Most states have minimum bodily injury insurance requirements that auto insurance policies must meet, but these minimum requirements don’t always give drivers enough protection. Many drivers elect to purchase more of this coverage than their state requires, and there are good reasons to consider doing so. Here are just some of the reasons why you might want more bodily injury coverage than your state requires.
How Much Bodily Injury Insurance Should My Auto Policy Have?
Bodily Injury Insurance Covers More Than Medical Payments
First, bodily injury insurance frequently covers a whole range of expenses that can arise from injuries.
The protection generally covers injuries that people outside a driver’s vehicle (i.e. pedestrians, other drivers and other passengers) sustain in an accident caused by the driver. These injuries can result in a number of economic losses for the injured party, sometimes including:
Pain and suffering
Depending on an auto policy’s terms and conditions, some or all of these expenses may be covered under bodily injury. Often, legal expenses associated with the claim are also covered.
Because bodily injury coverage may pay for so many expenses, it’s normally a mistake to only consider potential hospital and doctor bills when determining how much coverage you want. All of the expenses that the coverage might help pay for ought to be taken into account when selecting limits.
Auto Accidents Can Injure Multiple People
Second, many accidents result in injuries to multiple people. Should you be responsible for injuring more than one person outside your vehicle, you might have to cover the above expenses for each person. The costs can quickly become expenses.
For example, consider how expensive colliding with a sedan carrying a family of four could be. In addition to the tragedy, you could be faced with medical costs and other expenses associated with each family member’s injuries. Whatever figure you calculated based on the above list of expenses might be increased fourfold, and this example doesn’t even consider what would happen if you hit a youth camp’s van or were the driver responsible for a multi-car pile-up.
When determining how much bodily injury coverage you need, don’t assume only one person will be injured in an accident. Plan for a worst-case scenario where you’re financially liable for multiple people’s injuries, and select a per-incident limit based on this.
Injuries Can Result in Long-Term Rehabilitation Needs
Third, some injuries not only require costly medical care but also involve lengthy rehabilitation. Injured persons may need ongoing in-home, outpatient or inpatient rehab services, and any of these can become expenses if they’re needed over several months.
Bodily injury coverage often covers rehabilitation when the services are needed as a direct result of injuries sustained in an auto accident. Usually, the coverage extends to any rehab services up to the auto policy’s limit for the coverage.
To make sure you’re well protected in the event that you must pay for someone else’s ongoing rehab services, you’ll want a high per-person bodily injury limit.
Bodily Injury Claims Are Increasing
Finally, bodily injury claims have been steadily increasing. An Insurance Research Council study found that these claims increased at a rate of 10 percent annually from 2012 to 2017.
With the rate of claims steadily increasing, the need for insurance against this type of claim is also increasing. The best coverage for these claims is usually bodily injury coverage.
Consult an Experienced Agent
While these guidelines are broadly true, exactly how much bodily injury insurance particular drivers should have depends on their own situation. For help evaluating your specific needs, contact the experienced and independent agents at World Insurance Associates. Our agents are well-versed in all auto coverages, including bodily injury coverage, and can help you find a policy that offers the right amount of protection.