If you have a vehicle in Georgia, you need to make sure you have the right car insurance to be able to hit the road legally. And that means, you need to have the right liability insurance – including bodily injury liability and property damage liability. But what is bodily injury liability? We’ll explain.
What is bodily injury liability?
Bodily injury liability is a very important coverage because it protects you financially if you’re at-fault in an accident. That’s because it can help you cover your legal obligation to the other driver if you injure them in the accident. For example, it can help cover their medical bills and even their lost wages if they have to take time off work. It can also help cover pain and suffering if that comes into play.
(Another thing bodily injury liability can do is help cover your legal expenses if you get sued after the accident.)
However, what bodily injury liability will not do is cover your medical bills if you’re injured in an accident. That’s just going to be a no-go. Your liability insurance helps with your obligation to the other driver…not you.
Do I have to have bodily injury liability?
Yes. That’s the simple answer.
The state of Georgia requires drivers to carry liability insurance, and they have set a minimum requirement for the limits of coverage you have to carry. Most states have these set minimum limits, and Georgia’s required limits of car insurance are…
- $25,000 of bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 of bodily injury liability per occurrence
- $25,000 of property damage liability
However, these minimums actually may not be as high as they seem at first glance. You can choose higher limits of coverage to make sure that you’re protected financially in the event of a bad accident. The state minimum limits can be exhausted quickly – medical expenses and pain and suffering costs can add up. Your car insurance should be hefty enough to truly cover you and protect you.
How bodily injury liability works?
Okay, so you might wonder what those numbers we just mentioned mean. What’s the difference between the bodily injury liability limit “per person” and “per occurrence”?
The per-person limit (in Georgia, $25,000) means that your insurance could cover up to $25,000 of medical expenses for each person in the accident. The catch comes with the next limit – the per occurrence limit (in Georgia, $50,000). That means that the maximum that your insurance would cover for an accident is $50,000 – meaning the total of all the injured people’s expenses.
That’s still a bit confusing, so here’s an example.
(We’re going to say that you have the state minimum limits).
You’re in an accident. Person 1 has expenses of $17,000. Person 2 has expenses of $20,000. Those are both under the $25,000 per person limit and the total is below $50,000 (your per occurrence limit) so your insurance can cover the accident.
You’re in an accident. Person 1’s medical expenses total $19,000. Person 2’s medical expenses total $23,000. Person 3’s expense total $10,000. Now, even though each of these is below $25,000, your insurance would tap out at $50,000 because that’s your per occurrence limit. (And note that 19,000 + 23,000 + 11,000 totals 53,000. So, where’s the leftover 3,000 going to come from? Well…it could be you.)
You’re in an accident. Person 1 has medical expenses of $30,000. Person 2 has expenses of $5,000. Your insurance can cover $25,000 for Person 1 and the full $5,000 for Person 2. Even though yes, the total expenses are below $50,000, your per person limit is $25,000. Where’s the missing $5,000 going to come from? Again, it could be you.
Why is my car insurance limit expressed as three numbers?
You might see your car insurance limits expressed like this: 25/50/25. Or something similar – the three numbers, of course, depend on the limits you choose.
The first number is your per person bodily injury liability limit ($25,000). The second is your per occurrence bodily injury liability limit ($50,000). The last number is your property damage liability limit ($25,000).
What is property damage liability?
Property damage liability is the coverage that can help repair the other driver’s car if you’re at fault in an accident. However, this coverage won’t help you repair or replace your own car – you would need collision coverage to do that.
Get car insurance quotes.
So, that’s an overview of what bodily injury liability does and how it works. Driving isn’t without its risks, and that’s why it’s important to have the right car insurance. Our team can help you get car insurance quotes in Atlanta. Get in touch with our team by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat.