Bodily Injury: What Protects Your Wallet When You Hurt Someone

What is Bodily Injury? It is the coverage that pays when you are legally liable for bodily injury or death caused to someone else(not yourself or your passengers) by your vehicle. It includes legal defense fees if you are sued.

Bodily Injury usually is the first coverage listed on your auto insurance policy.  The coverages typically are combinations such as 10/20, 25/50, 50/100, 100/300, or 250/500 with the first figure representing the amount in thousands maximum payable Per Person and the second figure is the maximum amount payable Per Accident.

In other words, if you carried 25/50 Bodily Injury and injured someone else, your policy would pay a maximum of $25,000 per person in the other vehicle and a total of $50,000 for the accident.  If only 1 or 2 people were in the other car and their medical expenses don’t exceed $25,000 each, then 25/50 may be sufficient coverage, but if there were 3 or 4 people in the car and they suffer medical expenses higher than $25,000 each, you can see that they would consider you Personally Responsible for their injuries and could sue you for the gap.

Sadly, in Florida drivers are not legally required to carry any bodily injury coverage but ironically if you injury someone in a wreck and don’t have it, you’re now in trouble with the law and they’ll force you to start carrying it!

Why carry higher limits (such as 50/100/, 100/300, or 250/500) of Bodily Injury?

  • Protect Yourself against financial ruin – in our example above you can see if you were only carrying 10/20 or 25/50 that your personal assets could be sued for by the injured party. Keep in mind that doubling your coverages does not automatically double your rates! Usually the increases are nominal to increase coverages.
  • Better Rates With Some Companies Some auto companies actually offer more competitive auto rates when you not only previously had higher limits but want to be quoted at higher limits. Why? because they see that you care about being covered properly and studies have shown, generally speaking, that higher limit drivers file less claims.
  • Do Unto Others As You Would them Do Unto You – If someone hit you and injured you badly, wouldn’t you expect them to pay your medical bills?  By carrying higher limits, you are treating people the way you would want to be treated and don’t we need more of that and less of the lawsuits in our world?



Scott Love

December 10, 2012

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