“Full coverage” is a term many Florida drivers use to describe their car insurance. Unfortunately, most drivers have coverage that provides them with anything but full coverage if they are the victims of an accident.
In Florida, you are only required to carry two types of insurance: (1) Personal Injury Protection (PIP); and (2) Property Damage Liability (PDL) coverage of $10,000. PIP will pay for 80% of your medical bills with a limit of $2,500 or $10,000 depending on your injuries. It will also pay 60% of any lost wages. We have blogged about these limitations here. PDL will pay for damage caused to your car by the at-fault driver, but $10,000 cannot fix most serious damage, and if your car is newer, it will leave you responsible for the remaining repairs.
The bottom line is that neither of those required coverages can begin to protect you and your loved ones if you are seriously injured. Because Florida does not require drivers to carry Bodily Injury coverage, it is possible that the at-fault party will pay to fix your car, but leave you holding thousands of dollars in medical bills with no way to pay them.
Take a few minutes to learn about these valuable coverages that you and your family should always consider purchasing to ensure you are protected in the event of a crash.
Bodily Injury Coverage (BI)
This coverage will help to protect another driver if you cause an accident. We all owe a duty to the public to take responsibility for our actions, and purchasing BI coverage will make sure that you can help pay for any injuries you might cause.
Collision Coverage (CC)
This helps fix your vehicle if you are responsible for an accident, but it can also be used to fix your vehicle if the at-fault driver’s PDL (remember, $10,000 is the minimum required) cannot cover the cost of repairs or value of your vehicle. Always consider purchasing this in a value equal to or greater than your vehicle’s value.
Comprehensive Coverage (Comp)
This is a often overlooked coverage that protects your car from wind, falling trees, or damage not caused by a car accident. Living in the panhandle where we have a history of violent storms, this should always be considered!
Medical Payments (MP)
Recall that PIP only provides $10,000 in coverage, but pays 80% of the bill, not 100%. MP can be used to pay the remaining medical bills. Unlike PIP though, it is only available for three (3) years following an accident, and can only be used to pay your medical bills.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM)
This is perhaps the most important coverage you can purchase in Florida. Because BI is not required, UM is the only coverage available to protect you once your PIP has been exhausted. Your insurance company will charge you premiums each month, and in return will guarantee to stand in the shoes of an at-fault driver who has no BI coverage, and your UM coverage will act as that driver’s insurance. Purchasing these limits in the highest amount you can afford will ensure there is coverage there in case you, a loved one, or a passenger in your vehicle is seriously injured.
We encourage all drivers to carefully examine their insurance policies to make sure that they are protected. There is no way to guarantee that a negligent driver will carry the insurance necessary to protect you or your loved ones. Do not leave it up to chance and make sure you purchase the coverage you need. At Michles & Booth, our lawyers represent the victims of automobile negligence and car accidents, and we will be happy to review your policy at no charge and advise you of what coverages would help better protect you in the future. Contact us today for a free consultation.