Bodily Injury Liability Limits

When you've caused an accident, the last thing on your mind is your policy's bodily injury liability coverage. Will your policy cover all the damages? How much will you have to pay out of pocket? No policy will cover every injury in an accident, but how can you tell how much yours will cover? Look to your policy's bodily injury liability limits.

There are two types of limits. Combined Single Limit (CSL) and Split Limits. In a split limit type of policy, your policy will have two numbers listed for your limit. The first will show you how much your insurance will pay for each individual person injured. The second indicates how much your insurance will pay for each incident, combined over all affected parties. If your split limit policy states $10,000/$30,000, and there are four people with injuries, each of them with $10,000 in medical bills, you've reached your $30,000 incident limit, and you will be paying the last $10,000 yourself, generally by paying $2,500 to each person involved. If there is only one person involved, and that person has a $15,000 hospital bill, regardless of the fact that you're only halfway to your incident limit, you'll be paying $5,000 out of pocket.

In a combined single limit policy, the insurance company has done away with the limit per person. Instead the policy has a single limit of how much they will spend per incident. This can work out better for the client, as it can generally handle more serious injuries to fewer numbers of people better than the split limits policy. If only one person is injured, and they have a $25,000 surgery bill, a $30,000 CSL policy will cover every dollar of it. If there are four injuries, each with a $10,000 medical bill, then you will be personally liable for the $2,500 per involved party that the insurance will not be able to cover.

It's important to realize that bodily injury liability limits don't just protect the injured. It protects you from personal liability. A better policy protects you from personal liability. You've been in an accident. The last thing you want to have to worry about is how much money this is going to cost. Many insurers' bodily injury liability coverage and the state minimum may leave you liable for a significant amount in the case of an injury accident. Buying a policy with a higher bodily injury liability limit is generally inexpensive compared to the additional cost of covering injuries which your policy doesn't cover.