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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Auto insurance laws vary by state.
While there are a few states that have unique auto insurance laws, a majority of the states in the nation have some sort of mandatory insurance law in place that makes carrying motor vehicle liability insurance a requirement as opposed to a choice.
Since carrying liability coverage is compulsory, it’s something that you’ll have to get familiar with.
Your policy documents will include your policy number, the policy period, and other information about the coverage.
While a lot of the things listed on your declarations page will be straightforward and easy to comprehend, there could be areas that are confusing when you’re not familiar with the insurance industry.
Shop for insurance coverage and options today to find the insurance company that’s best for your situation. Enter your zip code into our free tool above to get started.
One area, in particular, pertains to your liability limits. Here’s what you need to know when you see limits of 25/50/10 on quotes or policy documents:
What does motor vehicle liability coverage pay for?
Liability insurance is third-party coverage that doesn’t help you recover financially from losses to your property but it does still protect you.
Liability insurance will pay for damages to other parties when you are at fault in an accident.
Essentially, your liability insurance protects you when you’re the one whose actions ultimately causes an accident. Once the dust has settled and the insurers have agreed that you’re primarily to blame for the accident, you’ll have an at-fault claim on your record.
Instead of having to pay for all of the things the other party is claiming out of your pocket, you’ll have an insurer that will pay for you without any type of deductible requirement.
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How much will the insurer pay after an at-fault claim?
There’s no telling how much it will cost to repair a car or treat an injury. From the outside looking it, it could appear as if it would cost no more than $500 to fix.
Unfortunately, unless you’re a mechanic or a body repair shop specialist, there’s no way to tell that the car will cost thousands to repair. There’s no guaranteeing that your insurer will pay for all of the claims that are filed.
How much the insurer will pay for is dependent on the limits that you choose.
Since minor accidents could only cost the insurer hundreds and major ones could cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars, the company must make their policyholders select liability limits.
This way, they can charge you for each unit of coverage and you’ll have the level of protection that you can afford.
Why are the limits written 25/50/10?
There are three different limits as they related specifically to liability. Two of these limits pertain to the bodily injury portion of the coverage and the other one pertains to property damage.
Since it would require too much space to write out each limit every time the liability coverage has to be listed, companies typically abbreviate by putting something like 25/50/10.
If you look at your current declarations page or you’re comparing quotes, it’s important that you know what 25/50/10 officially means. The numbers will only refer to your liability coverage and nothing else.
You may see similar numbers if you have Uninsured Motorist Protection, but that will only say 25/50 without the 10. Here’s a breakdown for the average person so that you know what the limits mean:
- $25,000 – per individual in Bodily Injury protection that pays for medical treatment and other related expenses when someone is injured in an accident that you’re liable for
- $50,000 – per accident total in Bodily Injury protect that pays for all expenses related to injuries and treating them after an accident that you’re liable for
- $10,000 – per accident total in Property Damage that pays for car repairs and other related repair expenses when there is damage to property owned by others
Are court costs included in the liability limits?
Another great benefit of having auto insurance is that your insurer will defend you all the way to court if there are unfounded claims filed against you.
When a company and a claimant can’t agree on an amount or your adjuster feels like they have enough proof to deny your claim, the other party could take the steps to take you to court.
Going to court can be very expensive. You have to pay for an attorney to defend you and also for the rising court costs. If you have insurance, there’s nothing to worry about.
Not only do you have the 25/50/10 limits on your policy, you also have supplementary benefits on the policy that includes legal fees and court costs. If any of these costs have to be paid, they won’t be deducted from your 25/50/10 limits.
Why should you consider carrying higher limits?
In many states, the minimum liability limits that you can carry is 25/50/10. Very few states will allow you to carry less than these limits because the officials feel like anything lower is not sufficient.
If you can afford to, it’s important to consider carrying higher limits than 25/50/10.
One of the main reasons to carry higher limits is because you’ll be liable for the remaining balance of the damages if your limits are exhausted. If you can’t afford to pay this, your wages could be garnished or a levy could be placed on your accounts.
It’s not worth losing your assets to save a few dollars a month of your premiums.
If you’d like to get quotes to carry more than 25/50/10 on your policy, use the Internet as your money-saving tool.
You can easily get online quotes on our web-based comparison shopping tool in minutes. Enter your information, raise your liability limits, and then find a deal.