If you cause a car crash in which someone else is injured, your bodily injury liability (BI or BIL) insurance pays for expenses related to injuries they sustain in the crash.
It is one of the two forms of indebtedness cable car policy coverage that give for any damage you cause early drivers .
about every state sets a minimal prerequisite for bodily injury coverage to demonstrate your fiscal province on the road, such as $ 25,000 per person. But consumers have the choice to buy coverage beyond the legal minimum .

What does bodily injury coverage pay for?

Bodily wound liability insurance pays for injuries you cause to another driver if you are at demerit in the accident. It includes medical bills ampere well as lost wages and tied funeral costs if applicable.

bodily injury does not cover the aesculapian costs of injuries you may get in the accident. It is considered “ third-party ” insurance since it only pays for damage to other drivers and passengers ( you ‘re the “ first party ” ) .

What is covered under bodily injury coverage

The types of expenses a third gear party can file against your bodily injury indebtedness policy include :

  • Medical bills: For the other party’s hospitalization, follow-up care and related medical or health care.
  • Lost wages: If the harmed party was seriously injured and unable to work, your bodily injury liability coverage makes up for their lost income. This amount will be based upon the amount of time they are unable to work as a result of the injury, and subject to various limits based on where you live.
  • Legal fees: This is the one item where bodily injury pays for your expenses instead of the third party. Your insurer will usually provide legal defense for you if you are sued by the other party, and that’s paid for under your own bodily injury coverage.
  • Funeral costs: Pays for costs associated with funeral and burial if someone is killed as a result of the crash.

>> LEARN MORE : understanding blame in Car Accidents for indemnity Purposes

How to understand bodily injury liability limits

Your bodily injury coverage is stated in part of a three-number format such as “ 25/50/25. ” In the three-number format, the first two numbers are the bodily injury coverage limits and the third base is for property wrong, a separate type of coverage .
The beginning number is the amount of coverage for one person in the accident, while the second number represents the sum covered in the entire accident. so, for exemplar, if you are quoted a 25/50 specify for bodily injury, it means that the policy policy will cover up to a utmost of $ 25,000 per person injured in an accident and a total of $ 50,000 in claims for a unmarried accident .
We ‘ll look at two examples to explain how bodily injury liability works .

  • You were deemed at fault for an accident in which two people in the other vehicle were injured. Person A had medical expenses of $30,000, while Person B had medical expenses of $10,000. While the combined medical bills are within the $50,000 limit per accident, your auto insurance policy will only pay Person A $25,000, and Person B $10,000. That’s because Person A’s expenses exceeded the per-person limit, leaving you on the hook for the $5,000 of the unpaid claim.
  • You were at fault for an accident in which two people were injured. Both made medical expense claims of $25,000 each. Because both the individual claims are within the $25,000 and the combined claim is less than or equal to $50,000, the insurance policy will cover these expenses.

Combined unmarried limit ( CSL ) is another — and less common — type of limit consumers may purchase. Unlike the separate limit, CSL has one terminus ad quem that applies to the unharmed accident and is not constrained by the number of injure people. The flexibility of CSL makes this type of specify more expensive, and not every car insurance company provides this choice .

Minimum bodily injury liability requirements by state

Each submit has a minimum amount of coverage you are required to have as part of your car indemnity. The most common minimal BIL limit is $ 25,000 per person, but your state may have a different minimum. Florida does n’t even require this coverage .
state minimums for bodily injury indebtedness are displayed in the succeed table :
>> LEARN MORE : minimum car indemnity Requirements in Every department of state

How much bodily injury liability coverage should you have?

You should get limits that match the prize of assets you have, or the highest limits you can afford. That ‘s because if your car policy is n’t enough to pay for the wrong you cause, the other driver may take you to court and sue for the remainder. If the judges rule in their party favor, your assets will have to be liquidated to pay for the court damages .

  • If you have limited assets — meaning you don’t have a lot of money stored in bank accounts, retirement accounts or other funds — it’s likely that the other party will be willing to settle a claim for what the insurance company pays out. You don’t have as much risk in a lawsuit when there are fewer assets to spare.
  • On the other hand, if you are wealthy or have savings or investments, your financial risk and exposure in an accident increases. If you pick low limits, more of your assets are exposed when an accident results in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.

