Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) Coverage: What it is, How much it cost?

By Randy Luton | Last Updated: 03/11/2024

Key Insights

  • Bodily injury is one of the most important coverage types that comes under minimum insurance requirements in every state.
  • It provides coverage for all the medical expenses of the victim driver in case of an accident.
  • In some cases, the insurance company also provides coverage for lost wages in case the driver is not able to work due to injuries.
  • The limit of bodily injury coverage is dependent on the requirements of the state and can vary from one state to another.

We all have heard this term while buying car insurance: Bodily Injury Liability. This coverage comes under the mandatory section of auto insurance for each state of our country. Most of the time we just buy as per the minimum requirement of our state.

But what if we need more than the minimum required limit? Do we really need more than the minimum limit? What is the importance of this coverage? Well, RateForce has covered all your doubts and queries in this blog. Stay tuned till the end or scroll down to the section which you want to read. Here’s what we’ll cover:

What is bodily injury liability insurance?

Bodily injury liability coverage is required to cover the medical expenses of other drivers or victims in case you are at fault in an accident. If you do not have this coverage then you will have to pay for the medical expenses of another driver or victim from your pocket.

This coverage includes the case of everyone you have included as a designated driver of your car in the policy. And these drivers are also covered during driving another person’s car with their permission. If you are driving your friend’s car and you get into an accident with a motorist then you will have to pay for the medical expenses of the victim.

Every state has its own limit for Bodily injury liability and you will get coverage as per the limit of your state. This coverage has a different range for different states; can be as low as $15,000 or as high as $50,000.

It is important to note that if the medical bills exceed the limit of your Bodily injury liability then you will have to pay the rest from your pocket.

What will be covered in my bodily injury liability insurance?

BIL will pay for all emergency services bills as well as the hospital care along with the pharmacy bills. If the victim requires a wheelchair or crutches then that will also be added to your account. In case the other driver is not able to go to work then the lost wages or income will also be covered from your account.

In some cases, the injured party or the insurance company of the injured party takes the driver to the court. In such scenarios also the BIL will cover all the legal expenses. BIL can also cover the funeral costs in case there are fatalities in an accident.

Let us understand how bodily injury liability works with some examples;

  • Case 1:
    While traveling to work you lost control and hit another car driver who was also traveling to his work. Now because your car has hit his car; you will be responsible to pay for the medical bills for all the injuries that the driver got from the accident. Also, you will have to pay for the lost wages if the doctor asked that driver to rest and avoid going to work. If the other driver is majorly hurt and requires 24/7 care from a nurse then you will have to bear the charges of hiring a nurse full-time for the victim.
  • Case 2:
    Consider you hit a pedestrian on the way to the movies. That pedestrian is a stay-at-home mom who is now severely injured. You will be responsible for the medical bills as well as the help that lady will have to hire for the house chores and baby care if required.

What will not be covered in bodily injury liability insurance?

BIL covers a big range of expenses for the victim that helps the driver indirectly but still, there are some expenses that are not covered:

  1. Damage caused to victim’s vehicle:
    You will not get coverage to pay for the repair of another person’s car, bike, or any other vehicle in bodily injury liability. This will be covered in property damage liability.
  2. Damage caused to another person’s private property:
    If another person’s private property like a fence, gate, or garden is damaged in the accident that you have caused then BIL will not pay for the repair. Again this will be covered in property damage liability coverage.
  3. Your medical bills:
    You will be responsible to pay for your medical bills BIL coverage can not support the driver as well as the passengers in your car. This will be covered in personal injury protection coverage or medpay insurance.
  4. Damage caused to your vehicle:
    You will be solely responsible to pay for the damages caused to your vehicle. If you have collision or comprehensive insurance then you can get coverage from your policy.
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How will my bodily injury liability coverage work?

Each company has its own method of processing and clearing auto insurance claims. There are two common ways by which a victim can get bodily injury liability coverage:

  • The victim will send you the bill from the hospital and pharmacy and you will have to submit that bill to your insurance company. This is a traditional and long process where you will have to get involved at each stage.
  • The victim’s insurance company will directly send the bill to your insurance company. This is an easy and quick process that most insurance companies follow nowadays. In this you don’t have to get involved at each stage; you will be required at the beginning for the statement and verification. After that, the victim’s insurance company will connect with your company for the claim filing, processing, and clearing stage.

It is always advisable to clear this with your insurance company before buying the policy as this can take or save a lot of your time.

What’s the requirement for BIL coverage?

The requirement of BIL coverage can be defined in two ways; how much you can afford and how much is the mandatory limit in your state. If you can afford more than the mandatory limit of your state then you can increase the limit. Or else you will have to buy the minimum state’s requirement to drive your vehicle in the state.

The minimum requirement for each state is unique and based on the laws created by the government. Below is the list of some of the top states of our country along with the BIL limit.

Please note; the first limit is per person in one accident and another one is for per accident including all the victims in the vehicle.

