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Differences Between “Combined Single Limit” and “Split Limit” Car Insurance Coverages

September 30th, 2021 by

When it comes to your car insurance needs, knowledge really is power. Staying well informed on the different forms of insurance – and the terminology used – is how you can make sure you’re getting the best value in your insurance plan. So, let’s dig into two types of liability insurance available to Minnesotans: “combined single limit” and “split limit.”

What’s the Difference?

Combined single limit policies have a maximum limit that covers both property damage and bodily injury. If an accident occurs, all costs for damage to your vehicle or injury costs are covered up to this threshold.

For example, say you have a combined single limit (CSL) policy that covers $500,000 per accident. You get into an accident and total out a new SUV worth $70,000 and there was one person in the vehicle (who was the driver) and sustained $400,000 worth of bodily injury. With CSL of $500,000, each accident has full access to the total limit, so the policy will pay $400,000 for the injuries to the driver, plus the 470,000 for the damages to other parties vehicle for a total of 470,000.00. 

Split limit policies – you guessed it – split ratio for coverage of property damage and bodily injury. In Minnesota, the minimum split ratio is 30/60/10, meaning coverage of $30,000 per person injured, $60,000 for all people injured, and $10,000 total property damage. (It’s scary to think how many people are driving around with state minimums and no insurance at all!)

Now, say you experienced the same accident as we previously mentioned with split limit coverage. Of 250/500/100 – because the split limits policy has a per person limit the most the policy would pay is $250,000 for the bodily injury to the person, plus the $70,000 for the damages to the vehicle for a total of $320,000. 

Which makes you automatically think CSL is the best right?

The reality is split could potentially payoff – let’s use the same situation but add another passenger:

Both passengers sustain major injuries, totaling $250,000 of bodily injury per passenger – plus the $70,000 SUV is totaled – in this situation, the split limit policy will pay $500,000 for bodily injury ( $250,000 to each passenger) and $70,000 for the property damage to the vehicle for a total of $570,000 – compared the CSL, which will be capped at the $500,000

Which is the Better Choice?

It’s often debated which coverage is better. The reality is, both are good as long as you carry the correct coverage limits. We also recommend maximizing your coverage by adding an umbrella to ensure you cover all the potential gaps in coverage that are highlighted in the examples above

As with all matters of insurance, the only way to make sure you have the right policy for your lifestyle and needs is to meet with your insurance agent.

Our team at Rehm Insurance is always here to help inform our clients and make sure you have the insurance plan that provides the best protection for your budget. Book an appointment with a team member to get your insurance questions answered, and to make sure your insurance plan is in good shape!

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