If you are found responsible for the injuries sustained by a person as a result of an accident, your bodily injury liability portion of your auto insurance policy will cover the amount. If the injury restricts the injured party from working, this amount could include long-term, hospital, medical, rehabilitation, and long-term care costs.
Your bodily injury liability policy will cover your defense costs if you are sued in an accident. These amounts include attorney fees and court costs.
The Key Takeaways
- Bodily injury insurance covers you against having to pay out of pocket if you inflict injuries on others in an accident.
- Bodily injury liability insurance doesn’t cover medical expenses for you or your passengers, or damage to your vehicle and other parties.
- While most states require residents to have minimum bodily injury liability coverage, experts recommend that these limits be increased in order to address the risks of today’s litigious world.
What is bodily injury liability?
Your bodily injury liability coverage pays for the medical costs of other motorists and their passengers if you are responsible for an accident. Your policy covers all drivers who operate the vehicle covered by your policy. The policy covers drivers who are listed as designated drivers and allow them to drive another person’s vehicle.
As with all insurance policies, bodily injury liability coverage protects your assets. This coverage is essential and could be required by a court to cover the costs of injuries sustained by another driver.
To help cover the medical expenses of an accident in which another driver is involved, you can file a claim to your insurance. Your bodily injury liability coverage limits the provider’s ability to cover your costs. If you have $15,000 coverage but only $25,000 in medical expenses, the provider will not cover that $10,000 gap.
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 doctor’s 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 bodily injury liability coverage not covering?
As you can see from the above, bodily injury liability insurance can be used to cover many expenses. It will not cover:
- You and your passengers will be covered for medical expenses.
- Property damage liability coverage is required to cover any damage to another driver’s vehicle.
- Your automobile is damaged: Comprehensive and collision coverages cover your vehicle, while bodily injury liability coverage doesn’t.
What amount of bodily liability insurance do you require?
Most states require motorists to carry minimum levels of car insurance. Many states require that every driver purchase coverages for bodily injury or property damage. Many states require that all drivers purchase medical payments and personal injury protection. Some states also require that car owners buy uninsured motorist coverage.
The minimum level of liability coverage that you need to purchase is also determined by state laws. The compulsory coverages that you must have will be described in three numbers separated by forward slashes when you look into them. Arizona, for example, requires drivers to have bodily injury and personal liability coverages with minimum limits of 25/50/15. This is how each number looks:
- 25: $25,000 bodily injury liability coverage to pay for the medical expenses of one person injured in an accident.
- 50: $50,000 bodily injury liability coverage to pay for the medical expenses of multiple victims in an accident.
- 15: $15,000.00 in property damage liability. This covers the repair costs of other drivers if you are at fault in an accident.
Each state has its own minimum amount of liability coverage. This three-number description of the requirement is applicable to all states.
According to Bankrate’s Car insurances rates by state for 2021, states require you to carry the following minimum levels of bodily injury liability coverage:
Limits on bodily injury liability
California law requires motorists to have at least $15,000 worth bodily injury coverage in order to pay for one person’s medical bills. $30,000 is required to cover more than one person. It is likely that this coverage will not be sufficient. The required minimum liability limits for all states don’t reflect the true cost of auto accident injuries.
The U.S. According to the U.S.Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services a broken leg can cost an average of $7,500, while a three-day stay at the hospital can cost $30,000. If you are the victim of an accident, and the other driver breaks his leg, medical bills can run up to $37,000. This does not include any compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering. California’s minimum level bodily injury liability coverage would only cover you for $22,000. To recover losses, if the injured driver doesn’t have underinsured motorist or medical insurance, they can sue you.
Financial experts recommend that you carry at least $100,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for one injured person and $300,000 to pay the expenses of multiple victims. Many major car insurance companies will allow you to increase your coverage up to these levels or even higher.
A personal umbrella liability policy will provide maximum protection. When your car insurance liability coverages are exhausted, an umbrella policy will take over. If you cause an accident that results in an injury to another driver, and they incur medical costs of $350,000, but your bodily injury liability coverage is only $300,000, your umbrella policy will cover the extra $50,000.
The III states that you can buy an umbrella policy for $150-300 annually to receive up to $1,000,000 in coverage. A single umbrella policy provides additional liability coverage for your auto, home, or renters policies.
Questions frequently asked
Where can I get information on the car insurance requirements in my state?
Information about compulsory car insurance in your state can be found on the state department of insurance website. You may also find information about insurance requirements on the websites of some state departments. While local insurance agents should keep up to date with state requirements, it is a good idea for you to do your own research before purchasing car insurance.
How can I file a claim for bodily injury liability?
Insurers have different requirements for filing claims. You can file your claim online, through a mobile application, or by calling a local agent. Check the fine print of your auto insurance policy to learn more about how to file a claim.
What is the cost of bodily injury liability insurance?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, U.S. drivers pay an average annual liability insurance rate of around $611, which includes bodily injury and personal property liability coverages. This average is not indicative of the actual cost you’ll pay for coverage. Insurers determine your car insurance rate based on several factors, including the make and model of your car and your annual mileage, as well as personal factors such as your claims history, credit history, driving record, gender and marital status.