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All you need to know about liability car insurance 

  • Car Insurance Tips
  • Renee Martin
  • 5 minutes

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Even the most skilled and experienced drivers make mistakes. It would be an overestimation of any driver’s abilities to say that they cannot cause an accident. A momentary lapse of judgment, inattention, or even a technical glitch could cause you to create an unintentional accident. Maybe you were distracted by an urgent call while driving and rear-ended the car in front of you? Or perhaps there was too much commotion on the road and you clipped a motorist? In such cases, even if you didn’t voluntarily cause an accident, you’re still the person responsible or ‘liable’. This is also where having liability car insurance comes in handy. 

There’s are some key differences between liability car insurance and other types of insurance. We’ll help clear any doubts you may have by giving you the lowdown on this essential coverage! 

What is liability car insurance? 

If you are responsible for an accident – no matter how small it is – then that means you are ‘liable’ to pay for damages caused to another person. This can include damage to a person’s property (like a car or motorbike) or bodily harm (injuries sustained by the other person in the accident). Liability car insurance can protect you from costly payouts and save your hard-earned money from being prey to misfortune!  

It’s important to note here that liability car insurance only pays for the damage to someone else’s property – not your own. That falls under a separate category of collision and comprehensive coverage. Most states in the country require liability coverage to be part of standard car insurance policies. 

What should you look for in liability car insurance? 

Liability car insurance has two parts: bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage.  

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: This covers all medical expenses for an injured person. This can be a life-saver as it covers standard procedures like X-rays, emergency treatment expenses, and the like. 
  • Property damage liability coverage: This covers damages to someone else’s property caused on your account. Rear-end collisions, side scratches, dents your car may cause on another driver’s – all covered under this. 

What is not included in liability car insurance? 

Like we mentioned earlier, liability coverage doesn’t pay for damages to your own car if you’re responsible for the accident. Neither does it cover expenses to treat your own injuries. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get liability car insurance. Your treatment expenses will likely be covered by comprehensive coverage, while damages to your own car can be claimed under collision coverage. 

All three are important parts of your standard car insurance policy – so make sure they’re part of the package you select! 

liability car insurance

How much does liability car insurance cost? 

There are several factors that ultimately decide how much you pay for liability car insurance – including which state you live in. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the average cost for liability insurance in the US was $611, compared to $360 for collision coverage and $159 for comprehensive coverage. 

How much you pay also depends on the coverage limit that the company is willing to pay. Typically, companies have three types of coverage limits. 

Property damage liability limit: The maximum amount your insurer will pay for damage caused to another person’s property.  

Bodily injury liability limit per person: The maximum amount your insurer will pay for each individual injured in the accident. 

Bodily injury liability limit per accident: The maximum total amount your insurer will pay for all medical costs to all people involved in the accident. 

Here’s an example to show how it works. Suppose you have coverage as follows: 

  • Bodily injury liability limit per person of $50,000  
  • Bodily injury limit per accident of $100,000 

Imagine you get into an accident with multiple people injured and are ruled to be liable for damages. The medical costs look like the following:  

  • Medical cost for Person A – $20,000 
  • Medical cost for Person B – $30,000   
  • Medical cost for Person C – $40,000 

Here, your liability car insurance would cover the cost of each injured person since all three costs are below the limit of BIL per person limit of $50,000. You would also be covered for total costs, as the total cost is less than the BIL per person limit of $100,000. 

Do you really need to have liability car insurance? 

It’s okay to let pride get in the way – after all, each of us feels we are experienced drivers in our own right. However, accidents are less a result of skill and more about luck – or a lack of it! Don’t skimp out on liability coverage unless you can really afford to – because you’d have to pay for those costs from your own pocket. While every state has certain minimum liability coverage limits, it’s best to be safe and keep purchase coverage above the minimum.  

How do I find the best liability car insurance? 

The easiest way to find affordable liability coverage is to compare quotes from various insurance providers online. You can start your research on car insurance rates by getting free insurance quotes on Way.com. 

liability car insurance

Check out our blogs for info on finding top-rated airport parking, the best parking spots in your city, and affordable car washes near you.


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