Bodily Injury Liability Insurance: All You Need to Know About It

Bodily injury liability coverage is used to reimburse the cost of bodily injuries you cause to another person and their passengers in an at-fault auto accident.

Whenever an accident happens, the first thing that naturally concerns everyone involved is: Is anyone injured?

After making sure that you and your passengers haven’t suffered from any serious injuries, you as a driver also have to consider whether someone is injured in the other vehicle. If they are, bodily injury liability coverage in your car insurance policy is what protects you from damages you cause to someone else.

Bodily injury liability coverage is an obligatory minimum requirement for your car insurance, regardless of the state you drive in.

In the majority of cases, it boils down to paying for medical bills and lost wages resulting from the injuries. It can also protect you if the other party decides to sue you by covering the legal fees. In the worst-case scenario, it covers funeral costs as well.

At Insurance Geek, we want to help our readers understand all the insurance lingo terms they should know.

Below, you can find out all you need to know about bodily injury liability insurance:

  • What does BI cover?
  • What are the BI minimum limits in your state?
  • How much bodily injury coverage do you actually need?
  • How much will you pay for it, and what’s the best car insurance company to get it from?

What Is Bodily Injury Liability Coverage?

Bodily injury liability insurance, also known as BI coverage, is one of the most important parts of an auto insurance policy. Most states require a minimum amount of BI you need.

It kicks in to protect you from paying out of your own pocket in the event of an accident in which you injure other people.

How Does Bodily Injury Liability Work?

When you find yourself in an at-fault crash, the other driver files a bodily injury liability claim against you.

They’ll need to provide a detailed description of the car crash, photos of injuries, and receipts of all the expenses, such as medical bills, proof of lost wages, etc.

As long as the expenses are within your bodily injury coverage limits, your insurance will pay for bodily injury claims the driver in the other car has filed.

What Does Bodily Injury Liability Cover?

Bodily injury liability insurance coverage accounts for a variety of expenses in an at-fault accident, including:

Medical Costs

The most frequent medical expenses covered by bodily injury liability insurance include:

  • Ambulance transportation
  • Hospitalization
  • Emergency room fees
  • Surgery bills
  • X-rays
  • Follow-up medical care and rehabilitation, etc.

In order for the third party to file a bodily injury claim, they need to keep track of their medical bills and provide the insurance company with the necessary proof of medical expenses.

Note that bodily injury liability coverage does not pay for your or your passenger’s medical bills, and you might want to consider getting PIP car insurance for that (we’ll describe this type of coverage in detail below).

Funeral Costs

If worse comes to worst, and a driver or a passenger in the other car dies, your bodily liability insurance coverage can also pay for their funeral expenses.

Lost Income

In the event that the other driver or passengers who are injured in an at-fault accident are unable to work for a certain period, your bodily injury liability insurance makes up for their lost wages.

Legal Fees

You can also use your bodily injury insurance to cover costs in court if the other driver decides to sue you, i.e., for legal defense fees.

What Does Your Bodily Injury Liability Not Cover?

You’ll find that your car insurance policy features other coverages that you need because bodily injury liability insurance does not pay for them:

Property Damage Liability

In addition to bodily injury liability coverage, a minimum amount of property damage is required as an obligatory part of insurance by most states.

It covers the cost of repairing or replacing a vehicle in an at-fault accident.

PIP (Personal Injury Protection)

As mentioned above, bodily injury liability insurance does not pay for you and your passenger’s medical expenses.

That’s why all drivers should make sure to obtain PIP. It can assist your health insurance to defray your injury expenses, lost income as a result of the injuries, child care, and so on, even if you are responsible for the accident.


It’s happened even to the best drivers to collide with another vehicle or object, hit a pothole, tree, fence, etc. Collision insurance can be added as an extension of your basic policy to protect you in all these scenarios.


Comprehensive is “everything else” coverage, and it covers physical damage to your vehicle from many causes, such as falling objects, vandalism, contact with animals, hail, and so on.

Uninsured and Underinsured

Uninsured and underinsured insurance kicks in when you find yourself in an accident with a person who does not have enough insurance to pay for your injuries or damage (or a person who doesn’t have car insurance at all, in the case of uninsured insurance).

How Much Will I Pay for Bodily Injury Coverage?

The price of your liability coverage depends on coverage limits.

A higher limit means a higher premium, but it’s a much better value in the long run.

Besides that, an insurance company will assess whether you are a safe driver, your age, your vehicle, etc., when determining the price of your auto insurance coverage.

We can help you calculate the price of your bodily injury liability coverage with our quote calculator!

Get the Cheapest Bodily Injury Liability Insurance Quotes

Calculating the price of your car insurance and bodily injury liability coverage is not simple. An insurance company will assess your financial responsibility (credit score), the type of your vehicle, your location, and your age, among other factors.

That’s why we’ve designed a car insurance quote calculator that generates quotes from multiple insurance companies that are our carriers. The top companies we work with are Nationwide and Safeco, but another insurance company may have a better offer for you.

All you need to do to compare quotes and learn how much you will pay is to enter your basic info into our quote calculator.

We also offer a variety of discounts through our carriers. For instance, you can get a discount if you get multiple insurance products (such as home and life insurance in addition to auto insurance) with the same insurance company. You can also pay less if you have a safe driving record with no recent citations or an at-fault accident.

Insurance Geek offers you expert advice when it comes to bodily injury liability insurance and car insurance policies. Talk to us today and let us know how we can help you!

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage Limits

In your policy, the amount of your bodily injury insurance will be stated in a three-number format, for example, “25/50/25”.

What does it mean if the coverage limits are $25,000/50,000/25,000?

BI has a split limit, meaning the former two numbers are actually two coverage limits you have in your bodily injury: per one injured person and per a single accident.

Therefore, the first number refers to the maximum amount of coverage you can use for one person (in the example above, $25,000 per person limit in an accident).

The second number states the maximum total limit in a single accident. Back to the example above, it would mean that your bodily injury liability insurance can pay a maximum total of $50,000 for all injuries in one accident.

The third number addresses the property damage liability coverage limit, which is separate from bodily injury and pays out for the damage you caused to another driver’s car.

Some insurance companies also offer a combined single limit (CSL) that encompasses all three limits we described above. While a combined single limit may be more flexible in that it pays for the entire accident, it’s also more expensive, and not many customers opt for it.

How Much Bodily Injury Liability Do You Need?

How much bodily injury liability do I need? To get legally on the road, you’ll need to have the required minimum of your state (per person injured and per accident). However, it’s only that – the minimum.

To protect you and your family members adequately, it’s highly recommended to go over the minimum limits.

They might be enough to pay for minor injuries, such as ambulance transportation, but what if a person suffers from more severe injuries as a result of an accident? You’ll be left on the hook for the cost of injuries your bodily injury coverage can’t pay.

Injuries can get quite costly, especially when other factors, such as the lost wage of the injured person are taken into account.

Getting enough coverage equals peace of mind. We advise our insured drivers to go with $100,000 coverage in bodily injury liability and ensure they have enough coverage under any circumstances.

Minimum Required Bodily Injury Liability By State

Do you want to learn about your minimum insurance requirements? Below, you’ll find state minimums for every state according to the Insurance Information Institute.

The first number refers to the amount per person injured, and the second to the maximum amount per accident.

Bodily Injury Liability Calculator

people after a car accident

At Insurance Geek, we understand the importance of having enough coverage in bodily injury.

At the same time, we want to help you find an insurance company that has the best deal for you. You can get instant online quotes here – for FREE!

Reach out to us with any further inquiries you may have, and we’ll find you a tailored policy!