According to a recent survey, there are more than 6 million car accidents in the US every year, and each year, more than 4 million people are injured in those car accidents. While having your car for commuting is very convenient and comfortable, there’s no denying that you are taking a high risk of getting in an accident, no matter how safely you drive. The statistics never lie. It is these statistics why people opt for auto insurance, both optional and mandatory.
Just getting a vehicle insurance policy that covers all the damage caused by accidents is just like dreaming that no car accidents happen at all. There are a lot of details in every fine print on an insurance policy coverage, and one of those is bodily injury car insurance, a part of the liability insurance coverage. What is it and why do you need it? Let’s get started.
Liability Insurance Coverage
Bodily injury car insurance is a part of the liability insurance coverage and is used to cover all the medical expenses incurred in case someone gets injured. Liability insurance is a coverage that you get to cover for the damages caused in an auto accident that is your fault. You cannot claim against this policy.
Almost every state in the US has made it mandatory to get liability insurance coverage to legally drive a car. Different states have different rules regarding this auto insurance policy. Liability insurance is mandatory because when a person is driving a car, he/she is at risk of accidentally hitting someone else’s car or property.
So in the case of an accident, what if the person at fault has no money to pay for the medical expenses or damages? Surely the state won’t pay, and the victim should not either. To ensure no such situation arises, the government has made it mandatory to have liability insurance coverage.
What is Bodily Injury Car Insurance?
There are three major components of liability insurance coverage, two are to cover the cost of bodily injury treatment, and the last one is for covering the property damage. Liability coverage is usually represented by a series of three numbers, for example, 50/100/25. These three numbers represent the amount of money allocated to cover repairs and medical expenses. The last number represents coverage for property damage. Even the cheapest carriers have great bodily injury coverage. The first two are what concern this article.
Injury coverage in liability insurance coverage is of two types. One is the coverage for bodily injury per person and the other for bodily injury per accident. So in the example above, 50/100 represents $50,000 for bodily injury coverage per person while $100,000 is the coverage for bodily injury coverage per accident.
Bodily injury coverage per person: This is the amount your liability insurance covers to pay for the medical expenses, wage loss, and other treatment costs (therapy, etc) of the victim of an accident you cause. The amount represents the amount your policy will per for one person. If the costs are more than that, you’ll have to pay them from your pocket.
Bodily injury coverage per accident: This is the part of the policy which covers the cost of treatment and medical bills for multiple people involved in a single accident. Note that it is slightly different from the previous coverage. The limit of this coverage is the total amount of money your auto insurance will pay for the medical expenses of multiple people involved in an accident.
Understanding with Example
Let’s say you’re doing 80 on a 45 and hit a car. There were three people in the car, and each of them got seriously injured. Now, let’s say your liability coverage limit is 100/300/50. This means that if each individual in the accident would need $100,000 for their medical expenses, your policy would cover that, but not more than $300,000.
If there was just a single person, then your policy would cover a maximum of $100,000 for the medical expenses for the person, not more. So for example, if the medical expenses of a single person come out to $120,000, you’ll have to pay $20,000 from your pocket.
Similarly, the same goes for bodily injury coverage for multiple people. In any case, if the cost of medical expenses exceeds the limit, you’ll have to bear the extra amount. This is the reason why many companies encourage people to get more than what their state’s minimum liability coverage limits are.
Liability Coverage Limit for Bodily Injury per State
How to Make a Claim
Since this insurance policy is not for your medical expenses, you cannot claim it. But in case you have been a victim of a car accident, you can make a claim against the liability insurance coverage of the person at fault.
Since there are many instances where the liability coverage limit of the other person is not enough to cover the medical expenses, auto insurance companies offer other policies such as personal injury protection policies, uninsured/underinsured policies, etc. These policies will cover the extra cost that the liability coverage does not cover.
Umbrella policies are another great way of ensuring that you do not have to pay extra from your pocket. If your liability coverage limit is not enough to cover the expenses of the victim, the umbrella policy will cover the extra cost.
That was all about the importance and need of bodily injury car insurance.