Liability, or liability-only coverage, essentially covers the medical costs and property damage expenses of the other party when you are at fault. Broken down further, there are two types of liability coverage:
If you are the one who causes an accident, your bodily injury liability coverage will kick in to cover any medical costs incurred by the other party. Possible procedures and services covered include:
This list only represents some of the items that bodily injury liability can cover. Check your own policy to determine exactly what you can expect to be covered.
Whereas bodily injury liability takes care of medical costs, property damage liability coverage covers the costs of any property damage the other party experiences as a result of an accident you caused. This might include:
These are only examples, and your property damage liability coverage may cover damage to other types of property outside of the scope of this list.
Typically, liability coverage is required as the state minimum in most states, so the default answer is yes. Accidents are an unfortunate reality of driving, and the costs that they can incur are enormous. As liability covers the other party, having this type of insurance can save you financially if you do cause an accident.
Beyond whether or not liability coverage is necessary, a better question perhaps is how much you need or whether liability alone is enough. Liability coverage is commonly included as the minimum legal requirement for car insurance in most states, and each of these states require drivers to take out a liability policy worth a particular amount. Oftentimes, however, this amount of insurance is not actually enough to cover all the costs of an accident, or liability coverage itself doesn’t address the necessary costs at all. Liability only covers the damages of the other party -- if you are hospitalized in a crash that you caused and you only have liability coverage, you’ll have to pay your medical fees yourself. While what type of insurance you opt for or how much you go with is entirely up to you, many drivers feel safer on the road by taking out a policy that includes other types of coverage in addition to liability.
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