Liability insurance covers injuries you cause to to other people and their property. Bodily injury and property damage is usually sold as a package. On your insurance card, these coverages are expressed as three numbers: the limit (in thousands) for injuries to one person, the limit for all injuries in an accident and the amount of property damage liability.
Every US state requires minimum liability coverage for its drivers. According to CarInsuranceRates.com, as of the time of publication Missouri had the lowest minimum requirement at 10/20/5, or $10,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, $20,000 for all injuries sustained in the same accident and $5,000 in property damage. North Carolina was the highest at 30/20/66. However, the minimum required liability coverage is not always sufficient to cover the full claim amount. A good rule of thumb is to secure at least $100,000 bodily injury coverage for a single person's injuries.
Liability Insurance Averages
The average expenditure on auto liability insurance ranges from $242 to $736 per year, with an overall national average of around $471. Florida ranks highest at $736 per year, and North Dakota ranks as the least expensive state at only $242 annually. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost of a bodily injury liability claim is around $13,462, and the average property damage liability is $2,873.
Your results will vary. Before your individual premiums can be calculated, the insurance company will also factor in such personal information as your marital status, educational level and current occupation. The car you drive will also be important, and insurance companies will add or subtract risk, translated as premium costs, based on criteria like the overall safety rating of the car and actual highway accident statistics. The national average liability coverage expenditure may be $471, but your personal costs will certainly be different and could be as much as half or double the national average.
Full Coverage Averages
Liability insurance does not include the cost of repairs to your own vehicle or claims that involve other types of damages and losses. For these types of claims, you will need collision and comprehensive insurance as well. The Insurance Information Institute report showed an average expenditure increase of $298 when collision was added and $134 for comprehensive. When all of these insurance costs are combined into a full car insurance package, the resulting average expenditure for car insurance nationally is calculated at $789 per year for a 47 year old male driver who commutes thee to 10 miles daily.