Does your auto policy include bodily injury liability insurance?

Bodily injury liability insurance - liability insurance form

Standard auto policies contain this coverage in all but two states, but many consumers aren’t aware of it.

Bodily injury liability insurance is a specific type of coverage within an auto policy that covers the medical expenses of others if the policyholder is found to be at fault in a crash.

This coverage also provides coverage for additional costs such as legal fees in case of a lawsuit.

The bodily injury liability insurance coverage of an auto policy is what covers the loss of income suffered by an injured person in the other vehicle involved in the crash, as well as the legal fees that are incurred from a lawsuit resulting from the accident.

Bodily injury liability insurance - Lawsuit

In the majority of states across the country, this is a required component of auto insurance coverage. In most standard policies in those states, it is automatically woven into the coverage. It is what helps to provide you with additional protection against the injury-related costs that occur as a result of a crash for which the policyholder is responsible. That said, it is not meant for reimbursing the policyholder when they are at fault for the accident. It is a reimbursement for others who are involved in the crash and who were harmed when the policyholder was at fault.

There are typically two separate coverage limits associated with bodily injury liability insurance.

The coverage limits are the per-person limit and the per-accident limit. These limits are represented as a series of numbers, for example 15/30/15.

The first two numbers in that series represent the bodily liability limits. The third number in that series is the property damage liability limit. For instance, the following are the limits represented by the aforementioned series of numbers:

  • $15,000 for one person per accident in bodily injury coverage
  •  $30,000 for more than one person per accident in bodily injury coverage
  • $15,000 for property damage per accident

In the above example, as illustrated in a recent Forbes report, if a policyholder causes a crash and another person is hurt, the first limit applies. If multiple people are hurt, the second limit applies to the total of all the expenses from the injured parties combined.

The only states that do not require bodily injury liability insurance are Virginia and New Hampshire. Except those two states, proof of the coverage is a requirement for registering a vehicle.

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