Does my car insurance cover passenger injuries?

Does car insurance cover passenger injuries? Full coverage covers passenger injuries as long as the policy includes medical or uninsured coverage.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: May 30, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Bodily injury liability is required insurance in most states, but make sure your coverage amount is high enough
  • Full coverage covers passenger injuries as long as the policy includes medical or uninsured/underinsured coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage does not protect the insured if they cause injury to another person
  • Check your policy to make sure you know what type of coverage you are paying for

What does car insurance cover? Does liability cover passengers in your car? That’s a critical question to answer before you start driving with others in your vehicle.

On most basic liability car insurance policies, a passenger is not covered. Many people mistakenly think that bodily injury limits coverage will cover passengers in their vehicles. However, bodily injury limits only covers passengers in a different car than the insured.

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Bodily injury liability and full coverage are very different types of auto insurance. Learn how the difference impacts who is and is not covered in an accident.

Does bodily injury cover passenger injuries in a car accident?

What is recommended for car insurance coverage? Bodily injury limit coverage is designed to keep you safe from potentially harmful lawsuits involving pain and suffering, loss of work, and medical bills. It is important that a person sets his coverage amount high enough to protect his assets.

In most states, a person’s car insurance policy must include bodily injury liability limits prior to driving.

There are a few exceptions to this rule, so it is always best for you to check with your insurance company to see if your policy includes bodily injury limits.

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Does full coverage cover passenger injuries in a car accident?


In most cases a passenger would be covered in a car accident with full coverage car insurance, as long as your policy has medical coverage or uninsured/underinsured coverage.

However, in almost all U.S. states this coverage is optional and not required. So, many individuals choose not to take this coverage.

Medical coverage or uninsured/underinsured coverage protects passengers in your vehicles and yourself if you are found at fault in an accident.

Some states require policies to offer Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance.

PIP covers those who are insured on the policy, such as a driver. However, many individuals carry this type of insurance on their health insurance policy so it is not uncommon for an individual to be protected already if they were a passenger in someone else’s vehicles.

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If I cause a car accident, are passenger injuries covered?

Which coverage pays for injuries to passengers in your car when the accident was your fault? There are three basic ways that individuals are covered by an insurance policy if they are involved in a car accident resulting in an injury:

  1. Medical coverage or uninsured/underinsured car insurance coverage protects the named insured and all passengers in their vehicle. This coverage is optional and usually only offered on policies that contain both comprehensive and collision.
  2. Personal Injury Protection also protects passengers and is optional in most states. This insurance is required in no-fault car insurance states if you do not already have health insurance that covers personal injuries.
  3. Bodily injury covers another driver and passengers in their vehicle but does not cover individuals in the named insurance vehicle or the insured. This coverage is required in most states.

While this article gives basic information about liability coverage as it relates to passengers in a vehicle, it can not tell you the coverage that you have selected on your auto insurance.

It is always best to contact your insurance company and ask them what your auto insurance covers.

Check your Medical Coverage, Personal Injury Protection, and Bodily Injury Limits

It is also important to know that comprehension insurance only covers your vehicle if it is damaged by something other than a collision. It will help you repair or replace your auto if it is severely damaged minus your deductibles. Collision covers replacing or repairing your vehicle if it’s damaged.

Many people mistakenly think that comprehension covers them if they injure another person which is not true.

If you own your own home, business, or other investment type property you will want to make sure you have as much insurance as you can afford to protect yourself and your property.

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