accidents still happen, and in a variety of different ways. However, auto insurance doesn't always provide for every scenario. That's why it's smart to invest in additional protection. For example, a comprehensive auto insurance policy can help you pay for repairs that are caused by things that may not happen while you're driving, like if your car is vandalized, stolen or damaged by hail. Collision, meanwhile, is exclusively for incidents where your car strikes something, be it another vehicle or stationary object. Most of Indiana's insurers provide these and other policy types.

Special forms to hold on to

In addition to your policy, you'll also receive a document called a Certificate of Compliance. Because auto insurance is mandatory in Indiana, this form helps proves that you are covered. It's also something that your insurance agent must file after you've been in an accident, establishing that you've met your obligations.

What can happen if you drive without insurance

Should you be pulled over and are found not to have a policy in force, expect to have your license suspended. According to the Indiana Department of Insurance, your license can be revoked as long as a year, depending on the situation, while the minimum is three months.

Aside from the license suspension, it's in your interest to keep your insurance policy up to date because those who are found to be driving without coverage are entered into a database. Known as the Previously Uninsured Motorist Registry, violators can be selected at any time to prove they have a policy in place, which is satisfied by producing a Certificate of Compliance. Violators remain in this registry for five years.

Now that you're a driving member of the state that is the Crossroads of America, you're well on your way to realizing for yourself why Indiana calls itself A State That Works.