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Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas

My auto insurance policy has "Liability Coverage." What is this?

Liability coverage protects you in the event you are legally at fault (ie: liable) in causing a wreck which harms someone else. In the typical auto policy, there is separate liability coverage for:  (1) property or vehicle damage caused to others; and (2) personal injury or death caused to others. Liability coverage is simply vital. Check your policy. We recommend that you carry as much liability coverage as possible, and at the very least $300,000.00. Please note that under Virginia law, the minimal amount is just $25,000.00 This is ridiculously low.  However, many drivers carry just that amount and consider themselves to have "full coverage."  We see it so often.  

On a final note, we also advise that you consider an "umbrella" policy. This provides additional liability coverage beyond your auto insurance policy. Umbrella policies are typically in higher amounts, such as $1,000,000 to $2,000,000. However, these policies are surprisingly affordable.  Whether through your auto policy or a separate "umbrella" policy, the concept of liability coverage is the same. It protects against claims or suits brought against you because of your own potential fault. For your own protection, buy enough of it.

Richard A. Dulaney
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Richard has over 30 years of experience in personal injury law.