What is PLPD insurance?


PLPD insurance stands for personal liability and property damage insurance, which is just another way of saying liability insurance. Liability coverage is what covers the costs when you cause damage or injury to someone else with your car.

Anna Swartz 1600


Anna Swartz

Anna Swartz

Insurance Expert

Anna Swartz is a Managing Editor at Policygenius, specializing in auto insurance. Her work has appeared in Mic, The Dodo, AOL, MSN, HuffPost, Salon and Heeb.

Published December 20, 2019|4 min read

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Key Takeaways

  • PLPD insurance is an acronym that stands for personal liability and property damage insurance

  • This is also called liability insurance, a key component of car insurance

  • PLPD, or liability coverage, pays for the medical bills or repair costs for other drivers if you’re the at-fault driver in a car accident

  • Liability coverage is required for drivers in almost every state

Car insurance exists to protect you from the financial liability if you cause an accident with your car. Car insurance also helps cover the costs of damage to your own vehicle — either after an accident or if your car is stolen, vandalized, or damaged by other outside forces like extreme weather. But car insurance isn’t one simple product that covers every type of incident. An auto insurance policy is actually made up of different components which offer different types of protection.

The backbone of any auto policy is liability insurance, also called personal liability and property damage insurance, sometimes shortened to PLPD.

Liability coverage is divided into two parts: bodily injury liability, which covers medical bills for someone injured in an accident you caused, and property damage liability, which covers repair bills if you damage someone’s vehicle. Whenever you see PLPD, it just refers to both parts of liability insurance.

In this article:

What is PLPD car insurance?

As we explained above, PLPD stands for personal liability and property damage, which is just another way of saying liability coverage. Liability coverage is the component of car insurance that covers your financial liability when you’re the at-fault driver in an accident.

Liability coverage is divided into two parts: bodily injury liability (also called personal liability), which covers medical bills and related expenses for someone injured in an accident you caused; and property damage liability, which covers the costs if you damage or destroy someone’s vehicle or other property in a car accident.

PLPD is an acronym that simply refers to both parts of liability coverage in a standard auto insurance policy. As we mentioned above, car insurance policies are made up of various components of coverage that all provide different types of protection.

Here’s a quick rundown of the types of car insurance coverage that go into what’s typically referred to as a full coverage car insurance policy:

Coverage TypeWhat It Does
Bodily injury liabilityThe part of your liability coverage that pays for medical bills if you've injured someone in an accident
Property damage liabilityThe other part of liability coverage, covers the cost of property damage you've caused in an accident
Personal injury protectionCovers medical expenses for you or your passengers after an accident
Uninsured/underinsured motoristCovers the costs if you're in an accident caused by a driver with little or no car insurance
ComprehensiveCovers damage to your car that happens when you're not driving
CollisionCovers damage to your car after a car accident, no matter who was at fault

What does personal liability and property damage insurance cover?

PLPD insurance, also called liability insurance, is the component of car insurance that covers the costs when you’re the at-fault driver in an accident. For example, if you backed out of a driveway without looking and hit a car that was driving down the street, you’d be deemed the at-fault driver in that accident.

Once you’ve followed all the right steps after a car accident, like calling the police and exchanging insurance policy information, the other driver will file a claim with your insurance company.

Your PLPD, or liability coverage will pay to repair damage to their vehicle caused by the accident, as well as medical expenses from any injuries they or their passengers suffered.

It’s important to note, however, that your liability coverage will only pay for damage and injury up to your policy’s liability limits. When you purchase a car insurance policy, you choose the amount of liability coverage you want. Here’s a sample car insurance policy for reference:

Basic CoveragesPolicy Limits
Bodily injury liability$50,000 each person, $100,000 each accident
Property damage liability$50,000 each accident
Personal injury protection$20,000 each person
Uninsured/underinsured motorist$50,000 each person, $100,000 each accident
Comprehensive$500 deductible
Collision$500 deductible

Your liability limits put a maximum limit on how much your insurance company will pay out to cover an accident. So if you’re in an at-fault accident and you cause $60,000 worth of property damage, but your property damage liability coverage limit is $50,000, you’d be on the hook for the remaining $10,000.

That’s why it makes sense to set your liability coverage limits relatively high to make sure you’re sufficiently covered in the event of an at-fault accident. But keep in mind that higher coverage limits will lead to a higher insurance premium as well.

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How much PLPD insurance is required?

Almost every state requires drivers to have a minimum amount of PLPD, or liability insurance. Some states also require drivers to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which covers you if you’re in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have car insurance, or personal injury protection (PIP) which covers medical expenses for you or your passengers after an accident.

Every state’s specific car insurance requirements are different, you can see a full list of how much car insurance is required in all 50 states here.

In Michigan, for example, drivers are required to have up to $20,000 in bodily injury liability per person, and $40,000 per accident, as well as $10,000 in property damage coverage and some amount of PIP coverage, although the specifics depend on your health insurance coverage.

Nevada, on the other hand, requires higher coverage limits but fewer types of coverage: up to $20,000 bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 per accident and $20,000 in property damage liability coverage.

Still, state-required amounts of car insurance tend to be very low and may leave you unprotected. For example, if you’re a Michigan driver and you set your PLPD coverage at the state required amounts, you’d be forced to pay out of pocket if you ever caused property damage over $10,000.

An independent insurance broker can help you figure out how much of each kind of car insurance coverage makes sense for you, and match you with an insurer that meets your needs and your budget.

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What is liability car insurance?

Liability car insurance is the most important part of your car insurance policy. If you are at fault for an accident, your liability insurance covers the cost of damage you cause to someone else’s car and their medical expenses if they sustained injuries.

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What is uninsured motorist insurance?

Uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist insurance covers you, your passengers, and your car when another driver causes an accident and doesn’t have insurance to pay for it.

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Comprehensive car insurance coverage

Protect your wheels from flooding, hailstorms and deer, oh my.

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