Car crashed into brick wall

What is Liability Car Insurance?

Think of liability insurance as the basis of your car insurance policy. In most states, you can’t legally drive without it. So, liability auto insurance is where you should start when building a policy that fits your needs.

Liability coverage protects you if you cause an accident that hurts someone else or damages their property. While collision and comprehensive coverage are there for your car, liability insurance is for others.

If you’re found at fault in an accident, there are two types of liability insurance that can help:

  1. Bodily injury liability covers medical expenses for other drivers or passengers.
  2. Property damage liability covers damages to another person’s car or other property, such as a light pole or deck.

What does liability insurance cover?

Together, property damage and bodily injury car insurance can help cover:

  • Medical expenses for others
  • Lost wages for others
  • Legal fees if a lawsuit is filed
  • Costs to repair or replace other cars
  • Damage caused to others’ property

Liability coverage doesn’t help cover:

  • Theft
  • Damage to your car or property
  • Your injuries

How much liability insurance do I need?

Most states require a minimum amount of property damage and bodily injury insurance, but the amount you need depends on your situation. Your insurance rep can help you decide whether carrying only the minimum works for you — or whether that would put you at financial risk.

So, let’s look at how it might work. Imagine your car slides on a patch of ice, causing you to hit two cars and tear down the neighbor’s fence. One driver claims $100,000 in medical bills and sues you for his lost wages. You also need to repair three cars and a yard. If you only have state minimum limits, you’ll likely be left with a large bill to pay out of pocket.

The most common liability limits for our clients are 100/300/100, which means $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, $300,000 total for all the people involved and $100,000 in property damage. Every person's needs are unique, so talk to your rep about the coverage that's right for you.

How much does liability coverage cost?

The cost for liability coverage depends on the limits you choose. The more you want your auto insurance policy to pay if something happens, the higher the premium — and your peace of mind.

Do I need more than liability insurance?

If you want protection for your vehicle and injuries, you’ll need some level of optional insurance. There are many types of car insurance that can be added to your liability insurance base, including:

  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Collision coverage
  • Medical payments coverage
  • Personal injury protection coverage
  • Uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage
  • Rental car coverage

You may also want to consider umbrella insurance to help shield your assets if you or someone in your household causes a major accident or faces a high-value lawsuit.

A COUNTRY Financial rep can help you decide how much liability insurance and what other types of coverage you need. Find your local rep.


Updated 10-2-23

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Connect with your local rep or call us at 866-COUNTRY (866-268-6879). Find out more about car insurance.

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COUNTRY Financial® is a family of affiliated companies (collectively, COUNTRY) located in Bloomington, IL. Learn more about who we are.

Auto insurance policies issued by COUNTRY Mutual Insurance Company®, COUNTRY Preferred Insurance Company® and COUNTRY Casualty Insurance Company®, Bloomington, IL. 

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