Bodily Injury Liability Car Insurance

What does bodily injury liability mean?

Bodily injury liability coverage is like a safety net for situations where you’re responsible for an accident. If you accidentally hurt the other driver or their passengers in a car crash, this coverage helps pay for their medical bills. It’s good to understand that if the medical expenses go beyond the coverage limit on your policy, you’ll have to make up the difference from your own pocket.

If you can’t afford to cover the extra costs, the other person might take you to court to recover the remaining money related to the accident. To avoid facing a big bill on your own, it’s a good idea to have enough bodily injury coverage. The top car insurance companies can help you find a plan that’s both affordable and provides the right protection.

Here’s a simple table summarizing the key points:

Bodily Injury Liability CoverageHelps pay for the other party’s medical expenses if you’re at fault in an accident.
Coverage LimitIf the medical bills exceed your coverage amount, you’ll need to cover the difference.
Financial ResponsibilityIf you can’t pay, the other party might take legal action to recover the remaining costs.
Importance of Adequate CoverageHaving enough coverage is crucial to avoid significant out-of-pocket expenses in case of an accident.
Tailored Insurance PackagesThe best insurance companies can create a plan that balances affordability with proper protection.
Liability Car Insurance

What Does Liability Car Insurance Cover?

Liability car insurance is like a safety net for accidents where you are at fault. It doesn’t take care of your injuries or fix your car, but it steps in to help the other driver and their vehicle. This insurance also shields you from potential lawsuits if you’ve got enough coverage to handle the other person’s losses.

There are two parts to liability insurance:

  • Bodily Injury Liability:
    • Covers the other driver and their passengers if you’re the one responsible for an accident that causes injuries.
    • Takes care of their medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages while they recover.
    • Doesn’t include coverage for injuries to you or your passengers.
  • Property Damage Liability:
    • Kicks in when you damage someone else’s property, usually their car or things inside it.
    • If you accidentally crash into a building, property damage liability helps cover the repair costs up to the policy limit.

Now, imagine you’re on the receiving end – if someone else causes the accident, their liability insurance steps in to fix your car and cover your medical expenses. To be extra safe, it’s a good idea to have both types of liability insurance in place.

Understanding Bodily Injury Liability Limits

Let’s break down how to grasp the limits of bodily injury coverage in a way that’s easy to understand. When you see something like “25/50/25,” it’s not a secret code; it’s just a way insurance companies express your coverage.

So, in this three-number format, the first two numbers are about bodily injury coverage, and the third is for property damage, which is a different kind of coverage.

The first number tells you the coverage for one person in the accident. The second number is about the total coverage for the entire accident. For example, if your coverage is 25/50, it means your insurance will pay up to $25,000 for one person injured and a total of $50,000 for the entire accident.

Let’s use two examples to explain how this works:

Example 1:

You were in an accident, and it was your fault. Two people in the other car got hurt. Person A had medical bills of $30,000, and Person B had bills of $10,000. Even though the combined bills are within the $50,000 limit per accident, your insurance will only pay $25,000 to Person A and $10,000 to Person B. Why? Because Person A’s bills were more than the per-person limit, and you’re responsible for the remaining $5,000.

Person APerson BTotal
Medical Bills$30,000$10,000$40,000
Insurance Coverage$25,000$10,000$35,000
Your Responsibility$5,000$0$5,000

Example 2:

You caused an accident, and two people were injured. Each person had medical bills of $25,000. Since both individual claims are within the $25,000 limit, and the combined claim is less than or equal to $50,000, your insurance will cover these expenses.

Person APerson BTotal
Medical Bills$25,000$25,000$50,000
Insurance Coverage$25,000$25,000$50,000
Your Responsibility$0$0$0

There’s also something called Combined Single Limit (CSL), which is less common. Unlike the split limit, CSL is a single limit that covers the whole accident, regardless of the number of injured people. It’s more flexible but tends to be pricier, and not all insurance companies offer this option.

How Much Insurance Do You Need if There’s an Accident?

