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Bodily Injury and Death Liability Insurance

Purchase affordable bodily injury liability insurance online today

Illustration of a car driving down a road next to a green field.

What is Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) Insurance?

Injury liability insurance is the portion of your required car insurance that kicks in to help pay for expenses related to injuries – and even death – after a car wreck. This includes injuries to others involved, including passengers in other cars and, in some cases, pedestrians. Most states require a two-fold coverage auto policy that covers property damage and bodily damage and/or death. Liability insurance is the most common type of car coverage.

What Does Bodily Injury Liability Insurance Cover?

Injury liability coverage provides compensation for a variety of items that can occur after a covered event.

Medical Expenses

This type of coverage pays for medical expenses ranging from the ambulance and EMT services to the emergency room care to ongoing medical care. It includes nursing services, rehabilitation and physical therapy, as well as devices such a wheelchair or crutches.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering can be as concrete as what someone feels with a broken bone and as hard to pin down as emotional distress. The pain part talks to actual pain felt, while the suffering part speaks to mental distress.

Loss of Income

When someone is badly injured in a wreck, they may miss work during their recovery period. This protection pays that person the equivalent of what they would be earning if they were at work – their lost wages. It can even provide compensation for diminished earning capacity – the inability of an injured person to earn what they did before the crash.

Funeral Expenses

If someone dies as a result of a car accident you caused, your liability will help provide compensation for their funeral expenses. However, funerals are expensive. Unless you firmly believe that you won’t cause an accident severe enough to kill someone, you should consider increasing your liability limits to protect your net worth. A wrongful death lawsuit resulting from a single accident can have a serious effect on your net worth.

Legal Defense Fees

This is the only area where this pays for your expenses. If you are sued after a wreck, you can use this to help pay costs associated with a legal suit, including your legal defense.

Man grabbing his injured knee

At-Fault vs No-Fault

If you live in an at-fault state, the automobile insurance company of the driver who is determined to be at fault in the car accident will be on the hook for these costs up to policy limits. If your injuries are egregious enough, you can sue the at-fault driver for additional medical cost help.

In no-fault states, motorists are typically required to purchase additional medical coverage to cover their own medical costs in the form of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payments (MedPay). However, if your injuries reach a certain threshold in a no-fault state, you may be able to sue the driver who caused the wreck to help compensate you for medical costs.

The Cost of Injury Liability Coverage

On average, this portion of auto liability coverage costs around $600 per year. The other part of liability, property damage, averages anywhere from $90 to $145 per year. Your cost will most likely be different from this average since policy costs are based on factors specific to you, such as your past driving history, your age and where you live. For example, states that see more litigation resulting from car wrecks tend to have higher liability costs. And even a single accident on your record can drive your rates up significantly. Besides that, it’s always a good idea to do comparison shopping among insurance companies to make sure you are getting the best price.

Does Full Coverage Include Liability?

Yes. Although the term full coverage can mean different things to different people, it almost always means a combination of liability, collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage will help you pay for the damage to your motor vehicle, regardless of who was at fault. Comprehensive coverage pays for damages that happen to your vehicle that are out of your control, such as theft, hail, storms and more. If you purchase your car new, your lender may require you to have liability, comprehensive coverage and collision coverage. It’s always best to get the information straight from your insurance agent.

Some government entities require uninsured motorist coverage, as well. Uninsured motorist coverage – or underinsured motorist coverage – helps protect you if you hit by an uninsured or underinsured (or hit and run) driver. Whether its required or not, it is cheap and when you consider all the people on the roads without insurance, it is well worth it.

What are State-Required Minimum Coverages?

Most local governments require auto insurance coverage before residents can legally drive. This required coverage consists of BIL, property damage and, in some cases, additional required coverages. Here’s a look at what each state requires its driving residents to carry for its minimum coverages.

State Minimum Bodily Injury Liability
Alabama $25,000/$50,000
Alaska $50,000/$100,000
Arizona $25,000/$50,000
Arkansas $25,000/$50,000
California $15,000/$30,000
Colorado $25,000/$50,000
Connecticut $25,000/$50,000
Delaware $25,000/$50,000
Georgia $25,000/$50,000
Hawaii $20,000/$40,000
Idaho $25,000/$50,000
Illinois $25,000/$50,000
Indiana $25,000/$50,000
Iowa $20,000/$40,000
Kansas $25,000/$50,000
Kentucky $25,000/$50,000
Louisiana $15,000/$30,000
Maine $50,000/$100,000
Maryland $30,000/$60,000
Massachusetts $20,000/$40,000
Michigan $50,000/$100,000
Minnesota $170,000/$510,000
Mississippi $25,000/$50,000
Missouri $25,000/$50,000
Montana $25,000/$50,000
Nebraska $25,000/$50,000
Nevada $25,000/$50,000
New Hampshire* $25,000/$50,000
New Jersey $15,000/$30,000
New Mexico $25,000/$50,000
New York $25,000/$50,000
North Carolina $30,000/$60,000
North Dakota $25,000/$50,000
Ohio $25,000/$50,000
Oklahoma $25,000/$50,000
Oregon $25,000/$50,000
Pennsylvania $15,000/$30,000
Rhode Island $25,000/$50,000
South Carolina $25,000/$50,000
South Dakota $25,000/$50,000
Tennessee $25,000/$50,000
Texas $30,000/$60,000
Utah $25,000/$65,000
Vermont $25,000/$50,000
Virginia $30,000/$60,000
Washington $25,000/$50,000
West Virginia $25,000/$50,000
Wisconsin $25,000/$50,000
Wyoming $25,000/$50,000

* Florida: Florida requires drivers to purchase a minimum of $10,000 PIP and $10,000 property damage auto liability insurance but no BIL auto liability insurance.

