What Are the State Minimum Liability Limits?

What Are the State Minimum Liability Limits?Every state in the U.S. imposes minimum liability insurance requirements on its drivers. Although the amounts vary from state to state, they all serve the same intended purpose: To financially protect other drivers against bodily injury and property damage incurred in an accident for which they are not at fault.

The minimum amount of auto insurance you must personally carry depends solely on the state in which you live and drive. For example, New Jersey, California, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts all have very low property damage liability limits. In those states, you only need $5,000 of coverage for the damage you cause to another person’s vehicle or property. Many other states, however, such as Mississippi, Alaska and Maine, require a minimum of $25,000 of liability coverage for property damage.

State minimum bodily injury limits are typically higher and divided into two categories – the amount an insurer will pay for one person injured in an accident and the total amount an insurer will pay for all people injured in an accident. If you are in Oklahoma, Florida or Louisiana, you are only required to carry $10,000 per person, per wreck with a maximum of $20,000 per accident. Alaska residents, on the other hand, are on the hook for a bare minimum of $50,000 per person with a maximum of $100,000 per accident.

Driving Without State Minimum Coverage

If you choose to drive uninsured or underinsured, you could be facing serious consequences. The laws vary by state, but in some places, you could lose your license for as much as a year or have your vehicle impounded for driving without state minimum coverage. That is in addition to the fines, penalties and court fees you are almost certain to have to pay. Additionally, the offense could go on your permanent driving record for potential employers to see.

Considerations

Keep in mind that just because you have met your state’s minimum liability limits, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have enough auto liability insurance. Some states have notoriously low minimum insurance limits that wouldn’t even pay for half of the damage to a new vehicle. Others may have adequate liability limits for the average driver, but not enough to protect the assets of someone with a lot of savings, investments or property to lose.

You should speak with your insurance agent to determine how much coverage you personally need in the event of an accident. Remember, just because you max out your auto insurance benefits, it doesn’t mean you are not still liable for the damages or losses you cause another driver or passenger.

Liability Insurance of Pennsylvania – Bodily Injury and Property Damage

Liability Insurance of Pennsylvania – Bodily Injury and Property DamageLiability provides protection to you or anyone driving your car with your concern. When any claim is made against you by a third person labeling you to be responsible for the accident caused, this coverage will make payments to him on your behalf, if found that your vehicle is involved and resulted in injury or damaged any of the property of the third person. In addition, it will also provide legal support and will defend you when a law suit is filed. Hence do not reduce limits on your liability coverage.

Minimum limits mandated on bodily injury liability coverage for third-party by Pennsylvania’s Vehicle and Traffic Law are:

  • bodily injury of $15,000 for each person or $30,000 for causing death due to any injuries, sustained in an accident by one person
  • bodily injury of $30,000 for two or more in one accident or $60,000 resulting in death of two or more persons due to injuries from one accident.

State law also requires a minimum of $5,000 for any damage caused to vehicle or it’s parts or any damage to the property during an accident. Thus the minimum liability limits in Pennsylvania is referred to “15/30/5” or “$15,000/$30,000/$5,000”.

For any bodily injury or property damage caused during an accident, if it is due to other driver’s negligence then you can claim under the other driver’s car insurance policy, where the automobile insurance policy provides coverage for each person involved in the accident and hence a liability coverage. However, when an injured person in your vehicle is your spouse unlike the purchase made, you need to opt for Supplemental Spousal Liability Insurance. Remember, your wife is still eligible for No-Fault as discussed above. Hence, it becomes necessary to check with your insurer or the insurance agent much before buying a car insurance policy.