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Liability Auto Insurance Quotes: What You Need to Know

Fast facts about this important coverage

Car liability insurance is considered the most basic, minimum auto insurance you can buy – and it's required in most U.S. states to drive legally. Essentially, if you want to get behind the wheel, you need to have it.

If you're thinking about requesting a quote for just liability auto insurance, make sure you know what the quoted policies do and do not cover. The most basic policy may keep you legal, but fall short of the coverage you need if you're in a serious accident or your car is damaged in some other way. For a slightly higher price, you may avoid big expenses down the road.

Liability auto insurance generally features two types of coverage: bodily injury and property damage. Here are some key facts about each.

Bodily injury coverage is required

In most states, your policy must include bodily injury coverage – insurance that, if the event is covered, covers the costs if people are injured or killed in an accident that's your fault. It may also cover expenses such as medical fees, loss of income and, in some cases, legal fees if you are sued. If you have a deductible, you will have to pay that before the insurance kicks in.

Property damage coverage is also required

Property damage safeguards your assets if you are found legally responsible for a covered accident. It covers certain damage you may cause to the property or vehicle of another party.

Limits vary by state

While most states require you to purchase automobile liability insurance, the amount of coverage varies from state to state. As you shop for liability car insurance quotes, you’ll see that state minimum limits are often very low and could put you in financial jeopardy if an accident does happen.

When you request liability auto insurance quotes, start with coverage that will protect you for at least $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident for bodily injury liability. If medical expenses exceed that number, you could be sued to pay more. Higher limits on your policy give you additional protection. Nationwide's Car Insurance Premium FAQs can answer many of your questions and help you determine how much coverage you need.

Increasing your limits gives you better protection

While liability auto insurance coverage at the state minimum will keep you legal, you should consider what could happen if you’re involved in a serious accident. For example, if your limits are low and you hit a luxury sports car, you might have to pay repair costs that exceed the amount your insurance company is required to pay.

Liability doesn't cover your car

Liability insurance protects you from covered damage your car does to other cars in an accident. It doesn't cover your car. Collision insurance helps pay for covered damage to your vehicle if you hit another vehicle, another vehicle hits you, or your vehicle rolls over. And comprehensive insurance covers the cost of damages resulting from other events such as theft, vandalism, flood or fire.