Liability, Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury & Property Damage, and Personal Injury Protection are all types of Texas auto insurance coverages that are available to consumers. Many people don’t understand what each coverage does and what the state of Texas requires.
In fact, most people don’t even know that there are two options available for liability and uninsured motorist coverage: split limit or combined single limit. We’re going to explain what each limit means, the cost difference, and the advantages and disadvantages of both limits.
What Are Limits
Texas auto insurance limits are the limits of coverage that apply to you. When you purchase car insurance, you select what coverages you want and the limits for each. The insurance company will not pay over the limits that you select for bodily injury and property damage costs.
The State of Texas requires individuals who operate a motor vehicle to carry at least the state minimum of liability in their Texas auto insurance, which is 30/60/25. Read more on why the state minimum limit may not cut it for you.
In order to understand what limit you carry, you must read through your policy and check your declarations page. One of our licensed agents would be happy to go over it with you.
Split Limits of Liability
A split limit of liability divides the coverage limits into three categories:
- bodily injury per person
- bodily injury per accident
- property damage
Let’s take the Texas auto insurance state minimum liability limit, 30/60/25, as an example. The “30” represents a $30,000 limit of liability for bodily injury per person that you injure. The “60” represents a $60,000 limit of liability for bodily injury per accident. The “25” represents a $25,000 limit of liability for property damage per accident.
Split limits of liability range from the lowest, 30/60/25, to the highest, 250/500/100.
Combined Single Limit of Liability
A combined single limit of liability is just like it sounds. One single limit. The limit is a maximum dollar amount that covers any combo of injuries and/or property damage in one accident.
Combined single limits range from the lowest, $100,000 CSL, to the highest, $500,000 CSL. If you max out at the highest Texas auto insurance liability limit, then you can purchase another policy specifically for excess liability. Read more about an Umbrella policy here.
As an example, let’s say you carry a $300,000 combined single liability limit. If you hit another vehicle and cause property damage to their 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe and bodily injury to a mother and two of her children, then you would have up to $300,000 for the damages and bodily injury you caused. Subject to the terms and conditions of your policy.
Now let’s take the same scenario, but instead, you are carrying the Texas auto insurance state minimum liability limit, 30/60/25. You would have up to $30,000 per person that you injured. Up to $60,000 total for any bodily injury that you caused in that one accident. Lastly, you would have up to $25,000 for the property damage you caused to the 2020 Tahoe.
The question that begs to be answered is, “what if the limit is not enough to cover the damage or bodily injury I cause?” Read our blog to learn what can happen if your limit is not enough to cover the damage you cause.
The Differences in Combined Single Limit and Split Limit
The advantage of carrying a combined single limit of liability is that you have broader coverage. A CSL allows for more flexibility in claims payout and the allocation of funds where necessary. For example, let’s say you cause an accident that results in two people injured. Person A’s injuries total $25,000. Person B’s injuries total $65,000.
The total bodily injury caused is $90,000. No property damage. If you carry a split limit of 30/60/25 then you would not have enough limit for all of Person B’s injuries. Whereas if you carry a combined single limit of $100,000 then the funds can get allocated where needed. In this case, nearly all of the limit would be used for bodily injury.
A combined single limit of liability usually costs a bit more because it provides broader coverage. However, the price difference is not much. It can be as little as $5/month to switch from a split limit to a combined single limit. Extremely worth it in our opinion.
Which Limit is Right for You?
Anyone and everyone can benefit from a combined single limit. Our advice is to purchase as much liability as you can afford. Give us a call if you need help figuring out what liability limit you carry and if it’s enough for you.
For more tips and tricks for affordable Texas auto insurance, visit our blog library.