YOU ASK:

What does bodily injury liability insurance cover?

WE ANSWER:

Bodily injury liability insurance covers third party claims for injuries sustained due to your fault - whether by commission or omission. This is commonly required for drivers in order to ensure that they have the financial capacity to pay for someone else's injury as a result of a car accident that they cause.

For instance, you made a wrong turn during a stop sign or hit the driver in front of you - you will be made liable for the injuries of other drivers, their passengers or pedestrians.

Bodily injury liability insurance will pay for the following:

  • Hospital expenses needed for treating the injury
  • Payment for loss of income. This will cover for days of missed work as a result of the injury, including the days when the patient is recovering. The employer must provide documentation as to the missed work and a doctor must certify that the patient was incapacitated to do the work.
  • Compensation for pain and suffering. This is to compensate for mental, psychological and physical anguish the injured person had to go through. Some of the bases for this will be quality of life, age, pre-existing injuries and force of impact.
  • Replacement services for things the injured party used to do as part of his day to day tasks but are not able to do due to the injuries
  • Burial expenses
  • Legal defense costs for the driver at fault

Please note that the insurance will only pay up to the maximum benefit limit. Also, it will not pay for your bodily injuries - you will need a separate cover for that. This will also not pay for property damage, which is another component of auto insurance that you should get.

When buying this coverage, you also have to make sure that you are adequately covered with regards to your assets. When your liability insurance limits are reached, the claimants in a third party injury claim may turn to your assets in an effort to collect the amount that is due them. That is why it is not advisable to just make do with the state's minimum limits. You must also look at your assets and buy cover that will make sure that these are safe from third party claims.

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