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How does ‘basic PLPD’ differ from a ‘full’ coverage No Fault auto insurance policy in Michigan?

September 1, 2016 by Steven M. Gursten

Here’s what you need to know about auto insurance coverage options: No Fault, liability, property damage, uninsured and uninsured motorist, collision, comprehensive and mini tort


How does PLPD auto insurance coverage differ from “full” coverage auto No Fault car insurance?

As an attorney with years of experience helping people injured in Michigan automobile accidents, I’m frequently asked questions about helping people find the “right” car insurance coverage.

I also get asked quite often about what is PLPD. The reason the PLPD question comes up so much, I believe, is because so many people are unclear about what exactly “basic PLPD” coverage actually is. In fact, most normal, well-adjusted people (excluding lawyers like me and other attorneys who practice in my own area of insurance law) have no idea what PLPD is or what it means.

But PLPD is important. And understanding the difference between PLPD and full coverage auto No Fault insurance is one of the most important things that consumers need to know: It has profound consequences on consumers’ ability to protect themselves and their families if they are ever injured in an automobile accident.

What is PLPD, and why should you care?

Simply put, PLPD means “Personal Liability and Property Damage” and it describes the bare-bones, absolute minimum amount of auto insurance coverage that is required by Michigan’s No Fault Law. Specifically, as I explained an earlier blog post, “What PLPD auto insurance really means,” a PLPD policy in Michigan would provide:

“[N]othing more than No Fault coverage and liability and property damage at minimal $20,000 bodily injury policy limits. That means that is $20,000 only if YOU cause a car accident and you are at fault. It does nothing to protect you or your family if you are injured because someone else is at fault. … PLPD also means NO [uninsured and/or underinsured motorist coverage,] collision coverage, [comprehensive coverage,] no car rental coverage, and no optional additional mini tort coverage.”

A “full” auto No Fault insurance policy, by contrast, includes many of the coverages discussed above, such as liability bodily injury coverage with policy limits that are often significantly higher. This matters if you ever cause a serious automobile accident and have collectible personal assets, or a job that might pay a judgment rendered against you over many years.

How is PLPD different from ‘full coverage’?

Below is a chart showing the differences in auto insurance coverage between a Michigan PLPD policy and a Michigan “full” coverage policy.

Coverage Type PLPD Policy Full Coverage
No Fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Yes. Yes.
Liability Yes. Minimum policy limit of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident. (See MCL 500.3009(1)) Yes. Likely with higher limits.
Property Damage Yes. Minimum policy limit is $10,000. (See MCL 500.3009(1)) Yes. Likely with a higher bodily injury limit.
Property Protection Insurance (PPI) Yes. Yes.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist No. Yes.
Mini Tort – Limited Property Damage No. Yes.
Collision No. Yes.
Comprehensive No. Yes.

To learn more, please check out Michigan Auto Law’s blog post, “What is PLPD?

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