Everything you need to know about insurance basics, like coverage types, limits, cost and more.
Bodily Injury Liability Insurance
When you have the right auto coverage, you gain a sense of security knowing you’re taking the right steps to protect your finances in the event of the unexpected — especially when it comes to recovering from an accident. Let’s take a look at how bodily injury liability coverage is one way to ensure you’re protecting what matters most.
What Is Bodily Injury Liability?
If you’re legally liable for a car accident, bodily injury liability coverage helps cover costs associated with injuries to your passengers, the driver and passengers of the other vehicle. It also can help pay for bodily injury to pedestrians. If you are taken to court over an accident, bodily injury coverage can also help pay for legal fees.
We can’t prevent an accident, but we can help you recover. Bodily injury liability coverage gives you the financial ability to help cover the often-expensive cost to help someone heal and get their own life back on track. It’s all about the peace of mind that you can recover, or help someone else recover, without suffering a huge financial setback.
If you’re at-fault in a car accident, you might worry about the cost of the other driver’s car repairs – But did you know their medical bills could be even more expensive – and you might have to pay for those, too? That’s why American Family Insurance auto policies include bodily injury liability insurance.
If you’re at-fault in an accident that results in significant medical bills due to bodily injuries to other driver...their passengers...and any pedestrians involved in the accident...this coverage can help pay for any third-party injuries you may be liable for. In fact, bodily injury liability insurance can help pay for:
- Medical bills
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Funeral costs
- And even legal fees
However, it does not cover the cost of vehicle repairs — that’s why you need other coverages, like collision coverage and property damage liability coverage. So how does bodily injury liability insurance work? Consider Nathan. He’s usually a safe driver, but today he rear-ended another car. And, unfortunately, the accident is his fault. Worse, the other driver and her passenger were both injured in the accident. After the ambulance rides...The CT scans...Labs and other medical tests...Plus treatments for their injuries... Their medical bills alone could be in the thousands – or even tens of thousands! Because Nathan’s at-fault in this scenario, he could be responsible for paying all those medical bills and more – and the other driver could even take him to court for the costs!
Thankfully, he has bodily injury liability insurance on his American Family auto policy. This coverage helps him cover the injuries for the other driver and her passenger – and can even help pay for Nathan’s legal defense if she decides to file a lawsuit against him! Instead of emptying his savings account, Nathan’s insurance kicks in to cover the costs – even though the accident was HIS fault!
That’s just one of the many ways an American Family auto policy helps keep you protected from the unexpected.
Ready to learn more? Contact your local American Family agent today!
What Does Bodily Injury Liability Cover?
If you’ve caused a car accident, your bodily injury liability coverage helps cover short-term and long-term costs related to injuries others may have sustained in the accident. Some examples include:
Helps cover costs like emergency care, hospital charges and follow-up visits, as well as medical equipment costs — like wheelchairs and crutches.
Pain and suffering
If the injured person experiences long-lasting physical pain or emotional suffering, bodily injury liability coverage may help pay to compensate the victim.
If the injured person can’t work due to the injuries sustained in the accident, bodily injury liability can help cover their lost wages during this time period.
Perhaps the party files a lawsuit against you — do you have the money to cover legal expenses? This coverage can help pay for potential legal fees.
If the accident is fatal, bodily injury liability will help cover funeral costs.
Is Bodily Injury Liability Coverage Required?
In most states, you’ll be required to carry some form of bodily injury liability coverage on your car insurance policy. Typically, states will mandate a minimum amount of this type of coverage for all drivers.
How Much Bodily Injury Liability Coverage Do I Need?
When deciding on bodily injury liability coverage, keep in mind that you’ll typically have coverage limit choices — at the per- person/per-accident level. Each state has its own base requirements, but you have the option to increase these bodily injury limits. A recommended bodily injury liability limit is at least $50,000/$100,000 or more — in case you’re found liable in an accident where people are injured and require medical attention.
Suppose you cause a car accident that injures two passengers in another car. That per-person limit will come into focus and help to cover the costs of their medical bills. If you purchase bodily injury liability coverage that tops out at $50,000 per person, then each person injured in the accident will be covered up to that limit of $50,000. In accidents where multiple people are injured, the state-mandated bodily injury liability minimum may not be enough. Extending that limit can help protect your savings.
With medical expenses climbing every year, it makes sense to boost your per-accident limit to best shelter your finances. The average bodily injury liability limits range from the state minimum up to $300,000.
With a $300,000 per-accident limit, if you’re found responsible for causing an accident that injured three people, that limit will apply to pay for medical expenses, pain and suffering judgements, lost wages for others and legal expenses resulting from that accident.
What Other Car Insurance Coverage Should I Have?
Collision insurance helps pay to repair or replace your vehicle if you’re involved in an accident with another vehicle or if you hit an object, like a tree or pole.
Think storm damage, hail, falling objects, even theft and vandalism. Lenders, whether you have a car loan or are leasing, will require you to have both collision and comprehensive coverage.
Medical expense coverage
Similar to bodily injury liability in that it helps pay for medical costs incurred in an auto accident, medical expense coverage pays regardless of who is at-fault in an accident.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
These separate but similar coverages help you out in the event you’re hit by a driver that is legally liable for the accident and who is uninsured (has no auto insurance) or is underinsured (has some auto insurance, but not enough).
You can check out our auto insurance comparison guide to help you understand how customizing your auto insurance policy with the right coverages can protect you mile after mile.
Protect Your Finances With Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
Now that you know the importance of bodily injury liability coverage, talk with your American Family Insurance agent about customizing your auto insurance policy to include just the right coverage to keep you protected on the road.