Auto Ins.: Difference between CSL & Split Limits

What is the difference between combined single limits (CSL) and split limit insurance coverage amounts? CSL is designed to allow you a lump sum amount coverage, which may be used to effectively cover an automobile loss up to a specified amount. For instance, if your CSL automobile liability limit is $300,000, that amount can be used to cover bodily injury to one person (per person) or all the people in the vehicle injured (per occurrence). In addition any property damage would also be included within the $300,000 insurance amount. The key benefit of CSL automobile liability protection is flexibility.

With split limit coverage there are fixed amounts of coverage for each automobile loss. For instance, if your split limit liability amount is $100,000/300,000/100,000 (or 100/300/100) the coverages are broken down into three categories. The first is bodily injury (per person), the second is bodily injury (per occurrence), and third is property damage. For example, if you collide with a vehicle with an actual cash value of $125,000, your insurance carrier is contracted to pay only $100,000 (split limits). If you have CSL your insurance carrier would cover the $125,000 because this amount is below the $300,000 CSL limit.

What’s the catch? CSL coverage amounts are generally more expensive. However, in some cases the cost differences are minimal and the increased flexibility can provide extra dollars to settle unique claim situations. The additional benefit is the simplicity of working with one auto liability amount. Most insurance providers offer up to $500,000 CSL (in Nevada) and if you need more coverage you can purchase an excess (umbrella) liability policy.

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