Bodily Injury Liability Insurance

What Is Bodily Injury Liability?

car insurance If you’re legally responsible for an auto accident that caused injury or death, your bodily injury liability car insurance can help protect you. This type of car insurance coverage helps pay the costs of injuries for any passengers in the other car. It’s required by law in most states and may apply if you cause an accident that hurts a pedestrian. Keep in mind that bodily injury coverage limits vary by state.To learn more about this coverage, get a quote from us today. You can also call our representatives at 888-413-8970 with any questions or to find out your state’s minimum amount of protection.


Bodily injury liability insurance restrictions

Multiple vehicles

  • If one vehicle on the policy has Liability insurance, all of the vehicles must have it.
  • The selected Bodily Injury Liability insurance limits must be the same for all vehicles on a policy.

State minimums

  • Each state sets laws regarding how much Bodily Injury Liability insurance its residents are required to have. This is known as your state’s minimum limits or minimum limit requirements.

Fortunately, Progressive knows the requirements for each state and will make sure you have at least the minimum amount of Bodily Injury Liability insurance required to meet your state’s laws.


  • Bodily Injury Liability insurance is required in order to obtain many filings.

Radius restrictions

  • Minimum Bodily Injury Liability limits of $25,000/$50,000 or a $50,000 combined single limit is required if the radius of operation is 300 miles or more.


  • Extra trailers are charged a flat fee for Bodily Injury Liability insurance.

How much is the average bodily liability claim worth?

Compared with property 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 injury claims tend to be relatively infrequent, however, with only 1.1% of policies experiencing a claim that year. Based on this data, most bodily injury claims fall within reach of the minimum coverage limits required by the states, with a few exceptions, such as Florida.

>> LEARN MORE: Cashing a Car Insurance Claim Check

This should not be used as the sole piece of information in determining your limit, however. These numbers do not indicate a wide range of claim amounts, ranging from the fortunately low to catastrophically high claims.

Year Average bodily injury claim amount 2010$14,4062011$14,8482012$14,6902013$15,4412014$15,3842015$16,0462016$16,1492017$16,0752018$17,1642019$18,417

Find More Information

For information about the Department of Insurance, see page 32.

California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP)

Information about the state insurance plan for high-risk drivers


California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program 

Information about the state-sponsored pilot program for good drivers who are income eligible



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What does auto liability insurance cover?

If you’re at fault in an accident, your liability limits pay for damages and injuries you cause to others, including:

  • Damage to other cars
  • Damage to property (mailbox, house, street sign, guardrail, etc.)
  • Injuries to other drivers/passengers/pedestrians
  • Lawsuits and attorney/court fees

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 year.

It’s free, simple and secure.

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 All quotes are for liability-only policies in Pennsylvania with $5,000 of property damage liability coverage.

Shopping for Auto Insurance

Auto insurance costs and coverage vary. You should always get several quotes. A quote is an estimate of your premium amount.

An agent or broker can help you figure out your insurance needs, get quotes, compare policies, and get the best discounts. Keep notes of your conversations. If you want, have a trusted family member or friend with you.

Compare policies:

1. Use the worksheet on pages 16–17 to decide what kinds of coverage you want.

2. Ask for each insurance company’s quote in writing.

3. Compare quotes.

4. Ask for the complete name of the insurance company that will issue each policy.  

  • Make sure the company is licensed to do business in California. Go to

  • Check the company’s record for paying claims and customer service. Go to and search for "consumer complaint study.

If you think you have been treated unfairly, call the California Department of Insurance at 1-800-927-4357.


Save money on your policy:

  • Ask about multi-car discounts, for insuring several cars.  

  • Ask about mature driver and good driver discounts. 

  • Ask about discounts for airbags, anti-theft devices, or other features. 

  • Ask about payment installment plans and if there are service fees. 

  • Ask about higher deductibles for comprehensive and collision coverage. This will lower your premium. 

  • Think about dropping comprehensive and/or collision coverage on an older car. 

  • If you do not have collision coverage, ask about uninsured motorist property damage coverage.


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Worksheet: How Much Insurance Do I Need?

These are some of the common limits you can buy. Check off what you want.

