Automobile Insurance Coverage
Are you really “fully covered”? When you own a vehicle, it’s important to purchase the right insurance. Don’t rely on agents that tell you that you are “fully covered.”
In Florida, every registered vehicle must have certain minimum insurance. The minimum amount is $10,000.00 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000.00 of Property Damage (PDL). Although in recent years there has been a significant amount of debate, currently Florida does not require Bodily Injury (BI) coverage or Uninsured/Under-Insured Motorist (UM) coverage.
PIP: Also known as Florida No Fault Insurance, PIP provides insurance benefits regardless of who caused the accident. Your PIP coverage provides a minimum of $10,000.00 in benefits to your child, members of your household, and passengers who don’t have their own PIP insurance. As well, PIP covers your child while on a school bus, you if you are riding in someone’s vehicle, or if you are injured on your bicycle or as a pedestrian. PIP pays for emergency care, medical expenses, lost wages and travel expenses, such as mileage for driving to and from your doctor appointments.
BI: Bodily Injury Liability coverage pays for injuries or death to others when you cause the motor vehicle accident. Currently, Florida does not require drivers to carry BI insurance. However, it is extremely important to carry as much BI insurance as possible. Otherwise, you put yourself as risk for a personal judgment against you in excess of your insurance policy limits.
UM: Un-insured or Under-insured motorist coverage is a way of protecting yourself against other drivers that do not carry enough BI insurance or no insurance at all. It pays for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life if you are injured in a motor vehicle crash. Florida has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers. In Florida, your insurance company must provide you with UM insurance equal to the amount of BI coverage you purchase unless you reject the coverage in writing or select a lower limit. Too often we represent clients that have significant injuries, and the at fault driver either doesn’t have any BI coverage or was woefully under-insured. For example, we represented a client who was in a rear-end accident. She suffered herniated discs in her cervical spine that required surgery. The client spent nearly a week in the hospital, and was out of work for over 6 months, and was in therapy for nearly a year. Based upon her medical expenses, time lost from work, and dramatic changes in her life, her case had the potential of being valued in excess of $1 million. Unfortunately, the at fault driver only had $100,000 in BI coverage and no assets to go after, and the client only had $20,000 UM coverage. We strongly encourage you to protect yourself and carry as much UM coverage as you can afford.
PDL: If you cause the accident, property damage coverage pays for the damage you cause to the other driver’s vehicle and any contents in the vehicle. As well, this coverage provides benefits if you should cause damage to home or other structure.
Collision: Collision insurance pays for the damage to your vehicle resulting from an automobile accident. It pays for the damage when the accident was your fault or someone else’ fault. This is especially important because studies have shown that nearly 1 out of 5 drivers do not have any PDL insurance.
Comprehensive: Comprehensive insurance pays for damage to your vehicle from anything not a collision. For example, if your vehicle is stolen, vandalized, damaged from a fire or hail, or if you hit a deer or other animal.
Call for a Automobile Insurance Coverage Case Evaluation (904) 642-4111