Also called P&C insurance, property and casualty insurance is a catch-all term for types of insurance that protect you, your property, and other assets. Auto, home, renters, and condo insurance are all examples of property and casualty insurance.
Property and casualty insurance can cover many different situations depending on the policy, like if someone visiting your home falls and breaks their leg, your car is stolen, you totaled someone else’s vehicle in an at-fault accident, or your windshield is damaged by hail.
What is property and casualty insurance?
Property and casualty insurance is insurance coverage that protects your property and pays for damage you may cause to someone else or their property.
Basically, property and casualty insurance helps you protect your assets, including any physical property you own along with your savings and investments by covering both your property itself (your home, stuff, or car) along with your liability in case of damage or injury to someone else (that’s the casualty part).
It is important to have enough coverage to repair or replace your property if it is damaged, which can mean different things for auto and home insurance.
What does property and casualty insurance cover?
Knowing what your insurance covers (and what it doesn’t cover) is an important part of choosing an insurance policy. For example, homeowners insurance almost always excludes water damage, including damage caused by flooding, but car insurance will cover water damage as long as you purchased comprehensive coverage.
Also, it is vital to have enough liability coverage in place to protect you financially if you harm someone else or their property. Drivers are required to have a minimum amount of liability coverage in place in almost every state, but the minimum levels of coverage won’t be enough to protect you if you cause a significant amount of damage.
Someone who only has $25,000 in property damage liability coverage and totals someone else’s brand new Lexus RX 350 in an at-fault accident will be held responsible for any costs that go above and beyond their liability limits, which could leave them paying an additional $21,000 out-of-pocket.
Types of property and casualty insurance
Since property and casualty insurance is a broad term for any insurance policy that covers both something you own and your liability, there are many types of property and casualty insurance, including:
Workers compensation insurance
For most people, auto insurance and some type of policy for their home or belongings (which could be homeowners insurance, renters insurance, or condo insurance, depending on your situation) will meet the majority of your P&C insurance needs.
However, some people may need other types of P&C coverage as well, so it is important to speak with an insurance expert who can help make sure you have enough coverage to protect yourself financially.
Additionally, P&C insurance coverage breaks down into multiple parts. For example, a property and casualty auto insurance policy may have some or all of the coverages listed below:
While everyone who owns a car needs some type of auto insurance, most people don’t need every type of auto insurance. For example, drivers who have paid off their car don’t need to buy gap insurance, and PIP is only required in certain states.
What's the difference between property insurance and casualty insurance?
True to its name, property insurance pays to repair or replace your property. For example, if your catalytic converter is stolen, the property portion of your auto insurance coverage will pay to replace it within the limits of your policy. But remember you may have a deductible that needs to be met before your insurance company will make a payment.
Casualty insurance refers to the liability portion of your insurance policy. It covers your legal responsibility for losses you cause to another person or their property. For example, if you are at fault in a car accident and the other driver ends up with $50,000 in medical bills due to the accident, you are responsible for paying that cost.
If you have at least $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage you won’t pay anything out of pocket, but drivers who have lower coverage limits will be expected to pay out of pocket for any costs that go above and beyond their liability limits.
How to get property and casualty insurance
The best way to get property and casualty insurance is to compare quotes and make sure you are getting the best rate, whether it’s car insurance, home insurance, or something else. Most insurance companies will give you a quote online, by phone, or through an independent agent.
You can contact individual companies for a quote, or you can save time and money by going through an online marketplace like Policygenius to compare quotes from multiple companies at once.