Because wealthier people may be bigger targets for lawsuits, we recommend higher coverage limits for higher net deserving individuals, as a higher policy limit will cover more of the claims brought against your bodily wound security. The next thing to consider is how to find the cheapest car insurance for the coverage you need .
>> LEARN MORE : How much Liability Coverage Do I Need ?

How much does bodily injury liability car insurance cost?

Bodily injury liability insurance gets cheaper the more coverage you buy. We found that a state minimum coverage policy in Pennsylvania with $ 15,000 per person/ $ 30,000 per accident of bodily injury coverage costs $ 532 on average. however, buying bodily injury coverage that ‘s more than six times more generous ( $ 100,000/ $ 200,000 ) increased our sample driver ‘s rates by only 18 %, to $ 627 per class .
How much is bodily injury liability coverage?

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BI coverage limit

Annual cost

Coverage per premium dollar spent

$15,000/$30,000 (state minimum) $532 $56
$20,000/$40,000 $552 $72
$25,000/$50,000 $560 $89
$30,000/$60,000 $585 $103
$50,000/$100,000 $589 $170
$100,000/$200,000 $627 $319

How to file a bodily injury liability claim

BI claims are considered “ third-party claims, ” which means you are filing a claim against the at-fault driver ’ south policy company .
In order to make certain a fair sum of your expenses are paid for, you will be required to document and keep a commemorate of the accident. Before making a claim, you should be prepared to provide :

  • A detailed description of what happened
  • Photos of the scene and any injuries you sustained
  • Records of medical examinations and any bills from doctors and health care providers
  • Receipts of all related expenses
  • Proof of lost wages: If the injuries you sustained caused you to miss work and potential income, documentation of this from your employer is necessary

>> LEARN MORE : How to File a Car Insurance Claim After making a claim :

  • You should hear back within a set time frame, as determined by your state and policy, or get an explanation for any delay.
  • Be prepared to discuss the incident. A liability claim examiner or adjuster may want clarification to assess the sustained injuries as well as the cost of the claim.
  • Your right to collect compensation for your claim may have a time limit as well: You may be required to accept a settlement within the required time frame as regulated by state law. You can either accept the offer or file a lawsuit if you do not agree with the settlement.
  • Sign the release form only if you are ready: As part of the process, the insurance company will ask you to waive all future rights to pursue the person and company for further payments after settlement. You should take into account future medical bills and any expenses that might arise. Ask an attorney to review the settlement and release.

How much is the average bodily liability claim worth?

Compared with place damage liability claims, which have averaged around $ 3,600 per claim over the last 10 years, bodily injury claims tend to be significantly higher .
In 2019, the average bodily injury claim was $ 18,417 as reported by Insurance Services Office Inc. ( ISO ). Bodily wound claims tend to be relatively infrequent, however, with lone 1.1 % of policies experiencing a claim that year. Based on this datum, most bodily injury claims fall within scope of the minimal coverage limits required by the states, with a few exceptions, such as Florida .
>> LEARN MORE : Cashing a cable car policy Claim Check This should not be used as the sole piece of information in determining your terminus ad quem, however. These numbers do not indicate a wide range of claim amounts, ranging from the fortunately moo to catastrophically high claims .


Average bodily injury claim amount

2010 $14,406
2011 $14,848
2012 $14,690
2013 $15,441
2014 $15,384
2015 $16,046
2016 $16,149
2017 $16,075
2018 $17,164
2019 $18,417

Frequently asked questions

What is bodily injury liability coverage?

Bodily injury coverage pays for fiscal wrong to others that occurs as a solution of a car crash that you ‘re responsible for. This could include aesculapian bills, lost wages and legal fees.

Do I need bodily injury liability coverage?

In most cases, yes. Every express except Florida requires BI liability coverage in order to register a car.

How much bodily injury coverage should I buy?

You will decidedly need to buy at least adequate to meet the minimum necessitate amount in your country, but we recommend drivers buy more based on their net worth and how often they drive, as a few extra dollars per year could save you tens of thousands if you ‘re ever in an at-fault crash.

Is bodily injury coverage expensive?

The cost of BI indebtedness coverage depends on how much you buy, vitamin a well as other factors like your driving history. The more coverage you buy, the better the conduct. For example, while the average price of a legal minimum insurance policy is $ 532 per year in Pennsylvania, we found that doubling your BI coverage only increases your bounty by about 10 % .


ValuePenguin ‘s analysis used policy rate data from Quadrant Information Services. These rates were publicly sourced from insurance company filings and should be used for comparative purposes only, as your quotes may be unlike .

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