In the State of Florida, there is a minimal type of coverage that needs to be in place to own and operate a motor vehicle. Many people do not understand these minimal requirements. In fact, many people are drive in the State of Florida under the impresssion that he or she has “full coverage” when there is only minimal coverage in place. One reason that people are not better informed is because many such automobile insurance policies are obtained online. There is no contact with a qualified insurance agent or just minimal contact with an insurance agent. It is important for every driver and owner of a motor vehicle in the State of Florida to know and understand the types of insurance coverage currently in place on the policy and otherwise available for purchase.
By the time a person is an automobile accident, it is too late to purchase additional coverage or get coverage in place if it had lapsed. The time to get the insurance papers and coverage in place is prior to the accident. Here are the types of coverage available in the State of Florida:
Property Damage Coverage. This type of insurance will pay the other vehicle owner for his or her property damage if you are at fault for the accident. Minimum state required coverage is set at $10,000. Additional coverage can be purchased which will result in higher premiums. If a person has property damage in excess of $10,000 and you only have $10,000 in coverage, the other vehicle owner can come after you for the additional damage. Your insurance company is only obligated to pay out what you purchased in insurance coverage. It is advisable to get more than $10,000 in property damage coverage.
PIP (Personal Injury Property) Coverage. The state required minimum coverage for PIP coverage is $10,000. This coverage will pay 80 % of your medical bills related to the automobile accident regardless of fault. PIP will pay whether you are at fault or whether the other driver is at fault. You can not access or use the other driver’s PIP coverage unless you are pedestrian or bicyclist AND you do not have any PIP coverage on your own or through a resident relative. Most people do not purchase more than $10,000. Premiums do fluctuate depending on the amount of the deductible you delect with this type of coverage.
Collision Coverage. Unlike property damage coverage, collision coverage in not required but it is a good type of coverage to have in place. Collision coverage will pay for your property damage or property loss if the other vehicle owner or driver lacked insurance OR if you want to go through your company because the other insurance company is dragging its feet or being difficult. If you are in a crash with an uninsured driver, it is very helpful to have collision coverage in place. Otherwise, there is no insurance in place to fix or replace your vehicle.
Medical Payment Coverage. Unlike PIP coverage, medical payment coverage is not required. Medical payment coverage will pay the 20 % of the medical bills not covered by PIP. When and if the PIP coverage is all paid out or exhausted, medical payment coverage will pay for medical bills. It is helpful to have medical payment coverage in place. It leaves injury victims will less bills and gives injury victims more options for treatment. It is especially important to have medical payment insurance if you do not have any health insurance in place as back up to the PIP coverage.
Bodily Injury Coverage. This is yet another type of optional insurance coverage. If you are at fault for an accident, the bodily injury coverage is in place to pay for the injury victim’s medical bills and pain and suffering type of damages. In many instances, a vehicle owner / driver with bodily injury insurancce coverage is able to avoid a lawsuit or a jury trial when the insurance coverage settles out the claim by the injury victim. It is also important to have bodily injury coverage because a vehicle owner cannot obtain uninsured motorist coverage without having bodily injury insurance coverage in place.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage. If you are worried about getting into an accident with an uninsured driver or vehicle, then you should get uninsured motorist coverage. It costs more in the way of premiums but it is well worth it. I have seen over my legal career far too many cases that are not pursued because of the lack of this kind of insurance. Yes, there are many uninsured vehicles out there. Why risk the real chance of being in a crash with both a bad driver who is also irresponsible from an insurance standpoint? Uninsured motorist coverage under your policy can compensate you when there is no insurance on the other side or an insufficient amount of insurance on the other side.
When purchasing insurance, you should contact and speak with an experienced insurance agent. From a legal standpoint, you cans also get advice from a Florida Personal Injury Attorney following an automobile accident and event before one.
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