Bodily injury liability

You need to understand what bodily injury liability is. Here’s what to know.

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.

Deeper definition

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.

More From Bankrate

  • The Benefits of Bundling Your Home and Auto Insurance

    If you’re a homeowner with one or more vehicles, you may be able to save money on home and auto insurance bundles. As mandated in most states in the US, you need a minimum amount of car insurance to [...]

    4 MIN READ Jan. 6, 2021
  • USAA Insurance Review 2021: Auto, Home and Life

    USAA Insurance is known for its service to the military community and their families. Whether you’re active or former military, an eligible family member, a cadet or midshipman, USAA is available to [...]

    8 MIN READ Dec. 17, 2020
  • 21st Century Insurance Review 2021: Car & Home

    21st Century Insurance, a small operation serving the residents of California and Hawaii, is best known for its fast claim turnaround time and customer service. Most business is done online or over the [...]

    4 MIN READ Dec. 17, 2020
  • NJM Auto Insurance Review 2021: Overview & Rates

    New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company has been selling insurance since 1913. The property and casualty mutual company operates under the name NJM Auto Insurance, providing coverage mainly in New Jersey [...]

    6 MIN READ Dec. 11, 2020
  • Ameriprise Insurance review: Car, home and life

    A well-established financial institution, Ameriprise also offers auto, home and life insurance policies. It sells standard policies at middle-of-the-road rates. Ameriprise recently sold its home and auto [...]

    4 MIN READ Sep. 22, 2020
  • AAA Insurance Review 2021: Auto, Home, and Life

    The American Automobile Association formed in 1902, when fewer than 25,000 cars occupied American roads. Throughout its history, AAA has worked tirelessly to improve safety, producing driver textbooks [...]

    7 MIN READ Sep. 10, 2020
  • Kemper Insurance Review: Auto, Home & Life

    Kemper is a multifaceted insurance holding company that sells auto, home, life and small business insurance products. It offers auto insurance through agents and independent brokers in the state of California, [...]

    6 MIN READ Sep. 3, 2020