The bodily injury liability coverage portion of an insurance policy may sound easy to understand, but there is more to the coverage than most people know.
Many people mistakenly assume that bodily injury liability covers them for injuries they sustain in an accident. To be clear, bodily injury liability coverage is not meant to cover the person driving the car on which the coverage is placed for injuries they sustain in an accident. Bodily injury liability is designed to pay for injuries sustained by parties other than the policy holder in the event of an accident where the policy holder is found to be at fault.
For instance, if a policy holder runs a red light and strikes a vehicle that was passing through an intersection with a green light, the bodily injury liability coverage will pay for injuries sustained by people in the other car. While it is true that the primary design of bodily injury liability coverage is to pay for injuries caused by a policy holder, it also provides some additional protection for the policy holder.
First, most if not all insurance companies will agree to provide the policy holder with an attorney of the insurance companies choosing should a lawsuit be filed in the wake of an accident. The insurance company will foot the bill for this attorney without diminishing the total coverage available under the bodily injury liability coverage. The primary reason the insurance company is willing to do this is to save money. The hope is that the attorney will provide a defense strong enough to limit the potential loss to the company.
Second, in the event of a loss in court, bodily injury liability coverage will pay for court costs that may be charged to a policy holder. Many times in bodily injury liability cases, the judge will not only award damages to a claimant, but may also assign the claimant’s attorney’s fees to the policy holder. Depending on the length of litigation and the experience of the claimants attorney, this can be a hefty bill.
While these protections are provided to the policy holder by virtue of their policy, policy holders should be aware of their coverage limits. While the attorney for the policy holder and the claimant may be paid for without diminishing the coverage amount, that does not mean that the coverage is limitless.
All insurance policies have limits on bodily injury liability coverage, meaning that there is only so much that an insurance company will pay before the excess becomes the responsibility of the policy holder. Every effort should be taken by both the policy holder and their insurance representative to be sure that adequate liability coverage is in place.
Lives have been financially ruined in instances where policy holders assumed they were “covered”, while they had some coverage, their limits were not high enough. Peace can be gained as a policy holder, by ensuring that the bodily injury liability coverage meets their personal needs.