Does Bodily Injury Coverage Protect Me if Someone Else is Driving?

In most instances, bodily injury coverage will not offer you protection if you are a passenger in any car, even a rental automobile. This is because this level of protection is normally used to pay for damages to the other drivers, not to yourself or your own passengers. However, it is important to familiarize yourself with the laws of your particular state to see whether you are living in a tort or no fault state system. If you are operating under a tort state, which most states do, then your liability coverage will not protect you - it will only protect the other drivers that you hit and the other vehicles that you damage.

How Bodily Injury Insurance Works

Bodily injury liability insurance, also referred to as BI, is required in almost all states. The minimum requirement is normally around $25,000 per person up to $50,000 per accident but this varies according to your specific state regulations. Some states require their drivers to purchase up to $100,000 per accident of BI coverage.

If you are living in a tort state then, with every accident, someone must be found at fault. The police officer at the scene or the experts at the insurance agency will review the details of the accident to determine who is liable. If you are liable for the accident, then your BI coverage will be used to pay for the damage to the other driver. It will not be used to pay for your own injuries.

If you are hit by another driver then his basic BI coverage will protect you. If you are a passenger in your own car, then bodily injury coverage may only protect the driver, whether it is your spouse or your friend. However, every state differs and so does every policy. This is one thing you need to question when you are buying your policy.

What happens if you are in another person's car and in an accident? Will your injury insurance protect you then? Most likely not - bodily injury coverage is normally only useful for the driver. Review your policy to determine whether your coverage will work in other people's cars. In most instances, you will need personal injury protection to have this type of coverage.

Coverage for Passengers

The best bet for anyone wondering about liability coverage is to purchase additional medical protection that pays for all medical damages regardless of who is driving or who is at fault for the accident. This is normally known as personal injury protection and you can make a claim for anyone in the car, including your children, your friends or anyone else that has been in the accident.

Whether you are driving your friend's car for them, are letting your spouse drive you around or are trusting your teenage son with your own car (with you in the front seat of course), it is important that you review your policy to see who is actually covered and during what scenarios. Before you borrow a friend's car, ask them about their insurance policy. Speak to your own representative about different instances, especially if you have a son turning 16 eager to get on the road or if you have friends or family members coming to visit that will most likely be borrowing your car.

What constitutes as bodily injury coverage is normally not helpful for passengers, regardless of whether your driver is found at fault or not. Make the necessary calls and comparisons needed to purchase adequate personal injury protection to ensure you and your family are protected, regardless of who is behind the wheel.

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