Without knowing how you can be sued or have a claim made against you, and for what, it can be tough to make a good decision about what kind of coverage you should have on your car insurance policy and how much. Here’s what you should know about this very important protection.
Bodily Injury Liability
Bodily Injury Liability coverage applies when you are found at fault in an accident in which people in another vehicle or pedestrians are injured. All states other than New Hampshire require you to have Bodily Injury Liability coverage for at least that state’s minimum dollar amount. Two amounts are required: a per-person amount and a per-accident amount. Most states require $25,000 per-person coverage and $50,000 per accident coverage.
Electric Insurance Company does not recommend having only the minimum required coverage limits. We have paid hundreds of thousands of claims over more than 50 years and know that they are often inadequate in cases of major accidents.
If you’re found to be at fault for an accident that caused injuries, the injured parties can make a claim against you for:
- Ambulance fees, medical care, and equipment costs
- Disfigurement and permanent injuries
- In-home care fees
- Long-term care costs
- Loss of wages and future earnings
- Rehabilitation costs
- Pain and suffering
- Service fees (e.g., home repair activities the injured party is not able to handle)
If the injury becomes a fatality, you may be assessed for:
- Funeral costs
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of future earnings
What’s Your Risk Exposure?
Your odds of being in an accident over your lifetime are pretty high: most drivers are in four accidents over the course of their driving lifetime.
What Could That Mean to You?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC)and National Safety Council(NSC)track motor vehicle accident, injury, and fatality statistics. According to the NSC there are about 40,000 car accident fatalities each year. The CDC found that eight times that number are hospitalized and 99 times that number are treated in a hospital emergency department and released. That means:
- 40,000 people are killed
- 320,000 people are hospitalized
- 3,960,000 people are treated and released by a hospital.
Those numbers mean a lot of medical costs and insurance claims.
Electric Insurance recommends that you have at least $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident Bodily Injury Liability coverage. Once your policy’s Bodily Injury Liability coverage limits are exhausted, you would be responsible for meeting the cost of the settlement or judgment against you. The minimum coverage limits your state requires may be less expensive in the short term, but would potentially also be inadequate to meet a claim or judgment against you in case of a major accident.
Our Risk Coaches are licensed insurance professionals who are trained to look at coverage from your perspective. They’re glad to help you navigate the often-perplexing world of insurance coverage. Contact your local Risk Coach™ professional, or call us at 800.227.8211, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.