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What does liability insurance cover?


Liability coverage helps protect you from covered damage your car does to others, damage for which you are legally liable and without liability insurance would have to pay out of pocket for damages you cause. In some cases these damages could grow into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

What your liability insurance will cover depends upon the coverage you have in place and your state laws. In general when referring to liability coverage in regards to auto insurance one is speaking of bodily injury liability (also known as BI or BIL) and property damage liability (also known as PD or PDL).

Liability coverage is the foundation or basis of an auto insurance policy normally, and is required in most states. State liability laws differ but the most require liability coverage of bodily injury and property damage liability coverages.

The purpose of BI and PD is if you are at fault in an accident, your liability insurance will pay for the bodily injury and property damage expenses caused to others in the accident, including your legal bills.

BI covers other people's bodily injuries or death for which you are responsible. It also provides for a legal defense if another party in the accident files a lawsuit against you. 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. Bodily injury liability covers injury to people, not your vehicle.

Property Damage covers you if your car damages someone else's property. Usually it is their car, but it could be a fence, a house or any other property damaged in an accident. It also provides you with legal defense if another party files a lawsuit against you. It is a good idea to purchase enough of this insurance to cover the amount of damage your car might do to another vehicle or object. Both BI and PD coverage is limited to the terms and conditions contained in the policy.

Keep in mind that if you cause a serious accident a state's minimum liability insurance limits may not cover you adequately. In most states drivers are allowed to sue other drivers who injure them in car accidents. If you are sued and your liability insurance limits are not high enough to pay for all of the damages, your personal finances could be at risk.

Liability coverage is essential to an auto insurance policy. Most all states require certain levels of minimum liability insurance because this is the coverage that pays for damage you do to others when you are found liable in an accident. If you want to protect your own vehicle then you would need physical damage coverages of collision and comprehensive.

To get free auto insurance quotes for your state's minimum liability coverages or for an auto insurance policy with liability and optional coverages such as collision and comprehensive here with us.


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3 Responses to "What does liability insurance cover?"
  1. clarice hardwell

    What if a deer runs out in front my car and I hit it and total my car out, does liability pay for my car?

  2. K

    What difference does it make what my car value is if I am insured for liability only? I won't recover any money on damage to my vehicle anyway. Is this correct? I am getting quotes and the value of my car changes the premium, why is this?

  3. Visitor

    Does liability insurance cover passengers riding in your car while only having liability insurance?