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What is bodily injury liability?
Bodily injury liability is car insurance coverage that pays for injuries a driver causes to other people, including other drivers, passengers and pedestrians. The policy covers medical expenses and lost wages as well as legal and funeral expenses in some cases.
Except for New Hampshire and Florida, each state in the U.S. and the District of Columbia requires drivers to have bodily injury liability insurance.
New Hampshire drivers must show that they have cash on hand to cover any damage they cause while driving. Florida drivers only need property damage liability coverage and personal injury protection.
Each state specifies the minimum requirements for bodily injury liability and lists the coverage limits, using a series of numbers like 25/50. The first number indicates the maximum amount of money the insurance company pays for one person injured in an accident, after subtracting the policy deductible. The second number is the total amount of money the insurance company pays for the entire accident.
So, a 25/50 policy will pay a maximum of $25,000 for a single person’s injuries, and up to $50,000 total for the injuries of everyone in the car you hit.
Bodily injury liability example
Bodily injury liability coverage kicks in when you cause an accident. For example, if you fail to stop at a red light and hit a car in front of you, the insurance company assigns the fault for the accident to you.
If a passenger in the other vehicle breaks a hip during the accident, your bodily injury liability pays for the medical bills the injured person incurs up to the maximum amount allowed by your policy. This means that if you have a 25/50 policy, and the medical bills total $10,000, your insurance company pays the entire bill.
It also pays for lost wages the injured person suffers as a result of the accident. In this case, the policy covers an additional $15,000 in lost wages as long as there are no other claims.
Are you shopping for a new car and need bodily injury liability coverage? Use Bankrate’s auto loan calculator to estimate your monthly payment.