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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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

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Just the Basics

  • Property damage liability insurance protects you and your assets in case you cause an accident.
  • Liability insurance is required in almost every state.
  • If you hit another car and don’t have enough property damage insurance to cover the total cost you will have to pay out of pocket for the difference.

It’s important to know exactly what kind of car insurance coverage you need when shopping for a policy. Property damage liability coverage is one the most important parts of anyone’s car insurance policy. This article takes an in-depth look at what property damage liability is and why you need it.

Learn about factors that affect the price of car insurance so you can make sure you get the best possible property damage liability car insurance rates. If you’re ready to compare prices, you can use our free tool to get property damage liability car insurance quotes today.

What is property damage liability?

Property damage liability insurance covers you if you’re at fault in an incident. This type of coverage insures against anything considered the property of another person. That can include their car, what’s in it, or their home.

If you get in a crash, hit someone’s vehicle, and take out a home’s fence in the process, your property damage liability insurance will cover the cost of the damage to both the vehicle and the fence. If they had expensive photography equipment in the trunk, property damage liability insurance would cover that too.

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How much property damage liability insurance is required?

Under New Hampshire car insurance law, residents can opt-out of purchasing liability insurance but all other states require buying it. Every state has a minimum amount you must purchase but it’s recommended you buy more than the minimum.

