Bodily Injury & Property Damage Liability Definitions
Bodily injury liability insurance. This coverage is financial protection for people. If youre at fault in an accident, bodily injury liability coverage can help cover costs for medical expenses for injuries you caused to other drivers and passengers.
Property damage liability insurance. This coverage is financial protection for things. If youre at fault in an accident, property damage liability insurance can help cover costs for the other drivers vehicle expenses or if you damage someones property, such as a mailbox, home, fence, etc.
If You Have An Accident
Report accidents immediately to law enforcement and to your insurance company. You can order a free brochure from CDI called “So You’ve Had an Accident, What’s Next?” This brochure explains what to do when you have an accident.
Your insurance company may send a person called an adjuster. The adjuster investigates and evaluates your damage and losses. If there is damage to your car, they may refer you to a body shop, or you may choose your own.
How Much Auto Liability Insurance Do I Need
If youre liable in an accident, a court judgment could cost you your life savings, so youll want to make sure youre well-covered. Add up your assets, including bank, brokerage, and retirement accounts, as well as equity in your home and other property. Then, subtract your debts to get your total net worth. Consider choosing at least that amount for bodily injury liability, as your total net worth can grow. Keep in mind, bodily injury typically results in more expensive claims than property damage.
Note that the cost of bodily injury liability will vary by coverage amount and per driver, and the difference between the state minimum price and $100,000 is often minimal. Get more tips on figuring out how much car insurance you need. Our car insurance estimator can also give you an idea of what coverage level is right for you.
Choosing more liability coverage than you’re legally required to have is generally a good idea, and a popular one. 57% of Progressive customers choose more than their state’s minimum limits for bodily injury, and 61% of customers choose more property damage coverage than their state requires.
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What Is The Importance Of Car Insurance And Bodily Injury Coverage
As previously mentioned, the legal responsibility to pay for damages is the importance of car insurance and what basic auto insurance coverage entails.
In most states, when you are at fault or have caused a car accident with another driver, you are required to pay for their medical bills and any other costs accumulated from the auto accident. This is a practice of basic car insurance policies with the minimum amount of car insurance coverage.
Driving uninsured can result in significant penalties like fines and even jail time. The very least that your stateâs Department of Motor Vehicles will do when they find out you are driving uninsured is suspend your driverâs license as well. That should stress the importance of carrying car insurance.
What Is Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
Bodily injury liability insurance can be used to pay for a variety of expenses such as:
- Funeral expenses: Your bodily injury coverage can pay for funeral and burial costs if another driver or passenger is killed in an accident on the road.
- Legal expenses: This type of coverage is available to help you pay the costs of legal representation and court awards if an accident victim sues for bodily injury.
- Your bodily injury liability coverage may help to replace income lost due to injuries.
- Medical bills: Bodily Injury Liability coverage can pay for various medical expenses such as hospital costs, equipment, and surgical bills. This coverage can also cover doctors visits or rehabilitation costs.
- Pain and suffering: In addition to paying your legal expenses, your bodily injuries liability coverage can pay for the pain and suffering suffered by accident victims.
What Is Not Covered By Bodily Injury Liability
Bodily injury liability does not pay for any losses the policyholder personally experienced due to injury in a crash. It will not pay for the policyholder’s medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, or property damage, regardless of who caused the collision.
It also does not pay for the victim’s property damage if the policyholder caused an accident. Separate property damage liability insurance is required for that.
And bodily injury coverage will not pay for damages in excess of the policy limits, regardless of how much harm the policyholder actually caused.
Do I Need Auto Liability Insurance
Yes. A certain amount of liability insurance is required in all states this is often referred to as minimum coverage. Although, the coverage types and amounts vary from state to state all states require property damage liability and bodily injury protection. Some states also require personal injury protection insurance , uninsured or underinsured motorist protection and/or property protection. You can opt for a larger amount than the minimum required by your state, depending on your needs.
Think of liability insurance as the baseline for auto coverage. Collision coverage and comprehensive coverage not to mention other optional coverages like medical payments coverage and personal injury protection cant be purchased until you have adequate liability insurance.
If you dont have liability insurance, its important that you get it as soon as possible to meet your states minimum insurance requirement. Start your auto liability insurance quote online with Nationwide.
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From There The Vehicle Driver You Injured Will Receive Personal Injury Compensation For Their:
- Hospital bills – Treatment and care for personal injuries after an auto accident is what bodily injury insurance foremostly covers. This can range from hospital care to any follow-up treatments down the road.