Liability Coverage—Bodily Injury Limits

Limit for each Person/Limit for each Accident  

  • $15,000/$30,000 (minimum required by law) 

  • $25,000/$50,000 

  • $50,000/$100,000 

  • $100,000/$300,000 

  • $250,000/$500,000 

  • Other:

Liability Coverage—Property Damage Limits 

  • $5,000 (minimum required by law) 

  • $10,000 

  • $25,000 

  • $50,000 

  • $100,000 

Uninsured Motorist—Bodily Injury

These limits are usually the same as your Liability Coverage—Bodily Injury Limits. 

Uninsured Motorist—Property Damage

The limit is $3,500. 

Underinsured Motorist—Bodily Injury 

These limits are usually the same as your Liability Coverage—Bodily Injury Limits.

Medical Payments Coverage Limit per person injured

  • $500

  • $1,000

  • $2,500

  • $5,000

  • $10,000

  • $25,000

  • $50,000

  • $75,000

  • $100,000

Physical Damage Coverage

Make/Model Vehicle #1 Vehicle #2 Vehicle #3


Most common deductibles

  • $100
  • $200
  • $500
  • $100
  • $200
  • $500
  • $100
  • $200
  • $500


Most common deductibles

  • $200
  • $500
  • $1,000
  • ______
  • $200
  • $500
  • $1,000
  • ______
  • $200
  • $500
  • $1,000
  • ______
  • Coverage for Towing and Road Service

  • Coverage for Rental Reimbursement if I cannot use my car after an accident

Coverage for Special Equipment



Waivers or Exclusions



Compare Quotes from Different Insurance Companies

List company Company #1 Company #2 Company #3
Telephone number      
Premium quotes by company      


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How Does Bodily Injury Liability Insurance Work

  	  		Soft tissue wounds, such as damaged tendons When you injure passengers in another car in an accident, this coverage can help pay their medical costs so you don’t have to. Typically, the injured person files bodily injury claims. Each claim usually includes information on:
  • Soft tissue wounds, such as damaged tendons, ligaments or skin
  • Hard injuries such as broken bones and joint or head injuries
  • Whiplash trauma
  • Permanent or residual injuries caused by the accident
  • The date of the injury
  • How the injury occurred
  • The diagnosis
  • The length of treatment and recovery
Often, bodily injury claims demand compensation for the injured person for past and future medical expenses. These payments come from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.However, if you’re hit by an at-fault-driver who carries insufficient car insurance, you’ll need . You can then make a claim up to the limit for that coverage.

Injured and need a lawyer? Call Michigan Auto Law

If you have been injured in a car accident and you have questions about your legal rights to Michigan No-Fault PIP medical benefits, you can call toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our experienced auto accident attorneys. You can also get help from an experienced accident attorney by visiting our contact page or you can use the chat feature on our website.

What coverage amount we recommend to drivers

We recommend that drivers carry bodily injury liability insurance with limits of $500,000 and $1,000,000.

To learn more about our auto insurance recommendations, please check out our blog post, “How Much Car Insurance Do I Need?

We know this is more than what the law requires, but the risk to drivers and their personal and family assets is greater now than it has ever been, thus necessitating even greater protection.

When a driver is at-fault in causing a car accident and he or she is determined to be liable for compensation or damages that exceed the limit in his or her bodily injury liability insurance policy, then the driver will have to pay for that excess. The auto insurance company won’t. The insurer’s obligation to pay ends when the policy limit is reached.

What that means for the driver is that he or she may be forced to use personal assets – such a home, vehicles, wages and income, savings, retirement, college account and investments – to pay for the compensation and damages that is not covered.

With respect to a victim’s pain and suffering compensation and excess lost wages, this risk has always existed for drivers, which is why we have always recommended that drivers carry liability coverage well above the $20,000/$40,000 minimums that have existed prior to July 2, 2020.

But now, as a result of changes to the No-Fault law which allow drivers to choose less than unlimited No-Fault PIP medical benefits coverage and/or to opt-out of No-Fault PIP medical benefits coverage altogether, the liability risks for drivers have multiplied significantly.

Specifically, drivers could now – unlike ever before in the more than 40-year history of Michigan’s No-Fault law – be held liable for the medical bills of people injured in an at-fault accident.

For example, suppose that you are at-fault in causing a car accident that results in serious or catastrophic injuries to another person and that person only has $50,000 in No-Fault medical coverage – or if that person has opted-out of No-Fault medical.

