D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has appeared on legaladvice.com, themanifest.com, and vice.com.

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Feb 3, 2021

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Just the Basics

  • Bodily injury liability insurance is required for drivers in every state except New Hampshire.
  • This type of insurance kicks in when an accident is your fault.
  • The minimum amount of coverage required varies by state.

There are so many different types of car insurance coverage that it’s even tough to get a handle on the basics. The following article examines bodily injury liability. Keep reading to learn what bodily injury liability insurance is, why it’s necessary and how much you need.

As you learn about bodily injury liability, you’ll also learn the basics of what to look for in a good policy. Learning the ins and outs of car insurance will help you to better pick between bodily injury liability car insurance companies and choose what type of coverage you need.

You can compare affordable bodily injury liability car insurance quotes today. It’s as easy as entering your ZIP code into our free quote tool. Get started now.

What is bodily injury liability insurance?

Bodily injury liability car insurance is a type of insurance coverage that covers medical expenses. This kind of insurance coverage activates if you’re the party that caused an accident.

For example, let’s say you hit another vehicle with three people inside and your bodily injury liability insurance coverage is $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident. Any medical expenses incurred over those limits are your responsibility to pay out of your own pocket.

Your coverage pays for up to $250,000 in medical expenses per person. If Person A’s expenses cost 175,000, Person B’s cost $50,000 and Person C’s cost $300,000 you would have to personally pay $50,000 to cover the remainder of Person C’s medical expenses.

However, that number cannot exceed a total of $500,000 for the entire accident. The total costs of the above accident are $525,000, so you are also on the hook for the $25,000 that’s over your limit.

After an accident, how to act and what to avoid are both important things to know.

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Do I need bodily injury liability coverage?

Unless you live in New Hampshire, you must carry bodily injury insurance. New Hampshire doesn’t require its residents to carry bodily injury coverage though it’s highly recommended that all drivers have it.

Drivers in all other states have to have liability insurance. Each state has its own minimum requirement, though purchasing more than the minimum is wise.

How much does bodily injury liability insurance cost?

Bodily injury liability insurance rates vary by state. Each state has a minimum amount of liability insurance that they require drivers to carry.

The average cost of liability insurance in the U.S is $611.12 a year, or $51/mo.

See the table below for detailed information on what kind of insurance you’re required to carry and how much.

