One of the most common types of auto insurance coverage in the United States is liability car insurance. In most states in the U.S., you must have a minimum amount of car insurance coverage to legally drive a car. There are several types of car insurance available to drivers, all of which offer different levels of coverage for different situations.
What is Liability Car Insurance?
Liability car insurance generally helps cover property damage or medical expenses you cause others as a result of a car accident where you are at fault. Liability-only insurance does not cover any of your medical expenses or damage to your vehicle. There are two types of liability auto insurance: Bodily Injury Coverage and Property Damage Coverage.
Liability car insurance coverage is typically written as a series of numbers representing the maximum amount (in thousands of dollars) insurance may cover in an at-fault accident. These numbers indicate:
Individual Bodily Injury / Total Bodily Injury / Property Damage.
For example, with a 100 / 300 / 50 policy, insurance may cover a maximum of $100,000 of individual bodily injury, $300,000 of total bodily injury, and $50,000 of property damage per accident.
What is Bodily Injury Coverage?
Generally speaking, bodily injury coverage protects you as the driver from having to pay out-of-pocket for injuries caused to others in an at-fault accident. This insurance coverage may cover medical expenses, funeral costs and loss of income you incur as a result of the at-fault accident. It may also help to cover legal fees should the accident result in legal action against you.
What types of Bodily Injury Coverage exist?
There are two types of bodily injury coverage: individual bodily injury and total bodily injury.
Individual bodily injury, or bodily injury liability per person, represents the maximum amount of insurance coverage available on your policy that could cover an individual person for qualifying medical expenses in an at-fault accident.
Total bodily injury, sometimes called bodily injury liability per accident, is the maximum amount of insurance coverage available on your policy to cover qualifying medical expenses in a single at-fault accident.
Coverage limits listed on your policy indicate the maximum amount of insurance available on a per individual and per accident basis.
What is Property Damage Coverage?
Another type of liability coverage is property damage coverage. This coverage provides insurance to cover the costs of repairing damage to someone else’s property that occurred as a result of an at-fault accident. It may also cover the cost of repairing the vehicles of other drivers who were involved in the incident.
Is Liability Insurance required in all States? Legally, can I have liability-only insurance?
Most states require liability insurance to legally operate a motor vehicle. This coverage generally applies whether you are driving your car in your home state or in another state. It’s sometimes possible to have liability-only insurance, however the financial risk of having liability-only insurance should be discussed with an insurance agent.
How much Liability Coverage do I need?
It’s important to remember that liability coverage is mandatory by law in almost all states in the U.S. The minimum amount drivers are required to carry varies from state to state, however.
Therefore, when choosing coverage, it’s important to remember in an at-fault accident where the costs associated with injuries and property damage are greater than the selected coverage limits on your policy, you are responsible for paying costs that exceed the limits on your policy. It’s critical to select the right coverage to protect your financial wellbeing.
It’s often recommended to have more than the state’s minimum liability coverage. Generally having enough liability coverage to protect assets in the case of a serious accident is recommended. If, however, you have more than $500,000 in assets, an umbrella insurance policy, or excess liability insurance policy may be something to consider. Each driver’s needs and circumstances are different, so it’s best to consult an independent insurance agent to evaluate what type of policy is the right fit for you.
Full coverage may cost more but will offer a much higher level of protection. It also generally covers damage caused to your vehicle and may cover some medical bills incurred as a result of an accident.
To find out more about MAPFRE’s liability coverage or full coverage, talk with an independent agent. If you already know what type of coverage suits your needs, see if you could be saving on your car insurance in Massachusetts by switching to MAPFRE Insurance.
Please Note: This article is meant only to provide general information about commonly available insurance coverages. Except as expressly noted, this content is not intended to describe any specific coverage offered by MAPFRE Insurance. No coverage is provided, bound or guaranteed by this article. Available coverages, credits and discounts vary from state to state and are subject to eligibility criteria and policy terms/conditions, which will control in the event of conflict between this article and your insurance policy. For information about your policy, please review your individual policy contract and speak with your insurance representative.
MAPFRE Insurance® is a brand and service mark of MAPFRE U.S.A. Corp. and its affiliates, including American Commerce Insurance Company (Cal. COA 4928-8), Citation Insurance Company, The Commerce Insurance Company, Commerce West Insurance Company (Cal. COA 1372-2), MAPFRE Insurance Company (Cal. COA 3039-5), and MAPFRE Insurance Company of Florida.