Auto insurance

Liability coverage

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Liability coverage to protect your financial future

Liability coverages are among the most important in relation to your financial security. With ever-increasing medical costs, the possibility of a multi-car accident, or damage to expensive property, the minimum coverage limits required by law may not be enough. Depending on the situation, choosing low liability limits may lead to more out-of-pocket costs.

What is liability coverage?

There are 2 types of liability coverage: property damage and bodily injury. These coverages help protect you if you're in an accident with another party, injuring them or damaging their vehicle. Your liability coverage will only cover third-party injuries or damage, not your own.

 

To learn about coverages available to protect your vehicle, read about collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.

 

For more information on medical coverage for you and your passengers, look into medical payments coverage

 

Bodily injury liability

Bodily injury liability coverage applies when, while driving one of your insured vehicles, you (or another person insured on your policy) injure pedestrians, passengers in your car, or people in other vehicles. If the injured party brings a lawsuit against you, bodily injury liability coverage provides for your legal defense. And if you're found legally liable, it pays for the damages assessed against you up to your policy limits.

 

Property damage liability

If you caused an accident and damaged someone else's car, how would you pay for the damage? Suppose you hit a telephone pole, lamppost, or building. Property damage liability coverage applies in these situations. This applies to someone else's damaged property (up to your policy limits), not your own. If lawsuits are brought against you by a property damage claimant, liability coverage provides for your legal defense. And if you're found legally liable, it pays for the damages assessed against you up to your policy limits.

 

Minimum liability requirements

Financial responsibility laws define minimum liability coverage limits; these requirements vary by state. California limits are $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $5,000 for property damage.

 

AAA also offers coverage limits above the financial responsibility law to provide additional protection. If you want coverage beyond your auto insurance policy, a personal umbrella type policy may fit your needs. Consult an auto insurance agent in your state to discuss liability coverage options.

 

Examples of liability insurance

Let's assume you have a liability policy of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. If you were in an accident involving multiple people and found at fault, your liability insurance would pay the damages up to your policy limits.

 

Scenario 1

  • Person A has medical expenses and pain and suffering totaling $15,000.
  • Person B has medical expenses and pain and suffering totaling $10,000.

 

In this example, your insurance covers those expenses since both individuals have claims that are less than your policy's individual $15,000 limit and the combined claim is less than the policy's $30,000 per-accident limit.

 

Scenario 2

  • Person A has medical expenses and pain and suffering totaling $15,000.
  • Person B has medical expenses and pain and suffering totaling $10,000.
  • Person C has medical expenses and pain and suffering totaling $10,000.

 

In this example, the total damages amount to $35,000. Your insurance pays $30,000, and you're responsible for the additional $5,000 as the at-fault party.

 

 

Working with your AAA insurance agent to discuss your options is a good way to make sure all your insurance needs are covered. You can also sign in to your online AAA account to review your policies and coverage.

 

Insurance discounts

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View all insurance discounts

AAA insurance can help you protect all your most important belongings. Take a look at all the AAA auto insurance discounts that you could qualify for.

More types of insurance coverage

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Comprehensive insurance coverage

Comprehensive insurance pays for the damage to your vehicle that's not caused by a collision or rollover.

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Collision coverage

Collision insurance is used to fix or replace your car if it’s damaged in an accidental collision with another car or object.

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Uninsured/underinsured motorist

Uninsured motorist property damage coverage availability and requirements may differ by states. 

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Medical payments coverage

Medical payments coverage pays for medical expenses if you and/or your passengers are injured in an accident, regardless of who's at fault.

Your policies & coverage 

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My auto policy

Log in to your account to view and manage your auto policy details, review your coverage amounts, and enroll in paperless billing.

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Contact an agent

AAA agents are available to help you file a claim, and to answer questions about your coverage, limits, or deductibles.