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What Are Insurance Policy Limits?

What Are Insurance Policy Limits - A policy limit is the maximum amount an insurer will pay for a particular type of coverage. Once you hit the limit, any leftover expenses are your responsibility.

What Are Insurance Policy Limits?

There is a lot of important information about insurance that you need to know in order to make informed decisions about your coverage. 

In particular, understanding insurance policy limits and how they work can help you make sure you have the right amount of protection for your home, belongings, and family.

Policy Limits

Insurance policy limits are the maximum amount an insurance company agrees to pay for a particular claim or series of claims. They can be set on an individual basis, or for a particular type of coverage. 

Also Read: What Is Insurance

In some cases, policy limits may apply per incident, while others may be annual or lifetime caps. It's important for consumers to be aware of their policy limits, as they can help dictate how much financial protection they have in the event of a covered loss.

Definition and Examples of Insurance Policy Limits

An insurance policy limit is the maximum amount an insurance company will pay out under a particular policy. When an accident, injury, or other event occurs that triggers a payment under the policy, the associated claim will be paid up to the limit amount. 

In some cases, especially for personal lines policies like homeowners or renters insurance, the limit may be shared among multiple claimants if they are all affected by the same event. Limits can also vary depending on the type of insurance coverage in question. For instance, automobile liability limits are typically

For example, most states have laws that require drivers to have a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage. As a result, your policy limits must be equal to or greater than the legal minimums. The New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, for instance, requires the following minimum policy limits:

  • No-fault (personal injury protection): $50,000 per person.
  • Liability insurance (bodily injury and property damage): Liability insurance protects you if someone is injured or their property is damaged while they are on your property. The minimum coverage you need is $25,000 for bodily injury of one person, $50,000 for the death of one person, $50,000 for the bodily injury of two or more people in a single accident, and $100,000 for the death of two or more people in any accident. In addition, you should have $10,000 worth of property damage liability per accident.
  • Uninsured motorists: If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, your damages are limited to the same as if you were involved in an accident with a driver who had liability insurance.

All insurance policies have some kind of limit on the amount they will pay out. The limit will depend on the type of insurance coverage you have and your state’s regulations, but it is important to be aware of this limit.

How Insurance Policy Limits Work

You can find the insurance policy limits on the declarations page of your policy documents. Generally, each type of coverage has its own limit. However, in some cases, a single limit can apply to multiple types of coverage.

When selecting your policy limits, you will need to consider the minimum and maximum amounts of coverage available from your insurer as well as any other legal requirements. Additionally, you should think about how much coverage you might need in a worst-case scenario, such as if your home and all of its contents are destroyed in a fire. After choosing your policy limit, your insurer will calculate your premium and deductible options.

Types of Insurance Policy Limits

When reviewing an insurance policy, you may come across various types of policy limits. This includes:

  • Per-occurrence limits: Insurers put a limit on how much they will pay for any single event or claim. This is known as a per-occurrence limit.
  • Per-person limits: Per-person limits are the maximum amount an insurance company will pay for an individual’s claims. This means that, no matter how many claims you file, the insurance company will only pay a certain amount.
  • Combined limits: Combined limits are a single limit that can be applied to several coverage types. This limit is set based on the total amount you need to insure.
  • Aggregate limits: Claims made against an insurer will impact the company's annual aggregate limit. After a certain number of claims have been paid out, the insurer will no longer be able to payout any more for the year, which could leave policy holders without coverage.
  • Split limits: Split limits are a type of insurance that combines per-occurrence, per-person, and aggregate limits. This type of insurance provides coverage for a specific incident up to a certain amount, as well as coverage for individual people up to a certain amount, and total coverage for all people involved in an incident up to a certain amount.
  • Special limits: There are special limits on the payout for certain items that are covered by an insurance policy, such as a valuable piece of artwork. This is known as a maximum payout.

When looking for homeowners or renters insurance, be sure to read the fine print when it comes to policy limits. Policy limits can vary from one coverage type to the next, so it’s important to understand what is and isn’t covered.

