Bodily injury insurance covers medical expenses of others you injure in an auto accident. It's part of the liability section of your policy, and is sometimes also called third-party insurance. Most states require drivers to purchase a minimum amount of bodily injury coverage.

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What does bodily injury insurance cover?

The bodily injury (BI) section of your car insurance policy covers a range of expenses that may occur due to an auto accident you cause. These include:

  • Medical bills: covers others' expenses for medical care, hospital stays and emergency room visits. This may also include rehabilitation costs and doctor visits after the accident.
  • Lost wages: compensates the lost income of other drivers or their passengers.
  • Funeral expenses: If a collision results in the death of the other driver or their passengers, bodily injury liability covers funeral and burial costs.
  • Legal expenses: takes care of your legal fees and court awards given due to an accident.
  • Pain and suffering: If accident victims receive a settlement for physical or mental pain, BI covers the cost.

Bodily injury coverage only compensates for the injuries of others after an accident, not your own. In order to cover your own injuries after a collision, you need personal injury protection (PIP), medical payments coverage or health insurance.

Bodily injury coverage limits

A split-limit auto insurance policy is written in a three-number format:

  • First number: bodily injury coverage limit per person
  • Second number: bodily injury coverage limit per accident
  • Third number: property damage coverage limit

Bodily injury coverage comprises bodily injury per person and bodily injury per accident. For example, if you have a car insurance policy with 25/50/25 limits, your policy covers up to $25,000 of bodily injury for one person, up to $50,000 for everyone involved in the accident, except you, and $25,000 for property damage.

State minimum bodily injury coverage limits

Almost all states require drivers to carry a minimum amount of bodily injury liability coverage. New Hampshire doesn't require drivers to buy car insurance, but if you do, there are minimum limits. The table below shows each state's bodily injury requirements.

State BI requirements
Alabama 25/50
Alaska 50/100
Arizona 15/30
Arkansas 25/50
California 15/30
Colorado 25/50
Connecticut 25/50
Delaware 25/50
District of Columbia 25/50
Florida 10/20
Georgia 25/50
Hawaii 20/40
Idaho 25/50
Illinois 25/50
Indiana 25/50
Iowa 20/40
Kansas 25/50
Kentucky 25/50
Louisiana 15/30
Maine 50/100
Maryland 30/60
Massachusetts 20/40
Michigan 20/40
Minnesota 30/60
Mississippi 25/50
Missouri 25/50
Montana 25/50
Nebraska 25/50
Nevada 25/50
New Hampshire 25/50
New Jersey 15/30
New Mexico 25/50
New York 25/50
North Carolina 30/60
North Dakota 25/50
Ohio 25/50
Oklahoma 25/50
Oregon 25/50
Pennsylvania 15/30
Rhode Island 25/50
South Carolina 25/50
South Dakota 25/50
Tennessee 25/50
Texas 30/60
Utah 25/65
Vermont 25/50
Virginia 25/50
Washington 25/50
West Virginia 25/50
Wisconsin 25/50
Wyoming 25/50
Source: Insurance Information Institute.

Split limit coverage vs. combined single limit coverage

Car insurance policies can be purchased in one of two limit types: split limit or combined single limit. A split limit policy states three separate maximum dollar amounts that your car insurance company will pay for different parts of a claim.

A combined single limit policy has a total maximum payout for both bodily injury and property damage. A downside to a combined single limit policy is that it covers everyone involved in the claim, splitting the coverage amount.

State-mandated bodily injury limits only fulfill legal requirements. They shouldn't be considered adequate protection. An extended hospital stay or court case can burn through minimum requirements quickly, leaving you to pay any additional costs out of pocket. For most drivers, we recommend the following BI coverage limits:

  • Bodily injury per person: $100,000
  • Bodily injury per accident: $300,000 LLC has made every effort to ensure that the information on this site is correct, but we cannot guarantee that it is free of inaccuracies, errors, or omissions. All content and services provided on or through this site are provided "as is" and "as available" for use. LLC makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation of this site or to the information, content, materials, or products included on this site. You expressly agree that your use of this site is at your sole risk.