Personal Auto Insurance Limits of Liability: What the Numbers Mean and Why You May Need More

Posted on May 12, 2021 by admin
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Personal Auto Insurance is typically made up of two parts:  Third-Party Coverage (for others) and First-Party Coverage (for you).  In this article, we will only focus on the Third-Party Coverages.

Third Party Coverage (aka Personal Auto Liability Insurance) will insure for damages you cause to others while operating your personal vehicle, whether it be to another person (Bodily Injury) or their possessions (Physical Damage).  All states require Auto Liability Coverage for you to be legal to drive.

Bodily Injury (BI) liability coverage:

These are the first insurance numbers (limits) you typically see on your policy’s declarations page.  For example, 100/300.  This means the most the policy will pay for BI when you are at-fault in an accident is $100,000 per person up to $300,000 per accident.  If your policy limits are only 25/50 (common minimum requirement in many states) and the injured person you hit has $100,000 in injuries, the policy will only pay $25,000 and you will be personally responsible for the remaining costs.  If more than one person was hurt in the other vehicle, the maximum policy will pay for all injuries combined is $50,000.   Simply put, 25/50 is not enough coverage in today’s world.

Property Damage (PD) liability coverage:

This is the third number in the series of limits shown on your policy declarations page.  For example, 100/300/100.   It may also show 100 PD on a separate line.  In many states (including Oklahoma) 25/50/25 is the minimum limit required to be legal to drive.  Look around you next time you pull into a busy parking lot.   How many vehicles do you see that cost more than $25,000?   What if you are at fault in an accident and more than one other vehicle is damaged or totaled out?  How far is $25,000 going to go repairing/replacing multiple vehicles?  What if you knock out a post of a covered drive through at a restaurant, which causes both damage to the building (very expensive to repair) andcauses the business to lose revenue because their drive-thru is shut down?  $25,000 is simply not enough.

How Much Auto Liability Insurance Do You Need?

You are only required by motor vehicle laws to purchase auto liability insurance that meets the state-mandated minimum.  However, higher limits are the only wise way to secure and protect your financial assets if you cause an accident.  Because of this, many agencies like ours only offer limits higher than the state minimum requirement.  We also offer Umbrella Liability policies for those who have significant assets at risk.

We realize that each person/family is unique and will shop several carriers to come up with the best policies, offering the highest limits, for the premium budget you are working within.

About Rooney Insurance Agency

Rooney Insurance Agency, established in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1960, has provided customized business and personal insurance and employee benefits solutions to individuals and businesses in the state of Oklahoma and throughout the United States. We work to ensure that each client’s insurance coverage fits their specific needs, addresses their key risks, and protects their valuable assets. For more information on how we can help you with your personal auto insurance,  contact David Truelock at (918) 878-3463 or David.Truelock@rooneyinsurance.com .