Bodily Injury & Property Damage Liability Coverage
These coverages protect you if you’re involved in an at-fault accident and will help cover costs for injuries and damages you caused to other people or their property in Glenwood Springs, Rifle, or elsewhere in Colorado. Bodily injury can assist with the cost of medical expenses or injuries to other drivers and passengers. Property damage can assist with the cost of damage you caused to another vehicle or other property (like a guardrail, fence or mailbox).
What do bodily injury (BI) & property damage (PD) liability insurance cover?
These coverages can help you financially pay expenses for damages to people and to other people’s property. Think of BI as protection for people and PD as protection for things. Below is a list of some of the things BI & PD insurance can cover:
- Medical expenses
- One of the crucial components of bodily injury coverage is costs associated with someone’s medical care after an auto accident that you caused. Examples include: emergency care, hospital charges, follow-up visits and necessary medical equipment (like a wheelchair).
- Lost wages
- Bodily injury coverage can help cover lost wages if an individual isn’t able to work as the result of injuries they sustained in a vehicular accident.
- Legal fees
- If you face a lawsuit due to the injuries you caused, bodily injury may assist in covering the associated legal fees (like for a settlement or lawyer).
- Pain and suffering
- If the person you injured in an accident experiences long-lasting physical pain or emotional suffering, bodily injury coverage may help reimburse the victim.
- Funeral costs
- If the accident is fatal, bodily injury can help cover funeral costs.
- Damages to vehicle
- Property damage can help cover the costs associated with repairing or replacing a vehicle that was damaged as the result of an accident you caused.
- Damages to property
- There are times when accidents happen and another vehicle is not involved. If you cause damage to someone else’s property (like a guardrail, fence or mailbox), property damage coverage can help pay to repair or replace the damaged property.
Are bodily injury & property damage liability insurance required?
Nearly every single state requires a vehicle to have a minimum amount of liability insurance. When purchasing auto insurance you’ll need to select liability limits that meet or exceed the state’s minimum requirements. States use a three-tiered system to signify their minimum liability requirements. Colorado’s minimum limits are: 25/50/15. Let’s break these minimum limits down:
- Your auto insurance carrier will pay up to $25,000 for bodily injury or death to any one person in an accident. No injured person will receive more than $25,000.
- Your auto insurance carrier will pay up to $50,000 for bodily injury or death to all persons in any one accident. This means that when you add up all of the bodily injury payouts, the total cannot exceed $50,000.
- Your auto insurance carrier will pay up to $15,000 for property damage in any one accident.
It’s important to remember that state minimum limits are often low and may not give you the level of protection that you need. Let’s say you live in Colorado and rear-end another vehicle. No one is injured but the other vehicle’s back end is severely damaged. The accident is your fault and you are required to pay the other party. If your auto insurance policy only has the minimum limit for property damage of $15,000 but the damages come to $20,000, you’ll be out of pocket $5,000. While you met state requirements, $5,000 is a large sum of money to be on the hook for. Now imagine that the vehicle you hit is a brand new, top of the line vehicle and you can see why it is so crucial to make sure you have adequate limits, despite the minimum state requirements. As technology advances, our vehicles will continue to have more and more sophisticated features, which in turn increases the amount of coverage that will adequately protect you from out of pocket expenses.
What isn’t covered by bodily injury & property damage liability insurance?
Bodily injury does not cover your medical expenses or lost wages if you caused the accident. Property damage does not cover damages to your vehicle; you’ll need collision or comprehensive insurance to cover these types of losses.