Many of our clients are quite surprised to learn that their automobile insurance policies do not provide the “full coverage” that they thought existed. Unfortunately, only after an accident or loss do they appreciate what the various coverages mean.
What is BI or Bodily Injury Coverage?
Bodily injury coverage will compensate for an injury to your body or death when the other driver in a vehicle accident is found to be at fault. Regardless of the extent of the injuries, the insurance company of the at-fault party will still only pay up to the limits of liability provided in its policy. For example, if the BI limits are $35,000/$60,000 the insurance company would only pay for damages up to $35,000.00 per person injured and a total of $60,000.00 for any number of persons injured in the accident. When the injury damages are in excess of the limits of liability, the other at-fault driver or owner is personally responsible for those excess damages.
What is PIP/Personal Injury Protection or ‘No Fault’ Coverage?
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage with your own insurance company will pay for your injuries whether or not you cause the accident, up to the policy limits and only for specific economic losses. Under most policies, this coverage will apply towards reasonable and necessary medical expenses and lost wages. However, once the limits of coverage have been reached, you are responsible for paying your own medical expenses.
What is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Protection (UM)?
This provides coverage to protect you and your family. It provides payment for remaining medical expenses and lost wages that you may have, payment for bodily injury, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disability, and other non-economic damages that have been incurred as a result of the negligence of another person who lacks bodily injury liability coverage or fails to carry enough coverage to pay for your losses. Read More
What is Property Damage (PD)?
This coverage pays for certain automobile damage that the other at fault driver causes to your vehicle.
What is Comprehensive (Comp)?
Comprehensive coverage with your insurance company pays for losses from incidents other than a collision such as a fire, theft, flooding, vandalism, or storm damage. Many insurance policies have deductibles for this coverage, meaning you will be responsible for the initial cost of the loss up to the amount of the deductible you have chosen.
What is Collision?
Collission coverage with your insurance company pays for repair or replacement of your vehicle if it is involved in an accident. It will pay regardless of who causes the accident. It does not cover injuries to people or damage to property other than your vehicle. Generally, you will have a deductible for this coverage, requiring you to personally pay for the initial expenses, subject to the amount of deductible you have chosen.
What is Gap Insurance?
How much insurance coverage should I carry?
Property Damage Liability Coverage
If you own a motor vehicle in Florida, you are required to carry a minimum of $10,000.00 in Personal Injury Protection Coverage and $10,000.00 in Property Damage Liability Coverage. There are currently no other automobile insurance coverage requirements that will protect you in the event you are involved in a motor vehicle collision, however, there are a number of other coverages that you may want to consider purchasing, so that you are fully insured if a motor vehicle collision occurs.
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
In order to protect yourself against personal liability if you cause a collision involving motor vehicle collision, it is important to consider purchasing Bodily Injury Liability Coverage. Bodily Injury Liability Coverage can be purchased in a variety of different coverage amounts, with the minimum amount being $10,000.00 for any one injury claim. Depending on your need for protection from personal liability and your financial ability to purchase this coverage, it is important to consider purchasing as much Bodily Injury Liability Coverage as you are able. The more in Bodily Injury Liability Coverage that you carry, the less at risk for personal liability you will be.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
In the event you are involved in a motor vehicle collision that is no fault of your own and the person causing the collision does not carry sufficient Bodily Injury Liability Coverage on their automobile insurance policy, you should consider purchasing Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage. This coverage can stand in the place of Bodily Injury Liability Coverage on the at-fault party’s insurance if they don’t have any Bodily Injury Liability Insurance (Uninsured), or they don’t carry enough Bodily Injury Liability Insurance (Underinsured) to satisfy your injury claim. In order to carry Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage on your policy, you must also carry Bodily Injury Liability Coverage on your policy for an amount greater than or equal to the amount you wish to carry in Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage. You may also consider purchasing Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage with a Stacking Option, which means your coverage will be “stacked,” or multiplied by the number of vehicles you are insuring under the policy.
Collision And Rental Car Coverage
When another person is at fault for causing damage to your motor vehicle, their insurance company will ultimately be responsible for resolving your property damage claim, including putting you in a rental car if you are without the use of your vehicle until the claim is resolved. However, if the at-fault party is uninsured, or there is any dispute over liability, there can be delay in resolving your property damage claim, which may mean you will be without transportation. In order to protect yourself from any delay or problems in ensuring that your vehicle will be taken care of, you may wish to carry Collision Coverage and Rental Car Coverage, so that you may handle your property damage claim through your own insurance company. Many times, this can be faster and easier than trying to deal with the other person’s insurance company. You will be subject to any deductibles you have for this coverage, but your insurance company will seek reimbursement for all of your property damages, including deductibles, and you may recover your deductible back at a later date.
If you have any other questions regarding coverage options, feel free to call The Ruth Law Team for more information!
Why would I sue my own insurance company?
Insurance companies are in the business of making a profit. The less an insurance company has to pay out in claims, the better it is for its bottom line. Even when an automobile accident is not your fault, there are still several potential instances where a claim needs or may be made on your own insurance policy.