If you cause an accident that injures other people, your Bodily Injury Liability insurance will pay the amount you are legally obligated to pay for those injuries and related costs, which can include:
- Hospital and medical bills
- Long-term nursing care
- Funeral expenses
- Lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Other damages
As part of your Liability Insurance, Bodily Injury coverage not only protects you from paying for these expenses out of pocket, but also pays for your legal defense if you are sued as a result of your involvement in an accident.
Who needs bodily injury liability insurance?
Everyone who drives a vehicle needs Bodily Injury Liability insurance to protect them if their vehicles cause an injury or death to another person. In most situations, Bodily Injury Liability insurance is required by law.
Truckers who operate under their own authority need Bodily Injury Liability insurance to obtain certain filings.
Limits for bodily injury liability insurance
With Bodily Injury Liability insurance, you must select limits, which determine the maximum amount your insurance company will pay if you must use this insurance coverage. Limits are described either as split limits or as a combined single limit (CSL).
Split limits are two numbers that describe the maximum payment per person and the maximum payment for all injuries in an accident.
For example, if you caused an accident and chose limits of $15,000/$30,000, your Bodily Injury Liability insurance would pay up to $15,000 per person injured, up to a maximum total of $30,000 for all injuries in the entire accident.
With a combined single limit (CSL), only one number is used to describe the limits for both your Bodily Injury Liability and your Property Damage Liability insurance. In this case, there is no specific limit per person, just a maximum total that is paid for all injuries and property damage that result from a single accident that you cause.
For example, if you selected a combined single limit (CSL) of $1 million, your insurance company would pay up to $1 million for all medical and injury-related bills and all property damage expenses that you caused in an accident.
Bodily injury liability insurance examples
You’re driving down the street and rear-end the car in front of you.
Fortunately, no one is seriously hurt, but there are a few minor injuries. The other driver has a gash on her forehead that might need stitches, and the passenger from the other car has a broken arm.
If you selected Bodily Injury Liability insurance limits of $20,000/$40,000, your insurance would pay:
- The $500 bill for the other driver’s stitches
- The $15,000 bill to X-ray and cast the passenger’s arm
Since each individual’s bills were less than $20,000, and the total for all the injuries was only $20,000 — well below your $40,000 limit — your insurance would pay for everything.
What if the injuries had been more severe, however? If the expenses for treatment had been $30,000 for the other driver and $10,000 for the passenger, the total amount of $40,000 would be covered, but the individual amount for the other driver would exceed your per-person limit of $20,000.
In this case, your Bodily Injury Liability insurance would pay the maximum amount of $20,000 for the other driver and the full $10,000 for the passenger. You, however, would be responsible for paying the extra $10,000 for the other driver’s bills.
Bodily injury liability insurance restrictions
- If one vehicle on the policy has Liability insurance, all of the vehicles must have it.
- The selected Bodily Injury Liability insurance limits must be the same for all vehicles on a policy.
- Each state sets laws regarding how much Bodily Injury Liability insurance its residents are required to have. This is known as your state’s minimum limits or minimum limit requirements.
Fortunately, Horizon Insurance Services knows the requirements for each state and will make sure you have at least the minimum amount of Bodily Injury Liability insurance required to meet your state’s laws.
- Bodily Injury Liability insurance is required in order to obtain many filings.
- Minimum Bodily Injury Liability limits of $500.000 combined single limit is required if the radius of operation in the state of Texas. Additional Bodily Injury coverage is needed when crossing state lines.
- Extra trailers are charged a flat fee for Bodily Injury Liability insurance.
Bodily injury liability exceptions
As with all insurance, there are exceptions to what is covered by Bodily Injury Liability coverage, and these are fairly standard throughout the industry. For instance, no liability policy will protect you against intentional acts.