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What is best amount for bodily injury liability?

Determining the best amount for bodily injury liability coverage in your auto insurance policy depends on several factors, including your financial situation, state requirements, and risk tolerance. Here are some considerations to help you determine an appropriate amount

1. State Minimum Requirements

Every state in the U.S. has minimum liability coverage requirements. While these minimums are a legal requirement, they often provide only basic protection and may not be sufficient to cover significant accidents. It’s crucial to know your state’s minimum requirements but consider opting for higher limits.

2. Personal Financial Situation

Your liability coverage should protect your assets. If you have substantial assets, such as a home, savings, or investments, you should opt for higher limits to ensure those assets are protected in case of a lawsuit resulting from an accident.

3. Risk Factors

Consider your driving habits and the potential risks. For example, if you frequently drive in heavy traffic or have a long daily commute, you might be at higher risk for accidents and should consider higher coverage limits.

4. Typical Coverage Levels

A common recommendation is to carry liability limits of at least:

  • $100,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $300,000 per accident for bodily injury
  • $100,000 per accident for property damage

This is often referred to as 100/300/100 coverage. These limits offer a good balance between protection and affordability for many drivers.

5. Umbrella Insurance

For additional protection, consider an umbrella insurance policy. This policy provides extra liability coverage above the limits of your auto and homeowners insurance policies. It can be an affordable way to significantly increase your liability protection.

Practical Examples:

  • Minimum Coverage: If your state requires a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, this may cover minor accidents but fall short in serious incidents, leading to out-of-pocket expenses.

  • Higher Coverage: Increasing to 100/300/100 coverage means if you’re at fault in a major accident where medical costs exceed $100,000 per person, you have better financial protection.


While state minimums are a starting point, they often provide inadequate protection. Most experts recommend carrying at least 100/300/100 coverage to ensure adequate protection against bodily injury liability. If you have substantial assets, higher limits or an umbrella policy may be advisable. Assess your financial situation, potential risks, and consult with an insurance professional to determine the best coverage for your needs.


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