Liability coverage (often simply called "liability") protects you from damage you do to others or to property in an accident. Some level of auto liability insurance coverage is required in all 50 states - get info for your state's auto liability insurance coverage requirements here.
Car insurance liability coverage is typically made up of 3 separate components wrapped up under the "liability coverage" heading.
- Bodily injury, each person ($50,000 maximum payment per person, for example)
- Bodily injury, each accident ($100,000 maximum payable per accident, for example)
- Property damage ($50,000, for example)
When shopping for or reviewing auto liability insurance coverage, you might see all 3 components lumped together, like this: $50,000/$100,000/$50,000. What's most important is understanding what each liability component protects. Note, too, that you generally can't buy just 1 or 2 liability coverage "pieces."
Bodily injury liability coverage protects you if you're responsible for an accident that hurts another person, covering their injuries and lost wages. Keep in mind, though, that liability car insurance is for injuries to other people - coverage doesn't apply to your own injuries.
Property damage coverage covers damage you cause to somebody else's property - things like their car or mailbox, or even their house or storefront. Again, it doesn't apply to damage caused to your own property.
Video: What is Liability Insurance?
If people are injured in an accident that's your fault, Bodily Injury Liability coverage helps protect you from bills that can include:
- Emergency aid at the scene
- Medical expenses for bodily injury
- Medical services for sickness or disease
- Compensation for loss of income
- Funeral expenses
- Legal defense fees and/or bail bonds for anyone listed on your policy
If another driver's property is damaged in an accident that's your fault, Property Damage can help pay for their:
- Structural damage to homes, storefronts, etc.
- Repair or replacement costs for other stationary objects
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
Property damage auto insurance coverage can also help keep your assets safe in the event of a lawsuit resulting from a covered accident.
Available only in Michigan, PPC auto insurance coverage will pay up to $1 million for very specific kinds of property damage you've caused in an accident, including:
- Damage to buildings
- Properly parked cars
Consider this: in a serious accident, your actual financial responsibility could far outstrip your auto insurance coverage liability limits - leaving you on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars. That's why it often makes sense to purchase the highest auto liability insurance coverage limits you can comfortably afford. While this coverage makes up a significant part of your total premium, it's often money well spent if you're ever in a serious accident.
If you're shopping for car insurance liability coverage, find out how much you could be saving - it only takes a few minutes to get a no-obligation Allstate quote.
If you're already an Allstate customer with questions about your coverage levels, please contact your agent or call us at 1-800-ALLSTATE (1-800-255-7828).
Collision coverage helps pay for repairs or replacement to your car if you're in a covered accident that involves other vehicles or stationary objects.
Comprehensive coverage helps pay for covered losses caused by natural disasters, theft, vandalism, or other similar events.
Uninsured & underinsured coverage helps protect you if the covered accident was another driver's fault and the other driver has no auto insurance or not enough insurance to cover the expenses.
Medical payments coverage helps pay medical bills if you or your passengers are hurt in a covered accident. This option may also cover other members of your family when driving the insured car.
Personal injury protection (not available in some states) typically helps reimburse you for lost income, child care expenses, medical expenses, and other similar things if you're hurt in a covered accident.