What Does Liability Insurance Cover?

Liability, also known as liability-only insurance, covers the injuries and property damages suffered by the other party when you are at fault in an accident. It includes the following:

  1. Bodily Injury Liability Coverage:

    If you are the one at fault in an accident, this can cover the medical expenses for anyone else involved -- both those in the other vehicle and your passengers. Specifically, most bodily injury covers:

    • Medical expenses
    • Ambulance fees
    • Rehabilitation
    • Lost wages
    • Legal fees
    • Funeral costs

  2. Property Damage Liability Coverage:

    This covers the damages to another person’s property when you are at fault in an accident. It can cover the following:

    • Vehicle repair/replacement
    • Structural damages to buildings
    • Damages to any other objects

How much your liability covers will depend on the amount of coverage you purchase. Policies always have a maximum amount they will cover. For example:

  • Bodily injury: $30,000 max per person, $60,000 max per accident
  • Property damage: $75,000 max per accident

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Liability Insurance and State Minimum Coverage

In most states, liability insurance is the state minimum legal requirement for all drivers. The amount that you’ll need to purchase depends on the state, and some states will require add-ons such as medical coverage or uninsured motorist coverage.

Getting the state minimum will result in the lowest premiums, which is great for your wallet. This coverage will typically be enough when it comes to minor accidents. However, in the case of a serious accident that costs you well into the thousands, the state minimum will hardly make a dent in your expenses. As such, it’s recommended that you purchase liability coverage above the state minimum, up to at least $100,000 per person. To really minimize risk, it’s also a good idea to consider opting for other types of insurance that will cover more than just the other party in an accident.

Is Liability-Only Right for Me?

Liability-only insurance will not cover your own medical or property damage expenses in the event of an accident that you cause. If you have particularly good health insurance already, the medical aspect of this might be fine. If that’s not the case, you can also consider purchasing personal injury protection coverage (PIP) or medical payments coverage (MedPay), which can help foot any medical bills. As far as property or vehicle damage goes, you’ll need to consider whether a sudden bill to repair your car is something you can handle or not. If not, you should consider going beyond liability-only coverage.

The benefit of liability-only insurance is, of course, cost. Since it does not cover any of your own injuries or property damages, it is notably less expensive than getting a more robust policy, such as full coverage insurance. Whether or not these savings are worth the risk or not is entirely up to you.

Start saving on liability insurance today with coverage as low as $22.08/month*. Enter your zip code to find the most affordable rates now!