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Liability Insurance - Understanding the State's Minimum Limits

What it pays: Other people’s expenses for accidents caused by drivers covered by your policy, up to your policy’s dollar limits. These may include the other people’s

medical and funeral costs, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering

  • car repair or replacement costs

  • auto rental while the other driver’s car is being repaired

  • punitive damages awarded by a court.

This type of coverage is usually expressed in a “split number” such as 25/50/100. The first number represents the limit (in thousands of dollars) that your auto policy will pay for bodily injury per person. The second number is the total limit your policy will pay for bodily injury to two or more people per accident. The third number is the limit that your policy will pay for property damage per accident.

Liability insurance also pays your attorney fees if someone sues you because of the accident and your bail up to $250 if you are arrested.

Who it covers: You and your family members. Family members include anyone living in your home related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption, including your spouse, children, in-laws, adopted children, wards, and foster children. Other people driving your car with your permission, family members attending school away from home, and spouses living elsewhere during a martial separation might also be covered.

You and your family members might be covered when driving someone else’s automobile – including a rental car – but not a car that you don’t own but have regular access to, such as a company car.

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