Even if you are the most cautious driver, a car 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 auto 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.
Parameters of Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
When it comes to Bodily Injury Liability Coverage, there are a few key parameters that you need to be aware of.
Firstly, medical costs can be a significant factor in any injury claim. Medical treatment and care can be expensive, and in the event of an accident, the responsible party may be held liable for the injured party’s medical bills. This is where medical payments coverage (MedPay) or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) comes in – it can help cover the injured party’s medical expenses, regardless of who was at fault.
In addition to medical expenses, lost wages can also be a significant consideration. If an injury prevents an individual from working, they may be entitled to compensation for the income they would have earned during that time. Pain and suffering is another factor that can come into play in a bodily injury claim. This can be a difficult thing to quantify, but it refers to the physical pain and emotional distress caused by an injury.
Finally, legal defense and settlement costs can also be a factor in a bodily injury claim. If you are found liable for an injury, you may need to hire an attorney to defend you. Settlement costs can also be significant, especially if the injured party decides to pursue legal action. By understanding the parameters of bodily injury liability coverage, you can better protect yourself in the event of an accident or injury.
What’s the difference between bodily injury and personal injury?
Bodily injury and personal injury are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings in the context of insurance and legal proceedings. Bodily injury refers specifically to physical harm caused to someone else as a result of your actions, while personal injury is a broader term that encompasses a wider range of damages that may be incurred as a result of an accident or incident.
Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of insurance coverage that provides compensation for a range of damages that may be incurred as a result of an accident, including medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs. This type of coverage is often mandatory in no-fault insurance states.
On the other hand, bodily injury liability insurance covers the cost of medical expenses and related damages that you may be legally responsible for if you cause an accident resulting in injury to another person. Most states require a minimum amount of bodily injury coverage as part of your auto insurance policy.
In the event of an accident, it is important to understand the difference between bodily injury and personal injury, as well as the types of insurance coverage that may be available to you. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may need to consult with a personal injury lawyer to help you navigate the legal process and determine the appropriate course of action. By being informed about the options and protections available to you, you can help ensure that you are fully prepared to handle any situation that may arise.
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 coverage, 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 a 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.
Tips for Choosing the Right Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing the right bodily injury liability coverage:
- Work with an experienced insurance agent who can provide you with valuable information about your options. They can help you understand the different levels of coverage available and guide you towards the policy that best suits your needs and budget.
- Consider purchasing comprehensive coverage in addition to bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. This type of coverage can help protect you against a wide range of risks, such as theft, vandalism, and natural disasters.
- Choose the maximum amount of bodily injury liability coverage that you can afford. Keep in mind that you could be held liable for any damages or injuries that exceed your coverage limits, so it’s important to choose a coverage level that will provide you with adequate protection in the event of a serious accident.
- Understand the different types of auto liability coverage available and how they can protect you in the event of an accident. This includes bodily injury liability coverage, property damage liability coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
- Consider any state-specific requirements for minimum coverage levels. Some states have minimum requirements for bodily injury liability coverage, and failing to meet these requirements could result in fines or legal consequences.
By following these tips and taking the time to choose the right bodily injury liability coverage, you can feel confident that you are fully protected on the road and prepared for any unexpected situations that may arise.
If you’re shopping for car insurance, look no further than Freeway Insurance. We compare car insurance rates to find you the best coverage at the lowest price. Compare car insurance online or over the phone by calling 855-864-4174 today.