Most everyone who drives has auto insurance liability coverage. All states except Wisconsin and New Hampshire require it. You have the option to add additional coverage like comprehensive, collision, medical, and more, but auto liability insurance is essential for any responsible driver. Understanding the issues surround your liability in an accident will help you select the appropriate auto insurance policy for you and your family.
How Much Liability Coverage Do I Need?
Different states require different amounts of auto insurance liability coverage. You are required to carry at least minimal bodily injury liability insurance to compensate anyone who is injured in or dies from an accident caused by you, whether in your car or in another vehicle. You also need at least minimal property damage liability insurance to cover damages caused by you to any property, including other vehicles. Both bodily injury and property damage insurance also give you legal representation if you are sued.
Louisiana and Florida have the lowest liability coverage minimums at $10,000 to cover one injured person, $20,000 to cover all injured persons, and $10,000 to cover property damages. This means you will be covered for up to $10,000 of one injured person’s medical expenses, $20,000 of all injured persons’ medical costs, and $10,000 in property damage. This may sound like a lot, but if you total a car worth more than $10,000, you are personally liable for the difference. If you damage more than one vehicle and/or other property too, you could easily exceed the $10,000 limit. And if you injure more than one person, your total coverage for all victims will only be $20,000. If a number of people are seriously injured, $20,000 may not go very far in covering their costs, leaving you liable for everything in excess of $20,000.
Why Have Higher Liability Coverage?
Some drivers carry only carry only minimal liability coverage, but liability is the most important auto insurance of all. If you total your own car, you’ve lost your vehicle. If you total another person’s car and/or injure anyone, you could lose everything. Future income can be garnisheed, and you may pay for the damages the rest of your life. Many drivers today are reducing auto liability coverage to survive the economic downturn. This may save money in the short run, but could cost you dearly if you cause a serious accident.
If your coverage limits are insufficient to cover costs, insurance company attorneys and personal injury lawyers will come after you for all you have. Insurance settlements for accidents can run into millions of dollars. And even if an accident is not your fault, you can still be sued. There is also the moral issue. If we harm someone else or damage their property, it is our responsibility to compensate them for the damages we inflict. Without sufficient liability coverage, we can only be certain of doing this if we have unlimited funds on a scale to match an insurance company. Even if you consider yourself a careful driver, you can still make mistakes. One small driving error can result in millions of dollars in damages. The best way to protect yourself is with generous liability coverage limits.
How Do I Find Better Liability Coverage?
If you are unable to afford more liability coverage with your present insurer, you can compare auto liability insurance rates online to find an insurer that gives you higher liability limits along with affordable premiums. It’s possible to increase your liability coverage limits substantially for only a few dollars more per month when you compare auto insurance rates online. You can also compare good driver discounts, multiple vehicle discounts, discounts for vehicle safety features, discounts for driving in rural areas, and other discounts that can reduce your premiums by a significant amount.
To compare auto liability insurance rates, find the lowest premiums available, and increase your liability limits too, use the free Auto Insurance Rate Finder Tool at the top of this page. With sufficient liability coverage, you will gain the peace of mind that comes from knowing that, should the worst happen, your assets and your family will be protected.
Auto Insurance Requirements