Personal Injury Protection
Our car insurance policy is something that you need to be a good consumer on. There are many different types of insurance coverage that you can purchase to cover you on the road. It can be a confusing process. And, once you are in an accident, you are likely still going to have a lot of questions surrounding what benefits your insurance policy provides.
In short, there is a difference between what is legally required in Florida and what insurance coverage you should probably own.
Florida’s minimum coverage is $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 property damage liability (PDL) as long as you have a valid Florida license plate. But there are numerous other insurance coverages that you may want to have or that you may have that could benefit you after an accident.
Car Accident Personal Injury Protection is required under Florida Law. You must have it. It is also called Florida No Fault Insurance. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance covers you – regardless of fault (i.e. whether or not you cause the crash) – up to the limits of your policy. Your PIP will also cover your child, members of your household, certain passengers who lack PIP Insurance as long as they do not own a vehicle. People riding in your vehicle who carry PIP will receive coverage under their own PIP for their injuries, and certain licensed drivers who drive your vehicle with your permission. PIP also covers your child if he or she suffers an injury while riding on a school bus. PIP coverage protects you while in someone else’s vehicle, as a pedestrian, or bicyclist if you suffer an injury in a crash involving a motor vehicle. The Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law, requires all owner/registrants of a motor vehicle with four wheels or more to carry a minimum of $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL) if you own a motor vehicle in Florida. Florida law requires you to maintain PIP/PDL insurance continuously throughout the licensing and registration period. Generally speaking and subject to limitations, the standard Personal Injury Protection policy covers 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages. Car accident personal injury protection insurance is covered in more depth on this website as it is a massive area of law and its benefits are important.
Bodily Injury Liability coverage pays for serious and permanent injury or death to others when you cause a crash involving your automobile. Your insurance company will pay for injuries up to the limits of your policy and provide legal representation for you if you get sued. In particular, your company pays for injuries caused by you or members of your family who live with you, even if they were driving someone else’s vehicle. It may also cover others who drive your automobile with your permission. This coverage also provides you with legal defense in the event you are sued by the injured party. A common coverage limit for this insurance is $100,000.00 per person or $300,000.00 per accident. Interestingly, you are not required to carry any Bodily Injury Coverage at all. Most people carry something, though, as you do not want to be exposed to personal liability.
Property Damage Liability Accident Coverage pays for damages you or members of your family cause (and are liable for) to other people’s property in a crash involving a motor vehicle.
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Liability Accident Coverage pays for the bodily injury damages in excess of the bodily injury coverage that a person who caused your accident has. Uninsured motorist coverage will cover you on a motorcycle or as a pedestrian and anywhere you go. This is an optional coverage that is not required by Florida Law. But you should have as much as you can afford because many people in Florida, Miami and the surrounding area drive without insurance or without enough insurance.
Medical Payments Insurance Accident Coverage covers you at 100% of your medical bills or the balance of what PIP insurance does not pay. This is an optional coverage that is not required but very helpful to have.
Collision Insurance Accident Coverage is sometimes called “auto collision insurance”). This is the part of your auto insurance that typically pays for damages to your auto from accidents involving other cars or objects.
After an accident, you’ll pay your deductible then insurance pays the rest up to the actual cash value of your car. This benefit usually pays up to the actual cash value of your car, which takes into account things like the purchase price, age, and condition. Now, this is also an optional coverage. But if you want to recover and be able to buy or lease a new car if your car is a total loss, than you want this coverage.
Comprehensive Insurance Accident Coverage is sometimes called comprehensive car insurance and pays for things that collision coverage does not. That is, it typically pays for damages on covered costs that aren’t caused by a collision. But, comprehensive insurance is also important, protecting you from things that can damage your car but aren’t accident-related. This includes things like:
- Natural disasters and storms like tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes
- Theft and vandalism
- Broken/shattered windows and windshield
- Damage from animals
- Falling things
These are the coverages that are most common. There are other coverages like towing, rental, and extended PIP that can be beneficial. But the above are the most common and you should have as much as you can afford; or, in the case of physical damage to your car, is economically feasible considering the value of the car you are insuring.
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