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PL/PD.  This term appears nowhere in your auto insurance policy, yet some people use it to describe what coverage they want.  If you have PL/PD – Personal Liability & Property Damage coverage (depending on how your agent interprets this imprecise term), and your auto is damaged in an accident, your auto policy will likely not pay you for the cost of repairing or replacing your auto.  Also, by focusing on PL/PD you might be inadvertently making some coverage decisions about Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and missing out on a conversation about options to save money.

The primary assumption made regarding PL/PD is that the person requesting it is OK with writing a check to repair or replace their auto with no help from the insurance company.  The belief that we can “just sue someone for our auto damage costs” is incorrect.  Except for the very limited “mini tort” law, the legal system in Michigan does not provide the right to sue the other driver for damages to your auto. 

Here’s the catch these days:  used autos cost a lot more to repair or replace than they did back when many people made their PL/PD decision.  If you have one or more autos on PL/PD because you’ve concluded that the insurance cost isn’t worth it, you’re relying on luck and your driving skills to avoid paying for a replacement auto or auto repairs.  The odds are, you WILL avoid this situation, so I’m not saying this is a bad move… but you’re risking an unplanned expenditure that could really hurt. 

Here’s what I suggest:  revisit the math on this decision.  Google your auto and see what the internet says it’s worth.  Then contact your insurance agent and find out the current cost to add physical damage coverage to your auto, plus a bit of towing and rental coverage.  Have a good conversation and get your quote with various deductibles.  Now, think it through and see how it feels to add some additional predictability to your financial future – because that’s what insurance is all about!