StateRequired Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
AK$50,000 / $100,000
AL$25,000 / $50,000
AR$25,000 / $50,000
AZ$25,000 / $50,000
CA$15,000 / $30,000
CO$25,000 / $50,000
CT$25,000 / $50,000
DC$25,000 / $50,000
FL$10,000 / $10,000
GA$25,000 / $50,000
HI$20,000 / $40,000
IA$20,000 / $40,000
ID$25,000 / $50,000
IL$25,000 / $50,000
IN$25,000 / $50,000
KS$25,000 / $50,000
KY$25,000 / $50,000
LA$15,000 / $30,000
ME$50,000 / $100,000
MI$50,000 / $100,000
MN$30,000 / $60,000
MO$25,000 / $50,000
NE$25,000 / $50,000
NM$25,000 / $50,000
ND$25,000 / $50,000
OH$25,000 / $50,000
OK$25,000 / $50,000
OR$25,000 / $50,000
PA$15,000 / $30,000
SC$25,000 / $50,000
TN$25,000 / $50,000
TX$30,000 / $60,000
UT$25,000 / $65,000
VA$25,000 / $50,000
WA$25,000 / $50,000
WV$25,000 / $50,000

How much does it cost to buy bodily injury liability coverage?

As discussed above BIL falls under the minimum state requirement coverage hence the cost is not much high as the government tries to keep it affordable for everyone. But the cost varies from company to company and state to state.

There are a lot of factors that affect the cost of car insurance for every driver. Some of these factors are the age of the driver, the area he or she lives in, the car model, the type of car, etc. based on these factors the car insurance company provides the cost for any type of coverage.

The best way to know the cost of car insurance for your policy is by contacting different companies in your state and compare the quotations.

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Is bodily injury liability the only coverage I need?

Bodily coverage and property damage liability are two major coverages that are required by each state as minimum requirements. But other than these two there are other types of coverages that are required to drive your car. The requirement for these coverages can vary from state to state:

  • Comprehensive and Collision Coverage:
    This is also known as full coverage or end-to-end coverage by some insurance providers. Comprehensive insurance will pay for the repair or replacement of your car in case of damage other than collision or stealing. Collision coverage is when you get collided with another vehicle or object then your insurance company will pay for the repair and replacement of your vehicle.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP):
    This type of coverage is for the medical bills and lost wages of you and the passengers in your car. Your insurance company will bear all your hospital bills.
  • Medical Payment Coverage (MedPay):
    PIP and MedPay are similar; both provide coverage for driver and its passenger’s injuries but Medpay will not pay for lost wages. The limit of Medpay is generally lower than PIP.
  • Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage:
    This coverage plays an important role if the driver at fault does not have liability coverage or the limits in the coverage are not enough as per your bills. In such situations, your insurance company will pay for your medical bills.

How much bodily liability injury insurance do you need?

If we talk about the mandatory limit then you can check that with your state’s minimum requirement section. But the limits of minimum car insurance requirements are very low and hence you might have to pay from your pocket.

Yes, if the medical bill of the victim exceeds the limit of BIL in your state then you will have to pay for the rest of the bills. This is the reason that it is advised to buy at least 100/300 BIL coverage.

$100,000 limit per person and $300,000 limit per accident. In most of the cases, this limit covers all the expenses of medical bills, lost incomes as well as post-trauma care.

FAQs about Bodily Injury Liability(BIL) Coverage

  • What do terms like 100/300/50 or 25/25/15 means in terms of auto insurance?

    This is a common way to define your car insurance limits; the first two digits are for bodily injury liability limit while the last one is for property damage liability. For example in 100/300/50 the limits for bodily injury liability are 100 and 300; $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. And the 50 represents the limit for property damage liability i.e $50,000 per accident.

  • What is the process of filing a bodily injury liability claim?

    As mentioned above the process can vary for each company but the first and mandatory step is to inform your insurance company about the accident. After that, your insurance company will explain what you can do further.

  • Can I drive with only bodily injury liability in my insurance policy?

    No, even though each state has its own minimum liability requirement coverage; there are other coverage types that are mandatory like Personal injury protection, property damage liability, medical payments coverage, Uninsured and underinsured coverage.

  • How to buy BIL coverage at affordable rates?

    There are two ways to get affordable car insurance; discounts and comparison. Get quotes from different insurance companies and compare to check which company has the cheapest rates. Ask for discounts that are applicable to your profile. You can combine more than one discount to get affordable rates.

  • Who does Bodily Injury Liability cover?

    BIL covers victim/s in a road accident. It can be another driver and passengers in his or her vehicle, it also includes the pedestrians that got injured because of your fault.

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RateForce hope this blog has covered everything you need to know about bodily injury liability claims. If you still have questions like: Should I buy BIL Coverage? Do I need BIL coverage? Should I increase the limit of my BIL coverage policy? Then our experts are here for your assistance. You can get in touch with us today.

Editorial Guidelines: The above is meant as general information to help you understand the different aspects of auto insurance. This information does not refer to any specific auto insurance policy. Coverages and other features vary between insurers, vary by state, and are not available in all states. References to costs of coverages/repair, average or typical premiums, amounts of losses, deductibles, etc., are indicative and may not apply to your situation. We encourage you to speak to our insurance representative and to read your policy contract to fully understand your coverages.

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Randy Luton is the Founder and CEO of RateForce. He is passionate about InsurTech services and has in-depth knowledge about the auto insurance sector of the USA.