A lot of people get confused by this because there are really two or more parts to your automobile insurance policy.
The first part is mandatory here in BC and contains third party liability coverage and accident benefits (among other things). The second part is commonly referred to as “own damage coverage.”
The confusion comes from the fact that both of these parts cover bodily injury and property damage.
Let me clear things up.
Third party liability coverage and accident benefits for automobiles are required by law in most jurisdictions. While 3rd party liability insures both bodily injury and property damage, it only responds to claims where a third party has been harmed; it does not pay for losses to your own property. Accident benefits pays for bodily injury to the insured themselves.
If you want coverage for your own property damage, you would need to look for own damage coverage. This is distinct from third party liability as it pays for damage to the insured’s own property.
So, the short answer is yes, car insurance does cover bodily injury and property damage. But the real question is more nuanced: who is this coverage for?
This article was originally written for Insuranceopedia