Minimum Liability Coverage Requirements by State

StateType of Insurance RequiredMinimum Coverage Amount
AlaskaBodily injury liability$50,000 per person
$100,000 per accident
Property damage liability$25,000 minimum
ArizonaBodily injury liabilityMinimum $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
Property damage liabilityMinimum $10,000
Uninsured motorist
Bodily injury
Minimum $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
Uninsured motorist
Property damage
Minimum $10,000
ArkansasBodily injury$25,000 per person /$50,000 per accident
Property damage liability$25,000 per accident
CaliforniaBodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$15,000
Total bodily injury or death in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$30,000
Property damage per accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$5,000
ColoradoDeath or injury of one person$25,000
Death or injury of more than one person$50,000
Property damage liability$15,000
ConnecticutBodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$25,000
Total bodily injury or death in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$50,000
Property damage per accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$25,000
DelawarePersonal injury protection (PIP)$15,000 per person
$30,000 per occurrence
$5,000 in funeral services coverage
Bodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$25,000
Total bodily injury or death in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$50,000
Property damage per accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$10,000
FloridaPersonal injury protection (PIP)$10,000 Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Property damage liability$10,000 Property Damage Liability (PDL)
GeorgiaBodily injury liability$25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
Property damage liability$25,000 per accident
Uninsured motorist
Bodily injury
$25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
Uninsured motorist
Property damage
$25,000 with a $250, $500, or $1000 deductible
HawaiiBodily injury liability$20,000 per person
$40,000 per accident
Property damage liability$10,000 minimum
PIP/"No-fault" coverage$10,000 minimum
IdahoBodily injury or death per person resulting from an accident you cause$25,000
Total bodily injury or death liability resulting from an accident you cause$50,000
Property damage per accident resulting from a collision you cause$15,000
IndianaBodily injury liability$25,000 per person
$50,000 per accident
Uninsured motorist$25,000 per person
$50,000 per accident
Property damage liability$25,000 minimum
Underinsured motorist$50,000 minimum
IowaInjuries of one person$20,000
Injuries of more than one person$40,000
Property damage liability$15,000
KansasInjury or death per person in an accident caused by you$25,000
Total injuries or the death per accident the insured caused by you$50,000
Property damage in an accident the insured driver caused by you$25,000
Uninsured/underinsured motorist$25,000 per person
$50,000 per accident
KentuckyBodily injury liability for one person$25,000
Bodily injury liability total for an accident$50,000
Property damage liability$25,000
Personal injury protection (PIP)$10,000
LouisianaInjury/death per person$15,000
Injuries or death per accident$30,000
Property damage per accident$25,000
MaineDeath or injury per person$50,000
Total death or injury per accident$100,000
Property damage per accident$25,000
Uninsured/underinsured motoristN/A
MedpayN/A
MarylandBodily injury liability of one person$30,000
Bodily injury liability two or more people$60,000
Property damage liability$15,000
MassachusettsBodily injury liability$20,000 per one person
$40,000 total per accident
Property damage liability$5,000 per accident
No-fault personal injury$8,000
Uninsured motorist$20,000 per one person
$40,000 per accident
MichiganPersonal injury protection (PIP)$50,000 (for drivers enrolled in Medicaid)
$250,000 all others
Personal property protection (PPI)$1 million
Bodily injury liability$50,000 per person
$100,000 per incident
Property damage liability$10,000 per incident
MinnesotaPersonal injury protection (PIP)$40,000 per person per accident. ($20,000 for medical expenses and $20,000 for non-medical expenses)
Bodily injury liability$30,000 per person
$60,000 for two or more people (per incident)
Property damage liability$10,000
Uninsured motorist
Bodily injury
$25,000 per person
$50,000 for two or more people (per incident)
Underinsured motorist
Bodily injury
$25,000 per person
$50,000 for two or more people (per incident)
MississippiBodily injury per person$20,000
Total bodily injury per accident$40,000
Property damage per accident$10,000
MissouriInjury or death per person in an accident you caused$25,000
Total injuries or death per accident you caused$50,000
Property damage per accident you caused$10,000
Uninsured motorist$25,000 in bodily injury per person
$50,000 in bodily injury per accident
MontanaInjury or death of one person in an accident you caused$25,000
Total injuries or death of more than one person in an accident you caused$50,000
Property damage in an accident you caused$20,000
NebraskaInjury or death per person in an accident you caused$25,000
Total injuries or death per accident you caused$50,000
Property damage per accident you caused$25,000
Uninsured/underinsured motorist$25,000 to cover your own injury per person
$50,000 to cover total injuries or death per accident
NevadaBodily injury or death of any individual resulting from an accident the vehicle owner/driver causes$25,000 per person
Total bodily injury or death liability resulting from an accident the vehicle owner/driver causes$50,000 per accident
Total property damage resulting from an accident the vehicle owner/driver causes$20,000 per accident
New Hampshire
(Drivers aren't technically required to carry insurance)
Bodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$25,000
Total bodily injury or death in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$50,000
Property damage per accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$25,000
