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What Bodily Injury Coverage Means to a Car Insurance Policy

If you are like everyone else who drives, your biggest fear is being in an accident. The damage to your car or someone else’s is one thing since it is easy to repair, but what about injuring other people? You worry about driving on a slippery road, losing control of your car and causing a serious accident that hurts others. That is why you buy car insurance.


The car insurance coverage that protects you when you hurt others in a car accident is called bodily injury coverage. Bodily injury (BI) coverage is for other people’s injuries or death for which you are responsible. Bodily injury to others is the major reason why states enacted laws requiring car owners to insure the vehicles.


Know the Protection Bodily Injury Coverage Provides

Bodily injury coverage will pay for:

  • Bodily harm, including the medical expenses incurred to treat the
  • Sickness or disease, even if they occur in the future, but are as a result of the at-fault car
  • Required care, that is, if the injured party requires at-home care as a result of the
  • Loss of income, which may result from the
  • Death, if it occurs as a result of the injuries sustained in the


Bodily injury coverage may also provide legal defense if you are sued by another party in the accident.


Does Bodily Injury Coverage Include “You”?

You are the only person not covered by your bodily injury coverage should you cause an accident. Your injury is handled through either your medical health insurance and/or Medical Payment/Personal Insurance Protection insurance.


What If Someone Else Is Driving My Car?

Your bodily injury coverage is generally triggered under several conditions:

  • When you are driving a car and are at fault in an
  • When another driver is driving your car with your permission.
  • When you or a member of your immediate family is driving another person’s car with their


The Difference between Split Limits and Combined Single Limit

Bodily injury coverage can be purchased in one of two ways, either split limit or combined single limit.


Split limit coverage is divided into three categories:

  • Bodily injury limit per person
  • Bodily injury limit per accident
  • Property damage limit per accidentSo for example, your policy might state your coverage this way: 150/300/50. Your injury limit per person would be $150,000; injury limit per accident is $300,000, and property damage limit per accident is $50,000. If you purchase low per-person limits and the injury you cause the person exceeds the limit, you are still liable.


    Combined single limit coverage provides greater flexibility in paying the claim because it applies a single overall liability limit per accident, regardless of how a claim is comprised between injury, property damage or loss. Typical single limit could be either $300,000 or $500,000.


    What Limits Should I Purchase?

    Generally, you should purchase the most coverage you can afford, since if your limits are too low, you will be personally liable. Auto liability coverage is mandated by states, but the limits required vary greatly from state to state. Generally, the state mandated limits are low when compared with the amount of bodily injury you could be liable for.


    A typical minimum limit for bodily injury per person is $25,000 and per accident $50,000. Those are shockingly low numbers when you consider how much medical costs are today. You can readily appreciate the benefit of purchasing as high limits as you can afford.


    Just Ask  The Jemez Agency

    As your independent insurance agent, The Jemez Agency can help you select the auto insurance limits that make most sense for you. We work to find you the best coverage at the most competitive rates based on your unique needs. Contact us today at 505-662-5181 or email us

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