What is liability auto insurance? If you're not sure what types of coverage options are available and which ones you need, take a look at what you need to know about liability and your next auto insurance policy.
What Does Liability Mean?
To better understand this type of auto coverage, start at the name. The term liability refers to responsibility. Liability isn't only used in reference to auto policies. But when used to describe parts of drivers insurance, liability covers injuries to other people that you are responsible for or that you cause. As part of auto coverage, liability is more than just your personal or moral responsibility—it's your legal responsibility.
How Do You Know When You Are Liable?
Look at the definition of liability to determine whether you are liable for an accident, injury, or other auto-related damage. Again, this term refers to a person's responsibility. If you are at fault for an accident or auto incident, it's likely you are liable for the results.
Your auto policy provider will determine who is at fault before they make payments on claims. A claims adjuster will review information about the accident. This could include a police report, witness statements, your statement, photos of the vehicles, or other supporting documents. The claims adjuster will determine liability based on the available evidence and the state's definitions of legal fault or negligence.
Do All Drivers Need Liability Insurance?
Most states require liability coverage as part of mandatory auto policies. The minimum insurance coverage requirements vary by state. But if you're a car owner (or you lease a car), it's likely you will need liability coverage as part of your insurance policy.
What Type of Liability Insurance Do You Need?
There is more than one type of auto liability coverage in most policies. The two primary types of liability coverage include bodily injury liability and property damage liability. Bodily injury liability insurance covers injuries you're responsible for. If you (as the policyholder) or an authorized driver causes an accident in your insured vehicle and the other person (or people) sustain injuries, you are liable for medical costs. This is where your bodily liability coverage takes over. If you do not have this type of coverage or you don't have enough coverage, you may need to pay the injured party with your own funds.
Property damage liability won't cover injury-related costs. Instead, this type of coverage pays for damage to someone else's property. This could include the other party's car/vehicle, buildings, yards, fences, or mailboxes.
Contact a local insurance provider to learn more about auto insurance.