Auto Insurance: Liability Coverage
ARE YOU COVERED?
Typically, auto insurance policies and state laws require some liability coverage for the following (1):
Bodily Injury (BI):
Applies if you (the policyholder) are at fault in an accident and injure another person. Bl can cover medical and funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and more. These could be out—of—pocket expenses if you don't have adequate coverage.
Property Damage (PD):
Covers damage, up to its limit, to another person's property if you're at fault in the accident.
COVERAGE BY THE NUMBERS
If you have split limit liability coverage, it will look something like 250/500/100. Let's break that down.
- $250,000 covers bodily injury per person.
- $500,000 covers bodily injury of all people involved. People injured = $500,000 max paid out.
- $100,000 covers damage to other vehicles and property
Or, instead of split limits, your liability coverage may be a Combined Single Limit (CSL). CSL simply states a single dollar limit that applies to any combination of BI and PD liability claims. While $300,000 is a starting point, it’s a good idea to have as much coverage as you can afford.
- Coverage may vary by state and policy.
Accidents happen, but where does your coverage for an accident begin and where does it end? The answer depends on the type of auto insurance you have.
A common question may cross your mind: Is auto insurance required in every state? In 47 of 50 states (Arizona, New Hampshire and Virginia being the exceptions), you must meet certain auto insurance requirements in order to legally drive.1 While the amount of coverage – otherwise known as minimum insurance limits – may vary, liability coverage is required among all of them.
What does liability insurance cover? If you are at fault for an accident that results in injury or damage to another person or person’s property, liability coverage helps financially protect you by paying for the other person’s property damage or bodily injury claim.
Keep in mind, though, meeting minimum legal requirements doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be adequately covered in the event of a collision. When discussing your options with your auto insurance provider, they’ll help you assess how much and what type of coverage you should carry.