Auto Liability Insurance

America’s highways and byways continue to become increasingly crowded with vehicles of all sizes and styles.  From the beater Chevrolet Malibu up through the Ferrari performance vehicle.  All of these vehicles have one thing in common.  That one thing is that most states in the United States require them to have Auto Liability Insurance.  Even when they aren’t required to have liability insurance, they are required to have Proof of Financial Responsibility.

Liability limit requirements vary from state to state on Auto Liability Insurance.  Often they are expressed as 50/100/50.  An expression such as this simply means that the insured is covered for $50,000 per person or $100,000 per accident with $50,000 to cover property damage liability.  Many times, uninsured motorist coverage will also be sold with the same bodily injury limits just in case the insured it injured by a motorist who doesn’t have insurance, even though it is required by state law.  

Auto Liability Insurance covers the insured in the event that they cause any bodily injury or property damage in a covered automobile.  With the weight of an automobile (even a small one) and the speed at which it is moving, that loss could be significant.  Any lawsuit involving damages from an auto related incident could easily reach the value of the insured’s assets, causing financial ruin.  

An accident can occur quickly virtually out of nowhere.  Suppose a driver encounters a patch of black ice in the morning, losing control of the vehicle and careening into another vehicle causing property damage to that vehicle and significant bodily injury to the driver of that vehicle.  The driver of that other vehicle could sue the insured driver for any and all damages.  The monetary value of these damages could reach a significant level quite quickly.  Auto Liability Insurance would cover these damages.  

A general rule of thumb is to get enough Auto Liability Insurance to cover the insured’s assets in the event of a lawsuit.  Auto owners will at least need to get liability insurance to cover the state minimum.  As stated above, these minimum liability limits can vary greatly from state to state.

People shopping for insurance need to contact their local licensed property and casualty insurance agent.  This agent will know the particular state liability limits.  He or she will also be able to provide the appropriate level of liability coverage based upon the proposed insured’s needs.  

Most car lots won’t even let a vehicle leave their lot until proof of insurance is provided, that’s how important having liability insurance is.  In addition to the legal limit of liability insurance if the vehicle is being leased, a higher limit of liability insurance may be required.  The leasing company may require liability limits of 100/300/100.  This would help to cover their exposure to risk as legal owners of the vehicle.  

 A qualified and local insurance expert can help you with advice and insurance quotes for your specific needs.
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