Does Liability Only Insurance Cover Damages to my Own Car?

There are motorists who may choose to acquire auto insurance solely to fulfill their state’s legal obligations. For such individuals, a liability-only auto insurance policy could suffice. However, it is important to understand that liability-only policies generally provide coverage for liability and other mandatory state requirements, but they usually do not include protection for the policyholder’s own vehicle. If you wish to safeguard your own vehicle against accidents, theft, or weather-related damages, it may be necessary to supplement your policy with collision and comprehensive coverage.

Understanding Liability Only Auto Insurance:

Liability insurance serves as a fundamental form of protection, offering coverage for damages and injuries caused by the policyholder or a permitted driver to other individuals or their property. It encompasses two main components: Bodily Injury Liability, which pays for injuries inflicted upon third parties, and Property Damage Liability, which covers damages to others’ vehicles or property, both up to the policy limits. Policies that are commonly known as liability only car insurance are designed to provide liability coverage and include other coverages required by the state.

In only several states, these other state required coverages include Uninsured Motorists Property Damage (UMPD) coverage, which pays for your and your passengers’ damages only when the accident is caused by an uninsured motorist or it is a hit and run (in most states). So, a liability only car insurance may include UMPD only in a handful of states and provide coverage for your vehicle under special circumstances as described above.

Why Liability Insurance Doesn’t Cover Your Own Vehicle:

The primary purpose of liability insurance is to provide protection for other individuals and their property, rather than the policyholder and their vehicle. Its main function is not to cover the costs of repairing or replacing the policyholder’s own car. Each state establishes minimum requirements for liability vehicle insurance to ensure that innocent road users are safeguarded from damages and injuries caused by other drivers.

If motorists wish to protect their own vehicles or purchase coverage for injuries they may sustain in accidents, they have the option to add these additional protections. Although these coverages are available, they are not obligatory. Similarly, states only enforce the minimum liability coverage limits. However, vehicle owners have the option and are encouraged to increase these limits in order to provide themselves with better protection against liability claims.

To ensure comprehensive protection for both liability and own vehicle, owners should consider adding collision and comprehensive coverage to their insurance policies.

  1. Collision coverage pays for repairs or replacement of your own car in case it is involved in a traffic accident, regardless of who caused the accident. This coverage pays for damages to the insured vehicle, providing peace of mind and financial support when accidents occur.
  2. Comprehensive coverage is designed to protect against a range of non-collision-related perils. This includes damage caused by fire, theft, vandalism, natural disasters, and other covered incidents.

Collisions and Comprehensive coverage are especially important for owners of expensive vehicles, offering the necessary protection against potential risks and they come with deductibles, which are the out-of-pocket expenses covered by the policyholder in case of a claim.

To summarize, liability insurance primarily focuses on protecting policyholders against claims from third parties and it is advisable for vehicle owners to consider adding collision and comprehensive coverage to their insurance policies. This additional coverage ensures that they have both liability protection and coverage for their own vehicles. It is recommended that vehicle owners carefully compare different insurance companies to find the one that offers the most affordable car insurance rates. This way, they can obtain the necessary coverage they need while potentially saving money.