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Property damage coverage through your auto insurance policy can help pay for other drivers’ and property owners’ expenses after you’re found at fault in an accident. This includes repairing damaged cars or fixing any other property involved. Mandatory liability limits can differ from state to state. In California, drivers are required to have at least $15,000 in bodily injury coverage for an individual claim, $30,000 for total claims in one accident, and $5,000 of property damage liability coverage.
It is usually a good idea to purchase limits higher than the minimum set. If your insurance policy only offers up to $5,000 of coverage and the amount of damage you cause exceeds that, you 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.
What liability insurance doesn’t cover damage to your own vehicle and other property. Those costs will typically be paid for with comprehensive and collision insurance, which are optional. Those coverages will allow you to recover any costs incurred, minus any deductible, for repairing any damage you may have caused to your own property.
As with any insurance decisions, it is advisable to speak with your insurance professional. Discuss what coverages you have now, and which ones you may need to revisit. It’s better to be sure you are covered for what you think you are than find out too late that you’re not.