PA Auto Insurance:
|Required Coverage:||$15,000.00 per person
$30,000.00 per occurrence
|Our Recommendation:||Depends upon your level of assets.|
Bodily Injury Liability insurance pays damages to a person who brings a claim against you if you are found to be at fault in an accident in which another person is injured or killed. If you give another person permission to drive your vehicle, that person is covered by this liability insurance as well.
As the name implies, Bodily Injury coverage is the amount that will be paid toward the medical expenses of an injured party. This is addressed separately from property damage.
The “per person” limit is the amount that may be paid out to any one injured individual. The “per occurrence” limit is the maximum that your insurance will pay toward injuries of all the claimants. If there are multiple injured parties and the sum of the claims exceeds the maximum per occurrence, your insurance will not pay the full amount claimed by each individual, even if the claim is for less than the limit per person.
For example, assume you have the minimum required coverage of $15,000/person and $30,000/occurrence. If you are found responsible for a collision with a car containing 4 passengers, and each person claims $10,000 in Bodily Injury damages, each person would be claiming less than the $15,000 allowable per person. However, the total of their claims would be $40,000. Since only $30,000 is available per incident, your insurance will not pay the full amount to each claimant. The insurance company would distribute the available funds among the claimants in proportion to their bodily injury damages, and you may be liable to pay the remainder out of pocket.
This illustrates why it is always best to purchase the highest level of coverage you can afford. You do not want to be forced to pay the difference from your personal funds if a verdict or settlement is in excess of your coverage limits.
Consider inquiring with your insurance agent whether there is an “excess” or “umbrella” policy which may be a very affordable way to add an extra layer of liability insurance to your existing policies for your car, home, etc.
If you have further questions about this or any other aspect of Pennsylvania Automobile Insurance, please do not hesitate to contact Gary Stewart Seflin by calling 610-892-9700 or by filling out our contact form.