Automobile Accident Insurance
If you drive or own a car, chances are you have shopped for car insurance. However, the laws surrounding automobile insurance are confusing to many customers. It is important to understand the distinction among levels of insurance and to be sure to purchase the amount of insurance you need to fully protect yourself and your family.
Personal Injury Protection Coverage
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, requiring all driver’s to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage pays 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages, no matter who is at fault for the accident. However, there is a $10,000 limit on the amount that can be paid under PIP for medical bills and/or wages. If you are passenger in another car during in an accident, your PIP coverage works for you and the driver in error may be responsible for medical and wage expenses that exceed or are not covered by your own PIP.
If do not own a car, you may still be covered by a PIP policy in someone else’s name. For example, if you live with a relative and borrow their car, you are covered under their PIP. If you are a passenger in car involved in an accident, you may be covered by the car owner’s PIP policy. If you walking across the street and are hit by a car, the driver’s PIP covers you. Since Florida is a no-fault insurance state, claims made under a PIP policy do not automatically increase the policyholder’s rates. In Florida, PIP is required for all drivers.
Property Damage Coverage
Property damage (PD) coverage protects you if you negligently damage someone else’s property with your car. For example, if you run into someone’s yard, damaging their property, your PD coverage kicks in. PD coverage does not extend to any claims made by a person you injure with your negligence. Along with PIP, PD is the only automobile insurance coverage you are required to buy in Florida. Combined, this coverage is sometimes referred to as “full coverage,” but there are other insurances you need to fully protect you and your family.
Med Pay Coverage
As outlined earlier, your PIP benefits pay 80% of your medical bills and 60% of lost wages up to the $10,000 limit. Med pay coverage pays the 20% of medical bills PIP does not pay and it lets you save your PIP coverage to pay your lost wages. If an accident causes you to miss a significant amount of work, your med pay coverage reserves your PIP coverage for your lost wages and then pays your medical bills out of the med pay coverage.
Liability (Bodily Injury) Coverage
Bodily Injury (BI) insurance covers medical bills and lost wages unpaid under PIP coverage. Additionally, if you are injured in an accident, you may be able to collect for your pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anguish, but only if the at-fault party carries liability, or bodily injury, insurance. If the at-fault party carries only PIP and PD coverage, you will not be able to make a claim. Many drivers elect to not carry BI liability insurance. Therefore, it is prudent to consider purchasing Uninsured Motorist coverage to fully protect you and your family.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage is designed to protect you if the negligent driver does not have BI coverage. If you purchase UM coverage, you will have coverage for your damages, even if the negligent driver did not have BI coverage. Your UM coverage covers many expenses, including: medical expenses and lost wages not fully paid by your PIP coverage, future medical expenses and future wage losses, and non-economic damages such as disability, pain and suffering, and the loss of ability to enjoy life. When you consider UM coverage, you may wish to consider “stacked” UM coverage. Stacked coverage allows you to add or “stack” UM coverage for the different vehicles on your insurance policy. UM coverage is not cheap, but it provides the best legal and financial protection for your family in case on an automobile accident.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us online or call 407-244-1212 (Toll Free at 800-381-8299) for a free consultation.