* New Hampshire: Motorists are not required to carry auto insurance coverage. However, if you are responsible for someone else’s injuries and damages, you must show proof of financial responsibility. Choosing to buy the minimum liability available can protect your assets if you cause an accident. If you buy coverage, these are the minimum amounts you will be required to purchase.

Why Do I See that Portion of my Policy as 25/50?

This represents the amount of financial responsibility you will have per person and per car accident. What that means is that your automobile insurance company will provide a maximum amount of $25,000 for medical costs per person for each auto accident and a maximum amount of $50,000 total, per accident (minus your deductible). Every state sets their own minimum amount of state required coverage drivers must carry. See the table below for information on how much your state requires.

With medical costs today, many people choose to purchase more than the state-required liability in order to be better protected. Your premium is your financial responsibility.

The Best Amount to Carry

According to expert information, motorists should carry at least $100,000 to pay the expenses of one injured person and $300,000 for multiple injured people. Remember, you can be sued if your policy does not provide enough to cover the medical costs of injuries in an auto accident you caused. These means you could lose assets, including your home in a successful suit. Knowing your net worth can help you determine how much protection you need. One personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit can destroy your net worth.

The Difference Between Liability, PIP and MedPay

Harm and death liability is required in every state except two (New Hampshire and Florida). This coverage pays for medical costs associated with a covered event for people who are affected by an at-fault driver. However, in no-fault states and in some at-fault states, motorists may be required to carry additional medical protection in the form of personal injury protection (PIP) or MedPay. These two forms of medical protection cover you and your passengers, regardless of who is at fault. This can be a real bonus to your finances if there is a bad car wreck.


This coverage is more popular. It is required in 12 states where only two states require MedPay. Other states may require agents to provide information about PIP or MedPay and their residents must refuse this in writing. PIP offers a variety of coverage following a car wreck and it is available immediately, unlike liability which may not pay out until after insurers have determined who is at fault. Some of the items covered by PIP include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Rehab
  • Help paying for things like child care and house cleaning if you are unable
  • Funeral expenses


Medical payments is only required in New Hampshire and Maine. In New Hampshire, motorists will only be required to pay for MedPay if they elect to have coverage. Like PIP, MedPay is designed to kick in immediately while carriers possibly battle out in court who is responsible. Some items covered with MedPay include:

  • Medical costs
  • Physician visits
  • Bills for X-rays, surgeries, medical devices
  • Nursing care and rehab
  • Funeral expenses

One big difference between PIP and MedPay is that PIP requires a deductible, while MedPay does not. However, MedPay does not compensate for lost wages or duties, such as childcare, that an injured person can no longer perform. On the other hand, you can use MedPay to help pay for your regular health policy deductible.

What Will Injury Liability Not Cover?

It won’t provide compensation for your medical bills and your lost wages. It won’t pay for any damage to motor vehicles or other items damaged in the covered event, such as mailboxes, fences, etc. It won’t pay for injuries your passengers suffer. It won’t pay for things such as rental cars while your car is in the shop for repairs, but in most cases, it will cover a rental car that you are driving when you have an auto accident.

Woman getting a liability report form the police woman after a car accident and another woman speaking to a male police in the background

What is the Difference Between Bodily and Property Damage Liability Coverage?

One is compensation for medically-associated costs linked to injuries from a covered event, while the other pays for damage to vehicles and other property from a covered event. The majority of covered events are car crashes. Almost every state requires its motorists to carry these types of auto liability coverages.

In an at-fault state, the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company will help pay compensation for injuries and damages suffered by others. In a no-fault state, property damage liability coverage is applied to the policyholder’s damages regardless of who caused the event. Most no-fault states require drivers to carry some additional form of medical coverage to help pay for their injuries.

Most states require a minimal amount of liability. Many drivers increase their coverage limits to be more protected. With today’s medical bills and repair costs, most minimum amounts won’t pay for the total amount, leaving people paying out of pocket.

What Should I Do If I Get Into a Wreck?

First, make sure everyone is out of harm’s way. If you cannot move your vehicle out of traffic, stay in it. Call emergency responders. Once the immediate danger is controlled, you can call your insurance agent to report the crash. Your agent should be able to walk you through the next steps. If you’ve downloaded the company’s mobile app, you can communicate with your agent that way. Mobile apps can be used for reporting, checking on status and uploading photos of the crash for your agent to view.

Finding Affordable Liability in Your State

Injury liability auto insurance is an affordable way to protect yourself and your loved ones while driving. Freeway agents will research multiple companies to find the best auto policy for your needs and budget. You can get an online insurance quote, call us at 800-777-5620 or visit us at an office near you.

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