Why Do I Have to Buy Liability Insurance?

The key to understanding why liability insurance is mandatory lies in playing the game of "what if".  If you play the game right, you can't fail to see why most states require drivers to buy liability insurance when choosing their car insurance plans.

Imagine this "what if?" scenario...

You're driving down a busy suburban road after work, exhausted and hungry but happy to be home soon.  Just a few blocks from home, when you can already smell the lasagna warming up and where you can put your feet up and relax, maybe catch something good on Netflix...out of nowhere comes flying a soccer ball.
And sure enough, right behind that soccer ball comes an 11 year-old child, chasing after it.  Luckily you saw it all in time to swerve and avoid the ball and, mercifully, the child as well.

It can happen to anyone

While you're thanking your lucky stars you were alert enough to avoid a possible nightmare of a tragedy, you realize that your car has come to a forceful stop behind a small delivery van.

The van was parked on the side of the road, and in swerving to miss the soccer ball and child, you rammed into the back of the van.  Good thing nobody was inside the van but here comes the driver running out of the house in front of which you are now recovering from your near-trauma.

Liability covers other people's stuff

Inside the back of the van happened to be a $10,000 chandelier, which was about to be delivered to the house where you're now parked.  It was a vintage, one-of-a-kind, salvaged from an estate on the Upper West Side of one of New York's finest old homes. Now it's a pile of smashed crystal and wire.

That's why you need liability insurance

Since you caused the accident which destroyed the valuable chandelier, you are on the hook for paying for it.  Good thing you have liability insurance, because you won't have to worry about coughing up the dough for the chandelier.

If you didn't have liability, you'd be facing a terrifying lawsuit.

Liability protects you when an accident is your fault.  Nobody can predict what happens on the road, and there's a whole world of harm you can cause with your vehicle, even if you're the most careful driver in the world.

Sometimes things just happen and you have no control over the outcome.

Liability also covers bodily harm

Liability auto insurance covers damage to property like in the example above, but it also covers bodily harm.  Had there been anyone in or around that chandelier delivery van, and they were injured as a result of the accident, you'd also be on the hook for their medical expenses.  Those could easily total more than the fancy chandelier!

From the other person's property to their medical expenses, vehicle repair and loss of income, liability has you covered when the accident is your fault.

Understanding everything about car insurance can be tricky, but AardvarkCompare.com makes it easy to compare all your options.  We'll provide you with choices in competitive auto insurance rates so you find the plan that works for you.  Get your quotes today.


  1. http://www.rmiia.org/auto/traffic_safety/Cost_of_crashes.asp