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What is Liability Car Insurance?

Keeping your car running isn’t cheap. Beyond buying the vehicle in the first place, you also have a number of other ongoing costs to consider. Besides maintenance, regular oil changes and gasoline, you also need to consider the fact that you need to buy car insurance. Most states require you to have a minimal level of insurance protection if you’re going to take your car out on public roads. There are various brands of car insurance available to drivers, such as MAPFRE car insurance, but nearly every carrier offers different levels of coverage. In most states, everyone has to have liability car insurance as an absolute minimum, but what is liability car insurance?

How does Liability Car Insurance work?

Car liability insurance offers financial protection for the vehicle’s driver in the event that they are legally responsible for causing harm to another person or property while driving their vehicle. Liability insurance only offers coverage for damage or injury to third parties or their property. No protection is available for the driver themselves or their own property.

There are two types of liability coverage encompassed in automobile insurance policies:

Bodily injury liability coverage protects the covered driver who is at fault from having to pay the damages sustained by third parties injured in an accident. Damages payable under bodily injury liability coverage can include medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of income and compensation for pain and suffering resulting from the injury – up to the limits of bodily injury liability coverage purchased by the policyholder. Not only that, it helps to cover the legal fees of the policyholder should the accident result in legal action against them.

The other type of liability coverage is property damage liability coverage. This helps to cover the costs of repairing any damage to property, including other vehicles, that occurred as a result of an accident for which the covered driver is legally responsible.

What does Liability Car Insurance cover?

The coverage offered by liability car insurance will vary depending on the laws in the state in which you are based. Every state has its own minimal coverage level for drivers. However, in every state, a driver is able to buy extra liability coverage on top of the required minimum. This is often a good idea since the cost of bodily injury and property damage arising out of an automobile accident can easily exceed the minimum limits of liability coverage required by your state.

The coverage offered by a standard liability car insurance policy will include:

  • Damage to another person’s property caused by you while driving your vehicle
  • The harm caused to another person caused by you while driving your vehicle

These apply whether you are driving your car in your home state or in another state.

It’s important to be aware when choosing a car insurance policy for your vehicle that liability coverage is mandatory in most states by law. It is, therefore, included in every type of car insurance policy as a minimum. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider paying a little more for a higher level of coverage. Full coverage costs a bit more, but offers you a much higher level of protection and  also covers damage caused to your vehicle or medical bills you may incur yourself as a result of an accident.

If you’re not exactly sure what your auto insurance policy covers, an independent agent can always review it with you to make sure you have the right coverage to suit your individualized needs. And if you are not a MAPFRE customer yet, you can always get a fast, free car insurance quote in Massachusetts today to get outstanding coverage at a great price.

Please Note: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, American Commerce Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 4928-8); Citation Insurance CompanySM; The Commerce Insurance CompanySM; Commerce West Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 1372-2); and MAPFRE Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 3039-5). Not all products available in all states.


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