Medpay$1,000 to cover medical expenses after a crash
Uninsured/underinsured motoristSame amount of coverage as liability
New JerseyBodily injuryNone required, but optional starting at a minimum of $10,000 per person and $10,000 per accident
Property damage liability$5,000
Personal injury protection (PIP)$15,000 per person, per accident
Up to $250,000 for brain and spinal cord injuries
New MexicoInjuries to one person in an accident$25,000
Injuries to all people in an accident$50,000
Property damages caused by an accident$10,000
New YorkPersonal injury liability$25,000 per person with a maximum of $50,000 per accident
Liability coverage for death$50,000 per person with a maximum of $100,000 per accident
Property damage liability$10,000 per accident
Personal injury protection (PIP)$50,000 per person
Uninsured motorists$25,000 per person with a maximum of $50,000 per accident
North CarolinaInjuries to one person$30,000
Injuries to more than one person$60,000
Property damage liability$25,000
North DakotaBodily injury liability$25,000 per person
$50,000 per accident
Property damage liability$25,000
OhioBodily injury liability$25,000 per person
$50,000 per incident
Property damage liability$25,000
OklahomaInjury or death of a single person$25,000
Injury or death of more than one person$50,000
Damage to personal property$25,000
OregonInjuries of ONE person$25,000
Injuries of MORE THAN ONE person$50,000
Property damages$20,000
Personal injury protection (also known as Medical Payments/MedPay)$15,000
Uninsured motor$25,000 per person and $50,000 per total accident
PennsylvaniaMedical benefits coverage (also known as First-Party Benefits), a form of personal injury protection, to cover medical expenses for yourself or others, regardless of fault$5,000
Liability insurance to cover medical costs for injuries to one person, capped at $30,000 per accident$15,000
Property damage if you’re at fault$5,000
Rhode IslandBodily injury coverage to cover the injuries of just one person$25,000
Injuries of more than one person$50,000
Property damaged in a car accident$25,000
Uninsured/underinsured motorist$25,000
South CarolinaBodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle$25,000
Total bodily injury or death liability in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle$50,000
Property damage per accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle$25,000
South DakotaBodily injury liability coverage per person to cover the costs associated with the injury or death of an individual as the result of an accident you cause$25,000
Bodily injury liability coverage per accident to cover the costs associated with the total bodily injury or death liability resulting from an accident you cause$50,000
Property damage liability coverage to cover the costs associated with property damages incurred by another individual or individuals resulting from an accident you cause$25,000
Uninsured/underinsured motoristSame amount of coverage as liability
TennesseeBodily injury or death of an individual resulting from an accident you cause$25,000
Total bodily injury or death liability resulting from an accident you cause$50,000
Property damage liability coverage to cover the total costs of another party or party’s property damage resulting from an accident you cause$15,000
TexasBodily injury liability$30,000 per person
$60,000 per accident
Property damage liability$25,000
UtahInjury or death to any one person in an accident$26,000
Injury or death to two or more people in an accident$65,000
Damage to property in an accident$15,000
PIP coverage per person$3,000
VermontDeath or injury of one person$25,000
Death or injury of more than one person$50,000
Property damage liability$10,000
VirginaDeath or injury of one person$25,000
Death or injury of more than one person$50,000
Property damage liability$20,000
WashingtonBodily injury liability$25,000 per one person
$50,000 total per accident
Property damage liability$10,000 per accident
West VirginaBodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$25,000
Total bodily injury or death in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$50,000
Property damage per accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$20,000
WisconsinBodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$25,000
Total bodily injury or death in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$50,000
Property damage per accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$10,000
Injury to one person for both Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists$25,000
Injury to more than one person for both Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists$50,000
WyomingBodily injuries/death of ONE person$25,000
Bodily injuries/death of MULTIPLE people$50,000
Property damage$20,000

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In addition to bodily injury liability car insurance, many states require property damage liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage.

How much bodily injury liability insurance should I buy?

Injury and death from car crashes can be incredibly costly according to the CDC. Not having enough bodily injury liability insurance can bankrupt a person.

Consider how much you could possibly pay out of pocket if you’re sued or have to pay for someone’s medical expenses. The safest bet is to purchase as much as you can afford to ensure you keep your assets if expenses are high after a crash.

Bodily injury liability car insurance exists to make sure that drivers’ financial futures aren’t jeopardized if they cause a crash.

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Bodily Injury Liability Insurance: The Bottom Line

Now that you understand bodily injury liability car insurance and why drivers should have it, learn more elements and terms to help you understand your policy.  Understanding all the insurance terms can go a long way when it comes to how to buy bodily injury liability car insurance.

Find out what kind of bodily injury insurance rates are available to you by using our free quote tool. Enter your ZIP code and get started now.