Have you ever wondered about the difference between bodily injury and personal injury when talking about insurance? Sometimes the small details seem overwhelming and you’re caught not knowing what coverage to get. Once you understand it all makes sense.
So, let’s get to the brass tacks here and basics, then we’ll look a little closer at other things you need to know when it comes to bodily injury insurance and personal injury insurance.
Are they the same thing? No.
But they both have the word injury in them… Stop, right there. The biggest trap people fall into is making assumptions, then not having the coverage they actually need.
What is Bodily Injury Insurance?
Bodily injury liability insurance is what covers you when you get into an accident and somebody else is injured—not you. This covers things like loss of wages, medical expenses, and other things for either the driver and passengers of another vehicle if the crash was your fault. It also covers you in the case of a struck pedestrian.
In most circumstances, this refers to physical injuries. Things like pain and suffering are another matter altogether. If somebody dies due to an accident you’ve caused, this covers things like funeral expenses.
Having bodily injury insurance saves you massive out of pocket costs. It also helps cover your legal fees incurred for this instance.
Bodily injury covers the victims of the accident. So, whoever was at fault, their insurance is the one to pay the expenses out if you have the proper coverage.
NOTE: Most states make it mandatory to have bodily injury liability insurance.
Personal Injury Insurance
When it comes to personal injury insurance, this is where we’re talking about you getting injured. Maybe you were involved in an accident and either you or the passengers of your car were injured. In this case, personal injury insurance (or as it’s sometimes called (PIP) personal injury protection) kicks in and covers the expenses involved such as medical, loss of wages, and more.
Now, while bodily injury liability is usually mandatory, personal injury insurance is a little bit different. It depends on your state, though most still require you carry it. As everything in life, there are exceptions to the rule. Be sure to speak with somebody when updating your auto insurance policy to make sure you’re properly covered and know what your state requires.
One other thing to keep in mind is that this insurance covers you in most circumstances, but if you’re using your vehicle for commercial use, like delivering packages as a business, or as a driving school instructor, this will not be the proper coverage for you. This is for personal use. Commercial use is another ballgame entirely, so it’s important to specify your intended uses when getting car insurance.
Here’s a tricky situation. We spoke of passengers just a few moments ago. If they are your friends or family and you’re running out to a restaurant or park and are in an accident, personal injury insurance can help.
If your passengers are customers of a driving service like Lyft or Uber, or you’re using your vehicle in a similar manner, these passengers are not covered. One is for business. Remember how we mentioned commercial use? Yep, in this case, the passengers fall under you operating a business. Don’t think that you can slip one through by claiming the other. It’s not worth the cost involved should something happen.
Get a proper quote and explain all the ways you’ll be using your vehicle, so you make sure you get the right insurance for the right job.