Auto insurance is required in the state of Florida. In order to drive, your policy must meet the state minimums. Unless you speak directly with an insurance agent, you may not know exactly what you’re paying for and what is covered. Furthermore, the coverage under a specific plan can vary from company to company.
Before you file an insurance claim, speak with a car accident attorney. A lawyer can help you fight for the compensation you deserve for medical expenses, property damage and more. If you were just involved in an accident, the following policy descriptions could provide some clarification.
Basic Auto Insurance Policies
When you’re reviewing your policy, whether before an accident occurred or after one, there are six basic forms of coverage you might come across in your policy: bodily injury liability, personal injury protection, property damage liability, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Bodily Injury Liability
Bodily injury liability covers the medical expenses of someone you injure in a crash and injuries caused by a household family member. The policy should also cover drivers who use your vehicle with permission. The insurance company will pay for injuries up to the policy limits. If you are sued, your insurance company will provide legal representation for you.
Personal Injury Protection
In Florida, drivers are required to carry a minimum $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP). PIP is also known as “no fault” insurance as it covers medical costs after an accident, regardless of who was at fault for the crash. Broadly speaking, PIP will cover medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses incurred as a result of the accident. In order to qualify for PIP, you must seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident.
Property Damage Liability
Property damage liability covers damage you, or someone driving your vehicle, caused to someone else’s property, such as their vehicle, home fence, business, etc.
If you’re in an accident with another vehicle or hit a fixed object, such as a light post, collision coverage can help pay to repair or replace the vehicle after you pay your deductible. Collision coverage is not always required.
Comprehensive coverage can help cover your vehicle for damages that aren’t caused by a collision such as fire, theft, natural disasters, falling objects or vandalism. You will have to pay a deductible before the insurer reimburses you for a covered claim. Comprehensive coverage is also not required but can be very beneficial.
If you, a member of your family, or a designated driver is in an accident with an uninsured driver or a driver who flees the scene, uninsured motorist coverage can help pay for your losses. Underinsured coverage can be helpful when an at-fault driver has insufficient insurance to pay for your total loss. Underinsured/uninsured coverage may also apply if you are involved in a crash as a pedestrian.
Car Insurance Extras
Along with the basic coverage options, your policy may list some extras that come in handy in an emergency, such as tow truck services after a car crash.
This can help you pay for a rental car if your vehicle is being repaired after a crash covered under your policy.
Whether your battery died, you have a flat tire, or your car needs to be towed to a repair shop, roadside assistance can help offset some of these costs.
If you don’t own your vehicle and have an accident, gap insurance can pay the difference between the value of the vehicle and your outstanding balance on a loan or lease.
If you have only the bare minimum in Florida, you may want to consider windshield repair or comprehensive coverage. Under comprehensive coverage, policyholders can get their windshields replaced with zero deductible (Florida Statute 627.7288).
The typical components of a car insurance policy can help protect you and your vehicle. But don’t wait until you’re in an accident to find out what is covered under your plan. Always review your plan and determine if you need to switch insurers or buy more coverage.
If you have been involved in a crash, you should immediately contact an attorney. A car crash lawyer, such as Justin Weinstein, can help determine what is covered under your policy and successfully obtain the compensation you deserve. As a PIP attorney, Justin is experienced in disputing denied or underpaid insurance claims.
For a free consultation, fill out our contact form or call 954-845-0505.