What is PLPD insurance?

Also called liability coverage, PLPD insurance covers the costs of another person's medical care and damaged property after an at-fault accident.

Anna SwartzAndrew Hurst

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Anna Swartz

Anna Swartz

Senior Managing Editor & Auto Insurance Expert

Anna Swartz is a senior managing editor and auto insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our car insurance coverage. Previously, she was a senior staff writer at Mic.com, as well as an associate writer at The Dodo.

&Andrew Hurst

Andrew Hurst

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Andrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.

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Maria Filindras

Maria Filindras

Financial Advisor

Maria Filindras is a financial advisor, a licensed Life & Health insurance agent in California, and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius.

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PLPD stands for personal liability and property damage. PLPD insurance is just another name for liability coverage, which is the part of car insurance that’s required in nearly every state. PLPD car insurance covers the medical bills and cost of repairs after you damage someone else's vehicle (or other property) in an accident.

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PLPD insurance does not cover damage you cause to your own vehicle. If you're responsible for an accident that totals your car, you'll have to have full coverage insurance (meaning comprehensive and collision coverage in addition to your PLPD coverage) to avoid paying for the repairs yourself.

Key takeaways

  • PLPD insurance stands for personal liability and property damage insurance.

  • Liability insurance is another, more common name for PLPD insurance.

  • PLPD car insurance pays for medical bills and repair costs for other drivers if you’re responsible for an accident. 

  • Almost every state — besides New Hampshire and Virginia — requires at least some amount of PLPD insurance.

What is PLPD car insurance?

PLPD stands for personal liability and property damage insurance. While it has a different name, PLPD is just another way to refer to your policy's liability coverage

If you're at-fault for an accident, the personal liability portion of PLPD car insurance, typically called bodily injury liability coverage, pays for the other driver's medical bills, while your property damage coverage pays for the cost of their damaged property.

In most states, you have to have both parts of PLPD insurance. However, PLPD insurance is just one component of a typical insurance policy. You will also have to have the following types of insurance to be fully covered in the event your own car is damaged:

Coverage Type

What It Does

Bodily injury liability

The part of your liability coverage that pays for medical bills if you've injured someone in an accident

Property damage liability

The other part of liability coverage, covers the cost of property damage you've caused in an accident

Personal injury protection

Covers medical expenses for you or your passengers after an accident

Uninsured/underinsured motorist

Covers the costs if you're in an accident caused by a driver with little or no car insurance

Comprehensive

Covers damage to your car that happens when you're not driving

Collision

Covers damage to your car after a car accident, no matter who was at fault

How do you get PLPD insurance?

It's easy to get PLPD insurance. Car insurance companies don't let you purchase less than the legal amount of PLPD coverage when you're shopping for insurance. So all you have to do is request a quote and then add more coverage if you want more than the minimum amount of PLPD.

After you've picked the amount of bodily injury and property damage insurance that you need — along with any other types of coverage you want — simply select a start date for your policy, finalize your purchase, and get covered.

→ Learn more about how to buy car insurance

What does PLPD insurance cover?

PLPD insurance, also called liability insurance, is made up of two separate types of car insurance coverage: bodily injury liability coverage and property damage coverage. 

After a car accident that you're responsible for, the other driver will file a claim with your insurance company, and both parts of your PLPD coverage may kick in to pay them, depending on the severity of the accident.

  • Bodily injury liability: If the other driver or their passengers were injured in the accident, the personal liability portion of your PLPD insurance, typically called bodily injury liability, would cover the cost. Your personal injury liability coverage may also be used to pay for legal fees, lost wages, pain and suffering, and in some cases even funeral costs.

  • Property damage liability coverage: The second part of PLPD, your property damage coverage pays for the cost of repairing the other driver's damaged belongings. This usually means their car, but property damage coverage may also cover damage to anything that you hit, like a house, patio, or a fence.

It’s important to note that your PL and PD insurance will only cover for injuries and property up to your policy’s liability limits. The liability limits you choose are a cap on how much your insurance company will pay to cover an accident. 

So if you cause $60,000 worth of property damage in an accident, but your property damage liability coverage limit is $50,000, you’d have to pay for the remaining $10,000 yourself.

That’s why it makes sense to get more than the minimum amount of PLPD coverage that you're required to carry. However, keep in mind that higher coverage limits will lead to higher auto insurance costs. To find the best balance of affordability and robust coverage, we recommend that you compare the cost of car insurance from more than one company before buying a policy.

→ Learn more about how much car insurance you need

What is not covered by PLPD insurance?

Although PLPD coverage is a key part of a car insurance policy, it doesn't cover all types of damage. Because PLPD is a type of third-party insurance, it only covers damage that affects other people — not you

If the accident you were responsible for caused damage to your own car, your PLPD wouldn't cover that damage. Instead, you would need collision coverage, which pays for repairs to your own vehicle after any crash, no matter who is responsible.

Additionally, PLPD doesn't cover theft or other non-collision sources of damage, like falling objects, weather, or animals. Even though it wouldn't be your fault if a deer lept in front of your car and totaled it, or if a branch fell on your vehicle while it was parked outside, you would have to have comprehensive coverage to avoid paying for those repairs yourself. 

→ Learn about what car insurance does and doesn't cover

How much PLPD insurance is required?

Almost every state requires drivers to have a minimum amount of PLPD car insurance. Usually, PLPD insurance is just one of the types of insurance that you have to carry before you can legally drive. Along with PLPD, some states also require drivers to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection (PIP).

There are a few states that don't require PLPD insurance:

  • Florida: Drivers in Florida don't need full PLPD insurance. Instead of requiring both personal and property damage liability, Florida just requires that you carry at least $10,000 of property damage coverage.

  • New Hampshire: Most drivers don't have to carry either type of PLPD coverage in New Hampshire. You'd only need to get PLPD insurance after a DUI and other dangerous driving behaviors.

  • Virginia: Drivers in Virginia can pay a $500 uninsured vehicle fee and avoid the state's minimum PLPD coverage requirements.

In states that require PLPD, drivers usually have to carry around $25,000 of personal injury liability coverage per person ($50,000 per accident), and $15,000 of property damage coverage. Because state-required amounts of PLPD tend to be low, you could be unprotected after a serious accident.

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How does PLPD insurance work in Michigan?

The amount of PLPD coverage that Michigan drivers need is higher than in much of the rest of the country. Michigan is a no-fault state, but drivers still have to have at least $50,000 of bodily liability coverage per person ($100,000 total per accident). 

Drivers are also required to have at least $1 million in property protection insurance (PPI). This type of coverage is the same as conventional property damage liability coverage. Finally, Michigan requires at least an additional $10,000 for property damage in other states.

Since Michigan is a no-fault state, your own personal injury protection would cover your injuries after an accident, no matter who was responsible. Your PLPD wouldn't cover another person's injuries unless you caused an accident in Michigan that:

  • Killed or seriously injured another driver

  • Involved someone who wasn't a resident of Michigan

  • Resulted in damages that weren't covered by the other driver's insurance

→ Learn about the best and cheapest car insurance in Michigan

Authors

Senior Managing Editor & Auto Insurance Expert

Anna Swartz

Senior Managing Editor & Auto Insurance Expert

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Anna Swartz is a senior managing editor and auto insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our car insurance coverage. Previously, she was a senior staff writer at Mic.com, as well as an associate writer at The Dodo.

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Andrew Hurst

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

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Andrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.

Expert reviewer

Financial Advisor

Maria Filindras

Financial Advisor

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Maria Filindras is a financial advisor, a licensed Life & Health insurance agent in California, and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius.

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