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Primary Auto Liability Insurance

Primary Auto Liability Insurance

Primary auto liability insurance has two components always included together: bodily injury liabilityinsurance and property damage liability insurance.

Primary auto liability insurance is the basic insurance coverage that covers injuries or damage to other people or property if you’re at fault for an accident.

If you cause an accident that injures or even kills another person, the bodily injury (BI) portion of your primary auto liability insurance will pay for the related expenses. bodily injury (BI) will cover hospital and medical bills, rehabilitation, long-term nursing care, funeral expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other expenses, up to the limits you select.

If you cause an accident that damages another person’s property, the property damage (PD) portion of your primary auto liability insurance will pay for the related expenses. Property damage (PD) will cover the expense to repair or replace damaged items, including other vehicles, lamp posts, houses or even a pet, up to the limits you select.

Primary auto liability insurance also may pay for your legal defense costs if you are sued as a result of your involvement with the accident.

Who Needs Primary Auto Liability Insurance?

Anyone who drives a vehicle needs primary auto liability insurance. In most situations, primary auto liability insurance is required by law.

For-hire truckers operating under their own authority must have primary auto liability insurance in order to obtain a filing.

Primary Auto Liability Insurance Limits and Other Details

Primary auto liability insurance requires you to select limits. These limits determine the maximum amount your insurance company will pay if you need to use the insurance coverage. Limits are described either as split limits or as a combined single limit (CSL).

Split limits are three numbers that describe the following:

  • Maximum Bodily Injury payment per person
  • Maximum Bodily Injury payment for all people in the entire accident
  • Maximum total Property Damage payment for all property in the accidentFor example, if you choose split limits of $15,000/$30,000/$10,000:
  • $15,000 would be the most your insurance would pay each person injured in an accident
  • $30,000 would be the most your insurance would pay for all people injured in the accident
  • $10,000 would be the most your insurance would pay for all property damaged in a single accident.

With a combined single limit, or CSL, only one number is used to describe the limits for both bodily injury insurance and property damage insurance. In this case, there is no specific limit per person, just a grand total maximum that will be paid for all injuries and property damage that you cause that result from a single accident.

For example, if you selected a combined single limit of $1,000,000, your insurance company would pay up to $1,000,000 for all medical and injury-related bills and all property damage expenses that you caused in an accident.

Primary Auto Liability Insurance Example

(Comparative & Contributory Negligence States) (This example does not apply to no fault states.)

You can’t stop your truck in time, and rear-end the car in front of you.

The rear end of the car is damaged and, and the other driver sustains bodily injury.

You have a combined single limit of $1,000,000 for your liability insurance.

The bodily injury (BI) component of your primary auto liability insurance would pay the other driver’s $15,000 medical bills.

The property damage (PD) component of your primary auto liability insurance would pay the amounts necesary to repair the $8,000 for the damaged car.

Since you chose a combined single limit (CSL) of $1,000,000, your total liability expenses of $23,000 are completely covered by your insurance.

Primary Auto Liability Insurance Exceptions and Restrictions

Your property damage (PD) insurance limits cannot exceed your bodily injury (BI) insurance per person limits if you choose a split limit.

Multiple Vehicles

  • If one vehicle on the policy has primary auto liability insurance, all of the vehicles must have it.
  • The selected primary auto liability limits must be the same for all vehicles on a policy.

State and Federal Minimums

  • Each state sets laws regarding how much primary auto liability insurance is required. This is known as your state’s minimum limits or minimum limit requirements.
  • The federal government also sets laws regarding how much primary auto liability insurance is required.

Fortunately, Navigator knows the individual state and federal requirements, and will make sure you have at least the minimum amount of primary auto liability insurance as required by law.