When you’re driving, it’s important to have insurance that covers injuries and damages in case of an accident. Every state has rules about how much insurance you should have. Here’s a list to help you understand the minimum coverage required in each state:

Bodily Injury Liability Requirements by State

StateMin. Liability Coverage Per PersonMin. Liability Coverage Per Accident
FloridaNot RequiredNot Required
New Hampshire$25,000$50,000
New JerseyNot RequiredNot Required
New Mexico$25,000$50,000
New York$25,000$50,000
North Carolina$30,000$60,000
North Dakota$25,000$50,000
Rhode Island$25,000$50,000
South Carolina$25,000$50,000
South Dakota$25,000$50,000
West Virginia$25,000$50,000

In some states, there’s a special situation when it comes to mandatory car insurance. A few states let drivers take a different route known as “self-insurance.” This means proving that they have enough money to cover any costs that might come up after an accident. To do this, they might have to put down a bond or deposit a substantial amount of savings with the state.

Take New Hampshire, for instance. In this state, technically, drivers aren’t required to have insurance as long as they can show they have enough money set aside in case of an accident. However, most drivers in New Hampshire still choose to get insurance, and if they do, they need to meet the state’s minimum requirements.

Car Insurance Costs for Different Coverages

First off, there’s something called liability car insurance. It’s the most affordable option and meets the basic requirements set by your state. Here’s a breakdown for you:

  • Average cost for state minimum liability-only coverage: $477

Now, if you decide to upgrade your policy and include comprehensive and collision coverage, things get a bit pricier. Here’s the scoop:

  • Average cost for state minimum full coverage: $972

So, going for the full coverage will cost you about $494 more, on average, compared to just having liability coverage.

Now, let’s check out some numbers from different insurance companies. Remember, these are just averages:

CompanyLiability-OnlyFull CoverageDifference in Cost
State Farm$409$787$377

Now, the extra cost for comprehensive and collision coverage may seem like a bit much, but it’s worth considering. These coverages protect you and your car in case of an accident, especially if it’s your fault.

Just so you know, a collision plan covers damages from hitting something, while comprehensive takes care of theft, weather-related damage, animals (like hitting a deer), and vandalism. If you’ve got a loan on your car, the folks who lent you the money usually require you to have both collision and comprehensive insurance.

Get Liability Car Insurance Quotes

Finding the right car insurance is easy when you compare quotes. It’s like shopping around to get the coolest deal on your favorite game or gadget! You don’t even have to tell them your secrets – you can ask for quotes without sharing all your personal stuff.

To get your online estimate, just type in:

  • Your ZIP code
  • Your age range
  • If you already have insurance
  • How many cars you want to cover
  • Are you a homeowner?
  • Your credit score range
  • Any past incidents
  • Are you in the military?


What does liability car insurance cover?

Liability car insurance helps pay for damage caused to others when you’re at fault in a car accident. This includes injuries to other drivers and passengers, as well as damage to their vehicles or public property. However, it doesn’t cover your own expenses like medical treatment or repairs to your car.

Does auto liability insurance cover my car if someone hits me?

If someone else is responsible for an accident damaging your car, their liability insurance should cover your repair costs. However, if they lack insurance, your collision coverage or uninsured motorist coverage (if included in your policy) could cover the repairs.

How much does bodily injury liability coverage cost?

The national average cost for minimum coverage liability-only car insurance is $622 per year, but your actual cost depends on various factors like your location, vehicle, driving history, and credit score. Shopping around for personalized quotes can help you find the most affordable option.

How much bodily injury coverage should I buy?

While meeting your state’s minimum requirement is essential, it’s recommended to purchase more based on your net worth and driving frequency. Spending a bit more annually could potentially save you tens of thousands in case of an at-fault crash.

Is bodily injury coverage expensive?

The cost of bodily injury (BI) liability coverage varies based on the coverage amount and your driving history. Interestingly, increasing your BI coverage might be a good deal. For example, in Pennsylvania, doubling your BI coverage only raises your premium by about 10%.

Is there a deductible for liability car insurance?

No, there’s no deductible associated with liability car insurance. Deductibles are commonly linked to other coverage types like comprehensive, collision, uninsured motorist, and underinsured motorist coverage.

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