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How Much Car Accident Liability Coverage is Enough?

Trying to decide how much liability coverage to get can be difficult because it isn’t as straight forward as property or collision insurance.  Personal property has a value attached to it and is easy enough to add up into an insurable sum but with liability coverage it is more about who is involved in the accident not what.

Why are liability claims so high?

­There are many different factors that go into settlement amounts; the type and severity of injury, the plaintiff’s age, occupation, and future income potential are just a few things that are ultimately considered.  Other considerations include:

  • Special transportation costs
  • Modification of home or vehicle costs
  • Medication costs
  • Assisted living costs
  • Litigation Fees

Settlement costs in BC have risen steadily within the last few years and is likely a good indicator of where Ontario is headed as well:

  • In BC between 2012 and 2016, crashes increased by 23%, bodily injury claims increased by 28%[1]
  • Minor injury claims make up almost 60% of bodily injury claims, up from 30% in 2000[2]
  • In 2000, an average payout for a minor injury was $8,000. In 2016 that same claim would cost ICBC $30,000, an increase of 365%[3]

$1 Million in liability coverage ought to be enough right?

Well, here’s an example where it wasn’t: A 15 year-old was a passenger in a vehicle struck by another car that ran a stop sign, causing her to hit her head against the window.  She suffered a brain injury with cognitive impairments and was found competitively unemployable as a result. Before the accident, she had a bright future with positive career opportunities.  As a settlement a jury awarded her $2.2 million for pain, suffering and future wage loss.  With only $1 million in liability coverage, the at-fault driver would have been responsible for the $1.2 million shortfall.

Be prepared

A broker works with insurance every day and can recommend coverage for you based on your specific needs.  Talk to a Real Insurance Broker today to learn about the best options for your insurance liability limits and email us at info@josslin.com or call us at 1-888-567-7546. We’re here to help. 

[1] Kerr, Jessica. “Here Are the Main Reasons behind ICBC's 'Financial Dumpster Fire'.” Vancouver Is Awesome, 6 Feb. 2018, https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/2018/02/05/what-is-wrong-with-icbc-2018/

[2] ibid

[3] ibid

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