Property Damage Liability Coverage

Property damage liability insurance covers damages to a vehicle or an object that you hit. PLPD coverage is required in most states, but the minimum requirement is different depending on where you live. Some states only require $5,000 in Property damage liability insurance coverage, while others require $25,000, but it’s easy to exhaust those limits in a serious accident. Drivers should consider raising their limits to avoid out-of-pocket costs.

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Professor & Published Author D. Gilson, PhD

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Mar 9, 2022

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The Highlights

  • Property damage liability insurance coverage is a requirement in most states
  • The amount of property damage liability car insurance required will vary by state
  • Liability insurance won’t cover damages to your car, just damages to the object you hit

Although property damage liability insurance (PDL) is required by most states, the amount a driver must carry will vary. This type of insurance will cover damages to another vehicle or object that you hit, but it won’t cover any damages to your own car.

Before you buy property damage liability auto insurance, shop around and compare car insurance rates from multiple companies to find the cheapest coverage.

Enter your ZIP code now to compare property damage liability car insurance quotes from several companies near you.

What is property damage liability insurance?

There are usually two parts to the liability insurance that most states require drivers to maintain. One part is for any bodily injury you might cause in an accident, and the other part is for the property you might damage in an accident.

This type of coverage can be found under different names, too. Another name for personal damage liability insurance coverage is personal liability and property damage (PLPD). Or, in a business setting, it’s called public liability and property damage insurance (PLI).

No matter the name, if you are at-fault in an accident and cause damage to another car or an object like a fence or mailbox, your property damage liability car insurance will help pay for the damages.

But, this type of insurance doesn’t cover damages to your own vehicle. You would need collision or comprehensive coverage for that.

It’s not hard to find car insurance companies with property damage liability insurance, but the cost will vary.

PDL insurance is fairly inexpensive. However, each driver’s rate will be different.

Car insurance companies look at many factors to determine your rates. These factors include age, gender, driving record, where you live, and even your credit history.

Not only do auto insurance companies look at these factors differently, but they also charge different rates for coverage. That’s why it’s so important to compare what multiple companies offer to get the best coverage at the cheapest price.

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How much property damage liability insurance is required?

Most states require some sort of liability insurance to drive legally, although, the amount of coverage you must carry will be different in each state.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, about 13 percent of drivers choose to not carry the basic insurance required in their state, leaving them open to legal problems.

Some states like Georgia require drivers to carry at least $25,000 in coverage, but others like California only require $5,000 in property damage liability insurance.

Quite frankly, neither of these limits is high enough. Once car insurance claims are filed, you may find that you exhaust your coverage quickly.

Let’s say you swerve to miss a deer in the road and fit a fence. Damages may be under $5,000, so your insurance would completely cover them.

However, if you swerve to miss that deer and hit another car, damages will likely be over the $5,000 limit and possibly over the $25,000 limit as well.

With the rising cost of automobiles, you could possibly meet those limits quickly, leaving you to pay out of pocket for the remaining damages.

Although raising your property damage liability limits will increase your car insurance rates, you will have much more coverage and not have to pay out of pocket for damages you cause.

Is PLPD a basic part of any auto insurance policy?

Simple enough, right? But not so fast. PLPD definitions, terms, conditions, and requirements will vary by state.

Each state has its own PLPD auto insurance limits that must be met, and those limits can vary significantly by state.

If you carry basic PLPD coverage, then you may have an insurance policy that only meets the bare minimum state requirements by law. This policy will likely exclude extra full coverage auto insurance for collision and comprehensive coverage.

Will PLPD protect you in case of a lawsuit?

If you cause a crash that results in serious injury or death, standard liability insurance requirements will hardly cover legal expenses and damages awarded in court.

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Property Damage Liability Coverage: The Bottom Line

Personal Liability insurance will cover another party’s injuries if you cause a car accident.  If two occupants in the vehicle were injured, your personal liability insurance under your PLPD policy would kick in to cover medical expenses.

To find the most affordable property damage liability insurance rates, shop around and compare rates. Costs will be different with each auto insurance company, so comparison shopping is a must.

Enter your ZIP code now to compare property damage liability insurance quotes today.

Are you looking for free insurance quotes?

Your one-stop online insurance guide. Get free quotes now!

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