The bodily injury (BI) portion of your auto insurance policy covers other people's bodily injuries or death for which you are responsible.
Bodily injury liability covers injury to people, not your vehicle. Therefore, is a good idea (and usually a company requirement) to have the same level of coverage for all of your cars. Bodily Injury Liability does NOT cover you or other people on your policy. Coverage is limited to the terms and conditions contained in the policy. It is mandatory in most states.
As noted in our Coverage Definitions page, claims for bodily injury may be for such things as medical bills, loss of income or pain and suffering. In the event of a serious accident, you want enough insurance to cover a judgment against you in a lawsuit, without jeopardizing your personal assets. BI also provides for a legal defense if another party in the accident files a lawsuit against you.
For how to read bodily injury limits lets look at an example. New York has liability limits of 25/50/10. The first 2 numbers (25/50) in this equation are for bodily injury liability and the final number (10) is for property damage liability.
If you bought a policy with these limits you would be getting coverage for $25,000 per person for injuries you cause to another party up to $50,000 total for all injuries. This means the top limit your insurance would pay for each separate person's bodily injuries is 25K while the whole total they would pay for all claims against the bodily injuries policy would 50K.
The remaining 10 is the limit for property damage. This means the insurance company's top limit they will pay out for the other person's property damage is $10,000. Though this is not a part of the bodily injury portion of your policy PD is required in most states.
When purchasing insurance you should buy what you can afford while still protecting your assets. You can get a quote online for your liability auto insurance policy here.