Third-party liability insurance is insurance that pays when the policyholder injures another person or causes damage to another person’s property. In car insurance, third-party liability insurance is required in almost every state, and it only applies when the policyholder causes an accident. Third-party liability insurance does not pay for the policyholder’s own injuries or property damage.
The Parties in Third-Party Liability Insurance
In third-party liability insurance, the first party is the policyholder and the second party is the insurance company. The third party is anyone else who becomes involved. Since liability means legal responsibility, third-party liability refers to the policyholder’s legal responsibility to someone else.
For example, say that Driver A accidentally rear-ends Driver B at a stop-light, causing minor damage to both cars’ bumpers. Driver B can file a claim with Driver A’s third-party liability coverage to pay for the damage. However, Driver A cannot file a claim with their own third-party insurance, since they are the first-party in this scenario. Instead, Driver A would need to have collision insurance for the damage to their own car to be covered.
Types of Third-Party Liability Car Insurance
Third-party liability car insurance incorporates two subsections: bodily injury and property damage liability. In addition, car insurance policies usually include three separate payout limits to cover different aspects of third-party liability. For instance, a policy written as 25/50/25 refers to limits of $25,000 for bodily injury claims per person, $50,000 for bodily injury claims per accident, and $25,000 for property damage claims.
Third-party liability car insurance is a term most frequently used outside the United States. In the U.S., insurance companies will usually just call it liability insurance instead.
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