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What is Bodily Injury Liability Coverage?

A driver who was just involved in a car crash looks at a clipboard that a traffic officer handed her to depict what is bodily injury liability.

Even if you are the most cautious driver an accident can still happen to you. While vehicles and property can be expensive to repair, physical injuries resulting from an accident can be even more costly.

Did you know that if you cause an accident you can be held responsible for the injuries of the other driver or passengers including everything from the ambulance ride to the hospital to any loss of wages experienced as a result?

These costs can add up quickly so this is why bodily injury liability insurance is so important. And don’t forget, even a single accident can drive up your car insurance costs significantly.

What is Bodily Injury Liability?

BI insurance is one of two coverages that fall under a larger umbrella of liability insurance. The other coverage under liability insurance is property damage coverage. Liability car insurance does not protect you and your vehicle, but instead it will protect you financially for damage you cause to others.

What Does Bodily Injury Liability Cover?

If you caused an accident that injured others, bodily injury liability will help to pay for those individuals’ hospital and medical bills, their pain and suffering, rehabilitation, long-term nursing care, any loss of wages, funeral costs and legal fees if you are subsequently sued as a result of the accident.

Who Needs Bodily Injury Coverage?

Essentially every driver should have bodily injury insurance. Not only is it required in most states, but it is essential to protect your assets if you cause an at-fault accident that results in injuries.

How Do I Know How Much Bodily Injury Insurance I Have?

When you purchase auto insurance you must select a limit for each coverage option that is on your policy. A limit is the most your insurance company will pay out in the event of a covered claim.

Bodily injury liability insurance limits are typically represented in two ways:

  • Split limits is the primary way you will see the coverage represented. Split limits mean if you file a bodily injury claim there is a limit on how much your insurance company will pay out per person and per accident. For example, a standard insurance policy may have bodily injury coverage limits listed as 100/300. This means that policy would pay out $100,000 per person injured in an accident and $300,000 in total for bodily injury per accident.
  • Combined single limit is the other way bodily injury coverage can be represented. In this instance, one number is the total amount of your bodily injury and property damage liability. For example, if you selected a combined single limit of $1 million then that would be the total amount your insurance policy would pay out for property damage and bodily injury resulting from a covered claim.

How Much Bodily Injury Coverage Do I Need?

Since liability insurance is required in almost every state, there are minimum required limits that you must have, but it is important to be aware that if the damage resulting from an accident exceeds your limits you will still be on the hook to pay the remaining balance. This is why having an understanding of your coverage limits is so important.

Imagine you purchase an auto insurance policy with the minimum required bodily injury coverage limits in a state that has minimum of 15/30, which is $15,000 per person and $30,000 total per accident. You accidentally run a stop sign and crash into a family of four causing injuries of $15,000 to one person and $20,000 to two others. Your insurance policy would only pay a total of $30,000 leaving you responsible for the additional $25,000.

Higher liability limits will increase the cost of your monthly premium; however sometimes the difference can be negligible when you consider the importance of protecting your assets. Take a moment to review your options when getting quotes to ensure you have limits and rates that work for you.

If you’re shopping for car insurance, look no further than Freeway Insurance. We compare rates to find you the best coverage at the lowest price. Compare car insurance online or over the phone by calling (800) 777-5620 today.

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