Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that exis...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Apr 24, 2020

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Things to Remember...

  • PLPD refers to public liability and property damage
  • This is the type of auto insurance that pays for damage you cause to others
  • If your main goal is to find cheap car insurance, then carrying only liability is the way to go
  • When you’re getting auto insurance quotes, run the numbers both ways and see for yourself, comprehensive and just liability

Unless you’re one of those people who buy brand new cars with cash, you may be better off switching to PLPD insurance as soon as you can. PLPD refers to public liability and property damage.

This is the type of auto insurance that pays for damage you cause to others.

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If you drive an older vehicle, it may make sense to drop your other coverage options. We know, your insurance agent disagrees with this.

Of course he does. His commission is based on a percentage of the premiums you pay. So for him, the more you pay, the better. Here are some things to consider while you’re browsing through online insurance quotes:

PLPD Insurance is Cheaper

Most people already know this, but it is worth saying anyway. Unless you like giving your money away, you probably don’t need to be convinced that, all else being equal, less expensive is better.

If your main goal is to find cheap car insurance, then carrying only liability is the way to go.

You must understand that this will not cover damage to you or your vehicle. PLPD meets state auto insurance guidelines that cover the other driver. Thus it meets your minimum obligation.

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Replacement Value

The replacement value of your car is probably not what you think it is. We know the car is valuable to you. We also know that you’re probably not in a position to pay cash to replace it.

But the fact is that the insurance payout probably won’t replace it after the adjusters are done anyway.

The value of your car is figured on its current Blue Book value, not the purchase price. Once you find out what this is, you can really crunch the numbers.

Also, talk to a mechanic about what you are likely to pay in repair costs for your vehicle. You may be relieved to find out that dropping that extra collision coverage makes sense all around.

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When PLPD Makes Sense

If you put aside the difference between what you pay for full coverage and what you would pay for PLPD, you may end up ahead. Of course, this assumes that you won’t total your car.

You must decide if cheap auto insurance or more comprehensive coverage is your priority.

While you do need to consider the possibility that you would need to replace your car if you have PLPD insurance and total it, you should also consider the fact that the numbers are in your favor on this one.

Chances are, you can save enough to buy a car, or at least put a hefty down payment on one, before you get into an accident.

Reasons for More Coverage

Of course, there are plenty of valid reasons to continue with full coverage:

  • If you live in an area where auto theft is common, it’s not a bad idea to keep your car insured against theft.
  • If you’re prone to accidents, you might not want to be without full coverage.
  • If you have a lien on your vehicle your lender will require collision and comprehensive.
  • If you can afford full coverage it may make sense to have things like uninsured motorist and GAP coverage.

Barring that, though, the amount of money you save by switching to PLPD is enough that it’s silly for most people to continue full coverage on a vehicle that is five years old or older.

Don’t take our word for it, though. When you’re getting auto insurance quotes, run the numbers both ways and see for yourself.

Imagine all that extra money back in your hands or, better yet, drawing interest in a savings account. We think you’ll agree that if your car is paid off, it’s silly to pay more for insurance.

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