- Lost wages – There may be injuries that cause a car driver to miss work for a period of time until they recover. Bodily injury coverage helps pick up the wages from lost days at work for them.
- Legal fees – If the other auto driver decides to sue you for damages, any legal aid and legal fees will be covered by the bodily injury insurance. This is when you would have to file a car insurance claim for yourself as the policyholder to receive an auto insurance payout.
- Funeral expenses – If someone is killed in the vehicle accident, the bodily injury insurance would also cover the cost of the funeral and service.
Do I Need Bodily Injury Liability Insurance
Every state except New Hampshire and Virginia requires liability car insurance, which includes bodily injury coverage. If your state requires it, you may have to show proof of insurance when you register a vehicle.
Even if bodily injury liability isnât required by your state, it is still smart to maintain basic coverage.
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How Does Bodily Injury Liability Insurance Differ From Property Damage Insurance
Generally, liability insurance is of two types: bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability insurance. In Ohio, the law makes provision for both policies. Heres how they differ:
- Property damage liability insurance helps fault drivers pay for damages caused to another persons vehicle. They also cover other property damages asides from the automobile. For example, if you destroy someones fence or mailbox with your car, this coverage will handle the cost of repairs. In Ohio, drivers must carry a limit of $25,000 for property damage.
- As already mentioned, bodily injury liability coverage covers another persons injuries and not that of the carrier.
Other insurance coverages that Ohio law provides for but are optional includes:
- Comprehensive Liability Insurance for repairing your vehicle. It covers other incidents like theft, fire, vandalism, glass breakage, etc.
- Collision Coverage for when your car collides with another, and it is subject to deductibles.
- Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage for when the other party does not have insurance. It protects you and helps you pay your medical fees and other expenses. You can recover the amount by filing a personal injury action.
Liability Limit For Bodily Injury Per Accident
The liability limit per accident is a financial cap for the total amount that the insurance company will pay for all of the individuals involved in an accident. In other words, the policy will cover medical expenses for those injured in an accident by the at-fault driver, but only up to an predetermined total. The at-fault driver would then be liable for any medical expenses above that limit.
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What Car Liability Insurance Doesnt Cover
If you’re responsible for an accident, your liability coverage won’t pay to repair your vehicle, nor for injuries that you personally sustained. Youll need separate coverages for these exposures, including collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and medical payments coverage.
How Much Liability Insurance Do You Need
Youre required to have only the amount of liability car insurance mandated by your state. However, you may want a higher limit to protect your savings and other financial assets should you cause an accident. Medical bills and car repairs can be incredibly expensive. A split second could be the difference between a normal day and the beginning of bankruptcy.
For example, say you hit another car, total it and seriously injure four people. If youre at fault, youll be responsible for the value of the car, medical bills of all four passengers and any damage to the roadway. Now, youre looking at paying almost $500,000 in medical bills and another $50,000 for the car and damaged roadway. Can your liability auto insurance pay for them?
If you dont have enough coverage that is, if your bodily injury and property damage limits arent that high, respectively you can be held personally responsible for any excess. The people you injured can sue you for that money, and you could end up losing your home or, in some states, having your wages garnished. The more you have to lose, the more they can come after.
As a general rule, youll want enough liability insurance to cover your net worth. Thats equal to the value of all the cash you have and the things you own, minus your debt.
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Do You Need Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
Yes, you most likely need bodily injury liability coverage to legally drive anywhere in the U.S. except for parts of Alaska
However, you need to meet certain requirements to be exempt from coverage in certain states. For instance, in Alaska you can opt out of car insurance only if you live in a remote area. Meanwhile, Virginia residents must pay $500 to the states Department of Motor Vehicles in lieu of buying coverage if they wish to opt out.
Although New Jersey doesnt require bodily injury coverage, you must buy other insurance property damage liability and personal injury protection to legally drive. Property damage liability covers damage you cause to another vehicle or property in an at-fault accident, while personal injury protection covers medical expenses if youre in an accident, regardless of fault.
Find out how much coverage your state requires by using the drop-down box below.
Uninsured And Underinsured Motorist Coverage
You can check out our auto insurance comparison guide to help you understand how customizing your auto insurance policy with the right coverages can protect you mile after mile.
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How Much Is Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
The cost of bodily injury liability coverage will depend on multiple factors, including your state’s coverage requirements, discounts, your claims history, age, and vehicle model. The national average cost of an auto insurance policy that meets your minimum coverage requirements is $730 per year, based on SmartFinancial’s analysis of average car insurance premiums.