Minimum Liability Coverage Requirements by State

StateType of Insurance RequiredMinimum Coverage Amount
AlaskaBodily injury liability$50,000 per person
$100,000 per accident
Property damage liability$25,000 minimum
ArizonaBodily injury liabilityMinimum $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
Property damage liabilityMinimum $10,000
Uninsured motorist
Bodily injury
Minimum $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
Uninsured motorist
Property damage
Minimum $10,000
ArkansasBodily injury$25,000 per person /$50,000 per accident
Property damage liability$25,000 per accident
CaliforniaBodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$15,000
Total bodily injury or death in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$30,000
Property damage per accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$5,000
ColoradoDeath or injury of one person$25,000
Death or injury of more than one person$50,000
Property damage liability$15,000
ConnecticutBodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$25,000
Total bodily injury or death in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$50,000
Property damage per accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$25,000
DelawarePersonal injury protection (PIP)$15,000 per person
$30,000 per occurrence
$5,000 in funeral services coverage
Bodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$25,000
Total bodily injury or death in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$50,000
Property damage per accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$10,000
FloridaPersonal injury protection (PIP)$10,000 Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Property damage liability$10,000 Property Damage Liability (PDL)
GeorgiaBodily injury liability$25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
Property damage liability$25,000 per accident
Uninsured motorist
Bodily injury
$25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
Uninsured motorist
Property damage
$25,000 with a $250, $500, or $1000 deductible
HawaiiBodily injury liability$20,000 per person
$40,000 per accident
Property damage liability$10,000 minimum
PIP/"No-fault" coverage$10,000 minimum
IdahoBodily injury or death per person resulting from an accident you cause$25,000
Total bodily injury or death liability resulting from an accident you cause$50,000
Property damage per accident resulting from a collision you cause$15,000
IndianaBodily injury liability$25,000 per person
$50,000 per accident
Uninsured motorist$25,000 per person
$50,000 per accident
Property damage liability$25,000 minimum
Underinsured motorist$50,000 minimum
IowaInjuries of one person$20,000
Injuries of more than one person$40,000
Property damage liability$15,000
KansasInjury or death per person in an accident caused by you$25,000
Total injuries or the death per accident the insured caused by you$50,000
Property damage in an accident the insured driver caused by you$25,000
Uninsured/underinsured motorist$25,000 per person
$50,000 per accident
KentuckyBodily injury liability for one person$25,000
Bodily injury liability total for an accident$50,000
Property damage liability$25,000
Personal injury protection (PIP)$10,000
LouisianaInjury/death per person$15,000
Injuries or death per accident$30,000
Property damage per accident$25,000
MaineDeath or injury per person$50,000
Total death or injury per accident$100,000
Property damage per accident$25,000
Uninsured/underinsured motoristN/A
MedpayN/A
MarylandBodily injury liability of one person$30,000
Bodily injury liability two or more people$60,000
Property damage liability$15,000
MassachusettsBodily injury liability$20,000 per one person
$40,000 total per accident
Property damage liability$5,000 per accident
No-fault personal injury$8,000
Uninsured motorist$20,000 per one person
$40,000 per accident
MichiganPersonal injury protection (PIP)$50,000 (for drivers enrolled in Medicaid)
$250,000 all others
Personal property protection (PPI)$1 million
Bodily injury liability$50,000 per person
$100,000 per incident
Property damage liability$10,000 per incident
MinnesotaPersonal injury protection (PIP)$40,000 per person per accident. ($20,000 for medical expenses and $20,000 for non-medical expenses)
Bodily injury liability$30,000 per person
$60,000 for two or more people (per incident)
Property damage liability$10,000
Uninsured motorist
Bodily injury
$25,000 per person
$50,000 for two or more people (per incident)
Underinsured motorist
Bodily injury
$25,000 per person
$50,000 for two or more people (per incident)
MississippiBodily injury per person$20,000
Total bodily injury per accident$40,000
Property damage per accident$10,000
MissouriInjury or death per person in an accident you caused$25,000
Total injuries or death per accident you caused$50,000
Property damage per accident you caused$10,000
Uninsured motorist$25,000 in bodily injury per person
$50,000 in bodily injury per accident
MontanaInjury or death of one person in an accident you caused$25,000
Total injuries or death of more than one person in an accident you caused$50,000
Property damage in an accident you caused$20,000
NebraskaInjury or death per person in an accident you caused$25,000
Total injuries or death per accident you caused$50,000
Property damage per accident you caused$25,000
Uninsured/underinsured motorist$25,000 to cover your own injury per person
$50,000 to cover total injuries or death per accident
NevadaBodily injury or death of any individual resulting from an accident the vehicle owner/driver causes$25,000 per person
Total bodily injury or death liability resulting from an accident the vehicle owner/driver causes$50,000 per accident
Total property damage resulting from an accident the vehicle owner/driver causes$20,000 per accident
New Hampshire
(Drivers aren't technically required to carry insurance)
Bodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$25,000
Total bodily injury or death in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$50,000
Property damage per accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$25,000
Medpay$1,000 to cover medical expenses after a crash
Uninsured/underinsured motoristSame amount of coverage as liability
New JerseyBodily injuryNone required, but optional starting at a minimum of $10,000 per person and $10,000 per accident
Property damage liability$5,000
Personal injury protection (PIP)$15,000 per person, per accident
Up to $250,000 for brain and spinal cord injuries
New MexicoInjuries to one person in an accident$25,000
Injuries to all people in an accident$50,000
Property damages caused by an accident$10,000
New YorkPersonal injury liability$25,000 per person with a maximum of $50,000 per accident
Liability coverage for death$50,000 per person with a maximum of $100,000 per accident
Property damage liability$10,000 per accident
Personal injury protection (PIP)$50,000 per person
Uninsured motorists$25,000 per person with a maximum of $50,000 per accident
North CarolinaInjuries to one person$30,000
Injuries to more than one person$60,000
Property damage liability$25,000
North DakotaBodily injury liability$25,000 per person
$50,000 per accident
Property damage liability$25,000
OhioBodily injury liability$25,000 per person
$50,000 per incident
Property damage liability$25,000
OklahomaInjury or death of a single person$25,000
Injury or death of more than one person$50,000
Damage to personal property$25,000
OregonInjuries of ONE person$25,000
Injuries of MORE THAN ONE person$50,000
Property damages$20,000
Personal injury protection (also known as Medical Payments/MedPay)$15,000
Uninsured motor$25,000 per person and $50,000 per total accident
PennsylvaniaMedical benefits coverage (also known as First-Party Benefits), a form of personal injury protection, to cover medical expenses for yourself or others, regardless of fault$5,000
Liability insurance to cover medical costs for injuries to one person, capped at $30,000 per accident$15,000
Property damage if you’re at fault$5,000
Rhode IslandBodily injury coverage to cover the injuries of just one person$25,000
Injuries of more than one person$50,000
Property damaged in a car accident$25,000
Uninsured/underinsured motorist$25,000
South CarolinaBodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle$25,000
Total bodily injury or death liability in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle$50,000
Property damage per accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle$25,000
South DakotaBodily injury liability coverage per person to cover the costs associated with the injury or death of an individual as the result of an accident you cause$25,000
Bodily injury liability coverage per accident to cover the costs associated with the total bodily injury or death liability resulting from an accident you cause$50,000
Property damage liability coverage to cover the costs associated with property damages incurred by another individual or individuals resulting from an accident you cause$25,000
Uninsured/underinsured motoristSame amount of coverage as liability
TennesseeBodily injury or death of an individual resulting from an accident you cause$25,000
Total bodily injury or death liability resulting from an accident you cause$50,000
Property damage liability coverage to cover the total costs of another party or party’s property damage resulting from an accident you cause$15,000
TexasBodily injury liability$30,000 per person
$60,000 per accident
Property damage liability$25,000
UtahInjury or death to any one person in an accident$26,000
Injury or death to two or more people in an accident$65,000
Damage to property in an accident$15,000
PIP coverage per person$3,000
VermontDeath or injury of one person$25,000
Death or injury of more than one person$50,000
Property damage liability$10,000
VirginaDeath or injury of one person$25,000
Death or injury of more than one person$50,000
Property damage liability$20,000
WashingtonBodily injury liability$25,000 per one person
$50,000 total per accident
Property damage liability$10,000 per accident
West VirginaBodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$25,000
Total bodily injury or death in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$50,000
Property damage per accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$20,000
WisconsinBodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$25,000
Total bodily injury or death in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$50,000
Property damage per accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle$10,000
Injury to one person for both Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists$25,000
Injury to more than one person for both Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists$50,000
WyomingBodily injuries/death of ONE person$25,000
Bodily injuries/death of MULTIPLE people$50,000
Property damage$20,000
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Liability insurance is designed to ensure that drivers don’t end up bankrupt following an accident. It’s important to consider what you can afford to pay without help from your insurance company and insure accordingly.

