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Property Damage Liability Coverage — What Is It?

Updated: November 2017

Property damage liability coverage is part of a car insurance policy. It helps pay to repair damage you cause to another person's vehicle or property.

Property damage liability coverage is required by law in most states. It typically helps cover the cost of repairs if you are at fault for a car accident that damages another vehicle or property such as a fence or building front.

Property damage liability coverage usually does not cover damage to your own vehicle. You may want to consider other coverages, such as collision coverage, to help cover the cost to repair your own vehicle.

Two vehicles involved in a fender-bender accident.

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How Much Property Damage Liability Are You Required to Have?

Every state requires a driver to carry a specified minimum limit of liability coverage. States generally require property damage liability coverage and bodily injury liability coverage.

The mandatory coverage limits differ from state to state. For example, in California, drivers are required to have at least $5,000 of property damage liability coverage. In Texas, the minimum amount for property damage liability coverage is $25,000. In Nevada, it's $10,000.

A limit is the maximum amount your policy will pay for a covered claim. You can choose your liability coverage limits when you buy car insurance, or adjust them later with the help of your agent.

Consider Your Property Damage Liability Limits

You can usually opt to purchase limits higher than the minimum set by your state. For example, if you chose a $10,000 coverage limit and the amount of damage you cause exceeds that, you may have to pay the difference out of pocket. Having a higher limit of liability coverage may help you avoid having to pay out of pocket after an at-fault accident.

The higher you set your coverage limits, the higher your insurance premiums will likely be. As you consider how high to set your limits, you may want to discuss your options with an insurance agent in your area.

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This content is for informational purposes only and may not be applicable to all situations.

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