How Much “Property Damage Liability Insurance” Should I Purchase for my Car?

While touring an insurance company’s claim facility, I discovered a display of several different vehicles that became property of the insurance company after they were totaled. At first I saw cars with crushed front ends and flattened roofs — the sort of damage I expected to see on totaled cars. A minute later, we passed a brand new BMW sedan. There were dents and scratches around the wheel well, but nothing else. When I asked how that vehicle could possibly be totaled, the adjuster explained, “With all the sensors in modern luxury cars, even a small amount of physical damage can total a vehicle.”

You heard that right: A fender-bender has the potential to total a $50,000 car.

Given the potential price tag for damaging only one car, let alone the possibility of causing a wreck with multiple cars, I encourage clients to carry at least $100,000 of “property damage liability insurance.” This means the insurance company will pay up to $100,000 for damage to the other person’s property.

My advice: plan to avoid your insurance running out and having to pay out of pocket. Make sure you get at least $100,000 of property damage liability and drive in peace.

James Dick, CPCU, AAI

James Dick, CPCU, AAI

James is a licensed Property and Casualty broker working as Sales Manager for all of Merriam’s insurance programs. He and his wife love to travel and eat foods from around the world. James holds a BA in Classics from Washington and Lee University.

Sales Manager
Schenectady, NY

Toll-Free:
(877) MERRIAM x 219
(877) 637-7426 x 219

James Dick, CPCU, AAI

About James Dick, CPCU, AAI

James is a licensed Property and Casualty broker working as Sales Manager for all of Merriam’s insurance programs. He and his wife love to travel and eat foods from around the world. James holds a BA in Classics from Washington and Lee University.

Sales Manager
Schenectady, NY

Toll-Free:
(877) MERRIAM x 219
(877) 637-7426 x 219