Property damage liability insurance works the other way too. If you’re in an accident that isn’t your fault, the other driver’s property damage liability insurance will pay for damage to your vehicle.

How Property Damage Liability Insurance Works

Property damage liability insurance has a per accident limit. In the example above, if you had $40,000 in property damage liability coverage your insurance would pay up to that amount for a single incident.

If the total damage to the vehicle, its contents and the fence totaled $55,000, you would be responsible for paying that $15,000 difference out of your own pocket.

If that driver didn’t have insurance you might be out of luck unless you purchased uninsured motorist coverage.

How much does property damage liability insurance cost?

Property damage liability insurance is often bundled with bodily injury liability insurance and referred to generally as liability insurance. Since the minimum coverage amounts vary by state, rates will vary as well.

Average Annual Rates for Liability Insurance

Coverage SummaryAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates
Liability Coverage$611/year
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Your vehicle type, driving history, location and age will all affect what kind of property damage liability insurance rates you qualify for. You can learn more by speaking with an agent at a property damage liability insurance company.

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Where can I buy property damage liability insurance?

According to the CDC, about three million people a year in the U.S. are hurt in non-fatal car accidents. Consider the dollar amount of property damage that could be associated with those accidents and purchase your policy with the worst-case scenario in mind.

Luckily, many property damage liability car insurance companies offer discounts, especially to safe drivers. Get affordable property damage liability car insurance today by entering your ZIP code into our free tool.