If You Cannot Afford Standard Auto Insurance
The law says that you must have auto liability insurance. However, if you have a low income, it can be hard to pay the premium. California has a program to help you.
This program helps income-eligible good drivers get insurance. The premium for liability coverage vary by the county you live in. Please check our website for current rates.
The liability limits for this program are lower than the limits usually required by the state. But these limits do satisfy state financial responsibility laws. The limits are:
$10,000 bodily injury or death per person
$20,000 bodily injury or death per accident
$3,000 property damage per accident
Your annual income must be 250% or less of the federal poverty level.
Your car must be worth $25,000 or less.
You must have a valid California drivers license.
You must be at least 16 years old.
If there is a single male driver in the household who is 19 to 24 years old, the premium is higher.
There are 7 payment plans available. There is no broker’s fee.
For more information, go to www.mylowcostauto.com. Or call 1-866-602-8861.
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What Is A Liability
When someone requests Liability Only car insurance coverage, they are typically referring to a policy that includes only the minimum amount of insurance required by law. However, in Ontario this is more than just liability – it includes liability, accident benefits, DCPC, and uninsured automobile coverage.
How Much Bodily Injury Coverage Do I Need
Bodily injury damages can reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollarseven millions in severe cases. You might think that the odds of you being responsible for such a catastrophic accident are practically zero. But theres a big difference between zero and almost zero.
When someone doesnt have enough insurance to cover damages that theyre liable for, the difference has to come from somewhere. That can mean garnished wages, or even being forced to sell their house.
Keep in mind that liability insurance isnt just for bodily injury cases. The same coverage applies when the insured person is responsible for property damage.
Square One recommends $1-2 million for liability insurance coverage limits. Customers can always choose less , but thats taking on a lot of risk to save what is usually only a few dollars a month. Increasing liability coverage limits is usually cheap. Its worth getting more than the bare minimum just for peace of mind.
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Compensation For Lost Wages And Income:
If you hit another car and the other driver is injured, they may need to attend months of physical therapy as part of the recovery process. Or, perhaps the person who was injured in the accident loses income or wages because he cannot work or perform the normal functions of his job. Bodily injury liability coverage in your car insurance policy may help pay their compensation in this case. Your state’s laws may place limits on the amount of compensation the injured person can receive for lost income.
How Does Bodily Injury Liability Coverage Work
The dollar amount your auto insurance company will cover depends on how much coverage you purchase. Your coverage limit is the maximum payout you can receive on a covered claim. Your state will mandate the minimum coverage limit you must purchase, but drivers are free to purchase more than the minimum requirement to avoid being underinsured.
Bodily injury coverage limits are often defined by two numbers separated by a slash . The first number is the per-person limit and the second number is the per-accident limit.
Per-person limit: This is the highest amount your insurer will cover for one person’s injuries. If your per-person limit is $30,000 for example, then your insurer may pay for medical expenses up to $30,000 for one injured party.
Per-accident limit: This is the highest amount your insurer will cover in an accident if multiple parties are injured. If your per-accident limit is $60,000 for example, then your insurer will only pay for liable expenses up to that amount. If there were five injured parties, then those five would each be covered for $20,000.
The majority of states set the bodily injury liability coverage minimum limits at 25/50. However, some states have lower minimum requirements or higher requirements .
Your coverage limit is the maximum payout you can receive on a covered claim.
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How Much Bodily Injury Liability Coverage Is Required
When choosing bodily injury liability coverage, state laws typically dictate a minimum liability coverage limit drivers must purchase. It’s a good idea to check your state’s requirements and work with your insurance company to determine how much coverage is appropriate. You should also keep in mind that you may be able to buy more coverage by increasing your liability limits.
Lastly, keep in mind that if you accidentally injure someone and their medical expenses exceed your bodily injury liability coverage limits, you may have to pay out of pocket to cover the remaining costs. That’s why it’s important to consider how much bodily injury liability coverage is enough for your situation and why you may want to purchase limits that are higher than your state’s requirements.
How Does Commercial Umbrella Insurance Work
Commercial umbrella insurance provides an extra layer of protection across several underlying policies. This coverage kicks in whenever a bodily injury claim exceeds the limits on your general liability insurance, employer’s liability insurance, or commercial car insurance policy.
If an accident impacts your business, and medical costs or legal fees exceeds your coverage limits, your umbrella policy would pay for these costs up to your umbrella policy’s limits.
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