What is Bodily Injury Liability Coverage?

Car accidents happen every day, and they can result in serious injuries. When an accident causes injuries, the person responsible for the accident is often held liable for any medical costs or financial losses related to the injuries. Bodily injury liability coverage helps protect New Jersey drivers who cause accidents from injury-related claims.

Bodily injury liability coverage is a specialized form of liability insurance. It generally provides protection for a driver if they cause an accident that results in injuries and are held responsible for the accident. (Specific terms and conditions can vary.)

What Kind of Policy is Bodily Injury Coverage Usually Included In?

Bodily liability coverage is usually included as part of an auto insurance policy.

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What Costs Does Bodily Injury Coverage Cover?

An auto insurance policy’s bodily injury protections may guard against several possible expenses associated with a covered claim. Depending on the coverage’s terms and conditions, it might cover:

  • Legal costs associated with defending a driver in court
  • Medical costs of treating any injuries that others sustained
  • Any loss of income that others experience due to their injuries
  • Any pain and suffering that injured individuals experience
  • Funeral costs if an accident is fatal

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How is Bodily Injury Coverage Structured?

Bodily injury coverages usually have two limits, which are typically listed as $XX,XXX/$XX,XXX (e.g. $250,000/$500,000). The first figure is usually a per-person limit that defines how much a policy pay for any one person’s injury claim. The second is typically a per-occurrence limit, meaning it’s the most a policy will pay for all the injuries caused in an accident.

If a single person’s injuries exceed the per-person limit, or if all the injuries an accident causes exceed the per-occurrence limit, the driver will be responsible for coming up with any additional costs. 

How Are Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability Coverage Different?

Both bodily injury and property damage liability coverage cover drivers for damages they cause in a car accident. The types of damages that the two coverages protect against are different, though. Bodily injury generally insures drivers against injuries other people suffer. Property damage liability coverage is designed to insure against damages to other people’s property, such as their cars, buildings, signs, or another type of property.

Is Bodily Injury Required in New Jersey?

Drivers in New Jersey technically don’t need bodily injury coverage. The Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act ensured that all drivers throughout the state, from Wildwood, NJ to Sussex, NJ, have access to a Basic Policy. The Basic Policy doesn’t include bodily injury as a standard coverage, but it does offer it as an option.

Most drivers, however, want more insurance protection than the standard coverages included in the Basic Policy. Not carrying bodily injury coverage can leave a driver dangerously exposed to potential lawsuits, and many drivers choose to protect themselves with this type of coverage. 

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How Can Drivers Get Bodily Injury Coverage?

As mentioned, bodily injury protection is typically included as part of an auto insurance policy. For help finding a policy that provides the amount of bodily injury liability coverage they want, drivers should contact an independent insurance agent who’s licensed in New Jersey. An agent will be able to both help drivers decide how much coverage to get and find a policy with that amount of coverage.

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Jeff Kroeger

Principal, Senior Vice President, and Head of Commercial Lines, Mr. Kroeger also manages the company's hospitality book of business and is that unit's primary producer. He is a graduate of Montclair State University and was named a 2015 Young Gun Insurance Business America.

Jeff has been providing exceptional insurance for restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and more for many years. He understands the unique challenges this industry faces and delivers the right coverage at an affordable price.

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