Property damage liability is a type of liability car insurance that helps protect you financially if you are responsible for causing damage to someone else’s property. This can include damage to cars, homes, and other personal belongings.
Property damage liability is required in Florida. It is important to have property damage liability coverage if you want to be protected in the event of an accident.
How Much Property Damage Liability Are You Required to Have in Florida?
Florida requires all drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in property damage coverage. This means that if you cause damage to someone else’s property, your insurance will pay up to $10,000 to repair or replace the damaged property. If the damages exceed $10,000, you may be responsible for paying the difference.
What Is Considered Property Damage In a Car Accident?
Some examples of property damage in a car accident include:
- Damage to another vehicle
- Damage to a building or store (if your car crashes into it)
- Fences, mailboxes, or other structures that are hit by your car
Why is Property Damage Insurance Important?
Property damage liability insurance is important because it can help protect you financially if you are responsible for causing damage to someone else’s property. If you do not have coverage and are liable for damages, you may have to pay out of pocket to repair or replace the damaged property. This can be expensive, and it may not be something that you can afford.
How Does Property Damage Liability Work?
Suppose you are at fault in an accident and you cause damage to someone else’s property. In that case, your property damage liability coverage will pay for the repairs up to your policy limit.
For example, if you have a $20,000 property damage liability limit and you cause $15,000 in damages, your insurance company will pay for the repairs. If the damages exceed your policy limit, you may be responsible for paying the difference.
What Does Property Damage Liability Insurance Cover?
Property damage liability covers:
- Damage to other cars
- Damage to houses, fences, or any other structure or stationary object that was damaged by the policyholder’s vehicle
- An established maximum dollar amount of damage per accident
What is Not Covered Under Property Damage Liability Insurance?
There are a few things that property damage liability insurance does not cover. These include:
- Damage to your own car
- Damage to rental cars
- Damage to items in your car, such as phones or laptops
- Medical expenses for you or your passengers
Because property damage liability does not cover your own property, you will need to purchase collision or comprehensive insurance if you want coverage for your car.
Property Damage Coverage Limits
Florida law requires all drivers to carry at least $10,000 in property damage liability insurance. However, you can purchase a policy with higher limits if you want to have more coverage.
Combined Single Limit Policies vs. Split-Limit Policies
A combined single limit policy has one limit for both bodily injury and property damage. This means that the insurance company will pay up to the policy limit for all damages, regardless of how many people are injured or how much property is damaged.
A split-limit policy has separate limits for each coverage type. For example, if you have a 25/50/20 policy, your insurance will cover $25,000 per person injured, $50,000 per accident, and $20,000 for property damage.
How Much Property Damage Liability Insurance Should I Buy?
The amount of property damage liability insurance you should buy will depend on many factors, and there are a few things to keep in mind when you are shopping for property damage liability insurance:
The State’s Limits
Florida requires all drivers to carry minimum coverage of $10,000.
Your Driving Record
If you have a history of accidents or traffic violations, you may be required to pay more for coverage than someone with a clean driving record.
Your Financial Situation
If you have assets that could be at risk in the event of an accident, you may want to purchase more coverage than the minimum required by Florida law.
The Amount of Coverage You Feel Comfortable With
Ultimately, your purchase amount should be based on your comfort level. If you are concerned about being responsible for damages in the event of an accident, purchasing as much as you can afford is the best way to limit your out-of-pocket costs.
Personal Injury Protection vs. Property Damage Liability
While property damage liability covers damages to another person’s property if you are at fault for an accident, depending on your policy, personal injury protection insurance covers medical expenses and lost wages for you and your passengers after an accident regardless of fault up to your policy limit.
Is Property Damage Liability Coverage the Same as Bodily Injury Liability Coverage?
No. If you are at fault for an accident, bodily injury liability insurance covers medical expenses, lost wages, and funeral costs for the individuals involved in the accident. If you are sued for an accident, it will also help cover legal fees. A property damage auto insurance policy only covers damages to the other party’s property.
Comprehensive and Collision Insurance Coverage
While property damage liability insurance covers damages to another person’s property if you are at fault for an accident, it does not cover your own property. If you want coverage for your own car, you will need to purchase collision/comprehensive insurance.
Collision coverage covers damage to your car from a collision with another vehicle. Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your car from various events, including collisions with objects such as trees and light poles, theft, vandalism, and natural disasters.
Both collision and comprehensive insurance have deductibles, which you will have to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance pays for the rest of the repairs.
The cost of collision and comprehensive insurance will vary depending on several factors, including the value of your car, your driving history, and your deductible amount.
Property Damage Liability Claims
After a car accident, a property damage claim is usually filed with an at-fault driver’s insurance provider. However, if a driver causes an accident or suffers vehicle damage, they would file a property damage claim with their own collision or comprehensive insurance.
You will need to provide the insurance company with:
- A copy of the police report
- A list of damages
- Estimates for repairs
- Proof of ownership for the damaged property (e.g., a title or registration)
The insurance company will then investigate the claim and determine whether you are liable for the damages. If you are found to be liable, your insurance company will pay for the other driver’s repairs up to your policy limit.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we are committed to fighting for your fair recovery. We strive to help injured individuals and the loved ones of those wrongfully killed secure the full, fair recovery they are owed. We offer dedicated legal representation for car accident victims and bicycle, rideshare, motorcycle, and semi-truck accident victims.
If you feel you have been the victim of a car accident through no fault of your own. Our car accident attorneys are prepared to help you navigate the legal process and work toward securing the maximum compensation you are owed. Call (727) 784-8191 or contact us online to get started on receiving maximum compensation for your personal injury case.