In addition to suing you and holding you liable for pain and suffering compensation and possible excess lost wages, the injured person could hold you liable for paying all of his or her accident-related medical bills in excess of his or her coverage level (or ALL medical bills in the event that the victim opted-out of No-Fault medical), which could run into in the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.

10 Things to Know

To help you understand the basics of auto insurance and, hopefully, avoid some of the common pitfalls, here are 10 things to keep in mind when purchasing auto insurance.

10 things to know: auto insurance

How is Your Insurance Rate Determined? Two factors determine what you pay for auto insurance. The first factor is underwriting and the second factor is rating. Insurance companies underwrite to assess the risk associated with an applicant, group the applicant with other similar risks and decide if the company will accept the application. Based on the results of the underwriting process, the rating assigns a price based on what the insurer believes it will cost to assume the financial responsibility for the applicant’s potential claim. Several Factors Will Affect Risk Rating Your driving record, area in which you live, gender and age, marital status, prior insurance coverage, vehicle use and make and model of your vehicle are common factors that can affect the price you will pay for your auto insurance.   Ask Your Agent About Discounts Discounts are awarded because the insurance company sees you as a “better risk.” Here are some discounts you should look for: multiple vehicles, driver education courses, good student, safety devices, anti-theft devices, low mileage, good driver/renewal, auto/home package and dividends. Not all states offer all discounts, so check with your agent to see if you qualify.   Tort System vs. No-Fault System Each state must implement either a tort system or a no-fault system. The system your state has implemented will determine what kind of insurance is available to you. The three basic coverages sold under the tort system are bodily injury liability insurance, property damage liability insurance and uninsured motorists coverage. In a no-fault state, coverages will vary, but under a no-fault system your insurance company pays you directly for your losses as a result of injuries sustained in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Check with your state insurance department for questions concerning tort or no-fault state systems. Check Into Optional Coverage The most commonly recognized coverages, in addition to the basic liability package, are collision and comprehensive coverages. Collision coverage pays for physical damage to your car as a result of your auto colliding with an object such as a tree or another car. This is relatively expensive coverage and is not required by law. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your auto from almost all other causes, including fire, severe weather, vandalism, floods and theft. This coverage will also cover broken glass and windshield damage. Comprehensive coverage is less expensive than collision, but is also optional. Other optional coverages include medical payments coverage, rental reimbursement coverage and towing and labor coverage.   Where to Go for More Information Information is available to consumers from a number of unbiased sources. These sources include public libraries, state insurance departments, online resources, consumer groups and consumer publications. Every state insurance department has personnel available to answer questions regarding auto insurance coverage and many departments publish premium comparisons to make shopping around easier. Shop Around Before You Buy When shopping for auto insurance, premium quotations are a useful tool for comparison of different companies’ products. When asking for price quotations, it is crucial that you provide the same information to each agent or company. The agent will usually request the following information: description of your vehicle, its use, your driver’s license number, the number of drivers in your household, the coverages and limits you want.   Where to Shop Search the Internet for insurance companies and agents in your area. In addition, ask your neighbors, relatives and friends for recommendations on insurance companies and agents. In particular, ask them what kind of claim service they have received from the companies they recommend. Remember to shop around to get the best price and service. You can perform a License Lookup on our website to confirm that an insurance company or agent is licensed to sell insurance in the State of Georgia. For Your Protection Once you have selected the insurance coverages you need and an insurance agent or company, there are steps you can take to make certain you get your money’s worth. Before signing an application for any insurance coverage, call you state insurance department and verify that the company and the agent are licensed to do business in your state. It is illegal for unlicensed insurers to sell insurance, and if you buy from an unlicensed insurer, you have no guarantee that the coverage you pay for will ever be honored. Read Your Policy Carefully You should be aware that an auto insurance policy is a legal contract. It is written so your rights and responsibilities, as well as those of the insurance company, are clearly stated. When you purchase auto insurance, you will receive a policy. You should read that policy and make certain you understand its contents. If you have questions about your insurance policy, contact your insurance agent for clarification. If you still have questions, turn to your state insurance department.

You can learn more about auto insurance, coverage options, and more by reading the      Guide                   for Automobile Insura Guide for Automobile Insurance , authored by Georgia’s Insurance and Safety Fire commissioner, John F. King.

Insurance Complaints

Insurance Complaints If you have a complaint about your insurance provider or agent, or how a claim is being handled, the Department of Insurance’s Consumer Services Division may be able to help you. File a Complaint