What Factors Should Determine Your Insurance Policy Limits?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how much insurance you need. Every individual's situation is different, so it's important to tailor your policy to fit your specific needs. Here are a few examples of common insurance types and how to choose your policy limits for each one.

Car Insurance Policy Limits

When deciding how much auto insurance coverage you need, be sure to take into account what would happen if you caused an accident and were responsible for vehicle repairs and medical bills. Make sure your property damage liability limit would cover the typical cost of vehicles in your area.

When setting limits for bodily damage liability and medical payments coverage, it is important to consider both the legal limits and the value of your assets. If you injure someone, you could face a costly lawsuit. While $100,000/$300,000 is often recommended, you may need a higher limit if you want to protect valuable assets.

Tip: You may also want to consider purchasing a personal umbrella policy to help cover any excess costs.

Homeowners Insurance Policy Limits

When you get a mortgage, your lender will require you to meet a minimum homeowners insurance coverage. But remember, you want to have more coverage than that in case your home is destroyed and needs rebuilding, you lose personal belongings, have to live somewhere else temporarily, or someone gets injured on your property.

Life Insurance Policy Limits

How much life insurance do you need? In general, your policy limit should equal the financial obligations you want to cover for the period of time you want coverage, minus your assets. Common financial obligations include:

  • Final expenses, such as burial and funeral costs
  • Estate taxes
  • There is a fund to help beneficiaries during their adjustment period, such as grieving spouses who need to take time off work
  • This fund will help pay the beneficiary’s bills and ongoing expenses
  • Debts such as mortgages, auto loans, and credit card debt can be a heavy burden
  • Daycare costs
  • Other expenses, such as college tuition for your children or care for elderly parents

Life insurance can help cover the costs of your death. Your assets could include your current savings, pension, Social Security benefits, other insurance policies, real estate, and college funds. 

If you want to get an idea of the life insurance policy limit that might cover the gap, add up the expenses, subtract your savings, and you’ll be there.

Tip: There is no specific shortcut for buying life insurance. The general rule of thumb is to set your death benefit at an amount equal to 10 times your annual income.

Insurance Policy Limits vs. Premiums vs. Deductibles 

There are three important terms to understand when talking about insurance policies: policy limits, deductibles, and premiums. It’s important to be aware of how these factors interact with each other when choosing a policy.

Policy Limit    

This is the maximum amount an insurance company will pay for a specific coverage type.


What you pay monthly or yearly for insurance coverage.


The amount you pay in case of a claim before your insurance kicks in.

Note: You can change your deductible to save on premiums if you think the risk of a claim is low. If you think a claim is likely, you may want to lower your deductible.

How to Set Insurance Policy Limits

It’s important to find the right balance between your limits and your premiums. If you set your limits too low, you could end up being sued and suffering a huge financial loss. But if you choose too high a limit, you’ll be paying more in premiums than you would if you had the right amount of coverage. It’s a delicate balancing act, so be sure to think it through carefully.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Every business should weigh their costs, risks, and benefits to decide what’s best for them. If you need help deciding on your policy limits, reach out to your insurance agent. They can advise you on what will work best for your specific situation.

Key Policy Limits

  • A policy limit is the maximum an insurance company will pay on a particular type of coverage.
  • There can be various types of policy limits on an insurance policy. Make sure you read your declarations page to understand what your policy covers.
  • You may be legally required to carry liability insurance with a minimum policy limit.
  • You’ll need to consider a variety of factors when deciding how much coverage you need for your particular needs.
  • You should speak with your insurance agent about finding the right insurance policy limits for your needs.


A policy limit is the maximum amount of money an insurance company will pay out for a particular claim or series of claims. When choosing an insurance policy, it's important to know the policy limits and make sure they are adequate to cover your needs.

If you have any questions about insurance policy limits, please don't hesitate to contact our team today. We would be happy to help!