Liability car insurance coverage

Man and woman look at dented car in a parking lot
August 30, 2021

What is liability car insurance?

If you’re at fault in an accident, auto liability insurance pays for damage you cause to another person’s vehicle and covers costs for injuries others incur in the accident, up to a certain amount.

Do I need auto liability insurance?

Yes, you likely need auto liability insurance. Most states require you to carry a minimum level of liability insurance to make sure you’re covered up to a certain amount if you’re involved in an accident.

How much liability insurance do I need for my car?

That depends on where you live. Check out your state’s minimum required amount of auto liability insurance. You can purchase more coverage than your state’s required minimum amount, and also add higher limits and additional coverages on your quote.

If you have questions, give us a call or talk to an agent near you—start by clicking Find an agent below.

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What does auto liability insurance cover?

There are two types of auto liability insurance:

Bodily injury liability coverage

Bodily injury liability coverage applies when other drivers or pedestrians are injured in a covered accident you cause. It may help cover their:

  • Medical expenses

  • Legal fees

  • Lost income

  • Pain and suffering

Property damage liability coverage

Property damage liability coverage helps pay for damage to another person’s property due to a covered accident.

How does liability insurance coverage work?

Your auto liability insurance policy is made up of three distinct elements. If your state requires you to hold 25/50/15 (or $25,000/$50,000/$15,000) for auto liability insurance, that means:

  • $25,000: The maximum bodily injury liability amount your insurance will pay per person injured in an accident

  • $50,000: The maximum total amount your insurance will pay for bodily injury per accident

  • $15,000: The total maximum amount your insurance will pay for property damage per accident

What does liability insurance cost?

If you choose to carry only your state’s minimum requirement of liability insurance and no other types of coverage, your monthly payment can be fairly low. Your car insurance costs will always depend on a variety of factors including your driving history, where you live, and your age.

What doesn’t liability car insurance cover?

Auto liability insurance coverage doesn't cover everything. For example, it doesn’t cover items and scenarios like:

  • Expenses for your own bodily injuries or property damage in an accident you cause

  • Theft

  • Damage or injuries from hitting an animal

  • Hail damage

  • Towing costs

  • Windshield replacement

Don’t worry—you can purchase other car insurance coverages to help protect against risks not covered by your liability car insurance.

How does liability car insurance protect me?

If you’re determined to be at fault in an accident, your standard liability auto insurance covers the costs of injuries to other drivers and pedestrians, along with property damage.

If you're in an accident where you aren't at fault and the other driver doesn't have insurance, underinsured and uninsured coverages can help protect you. This coverage is in addition to your auto liability insurance coverage and is also a required coverage in many states.

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What is a liability-only insurance policy?

Liability-only insurance is the lowest or most basic amount of required coverage you can legally hold for your vehicle. Having a liability-only policy means you’ve opted out of holding any additional coverage—like personal injury or physical damage—and only carry the state-required minimum.

Does liability insurance cover rental cars?

Typically, if you cause an accident while driving your rental car, your liability insurance will apply to that vehicle. To make sure, review your insurance policy or give us a call at 800-334-0090.

Carrying liability car insurance—even the minimum required amount—not only helps keep you legal on the road, it can also help protect you from potentially life-altering costs associated with an accident. When the unexpected happens, it’s reassuring knowing you’re covered.

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You can save even more money with discounts on your auto insurance. Find out which discounts you may be able to apply to your car insurance policy.

If you’re considering driving without active insurance, we encourage you to reconsider. There are significant risks associated with opting out of insurance. Read up on the risks of driving without insurance.

The general information in this blog is for informational or entertainment purposes only. View our blog disclaimer.

*Data accuracy is subject to this article's publication date.

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