Even though Florida’s no-fault system means that drivers file injury claims with their own policy, the at-fault driver can be sued if they cause an accident that results in significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function, permanent injury, significant scarring or disfigurement, or death. As a result, it’s a good idea to purchase bodily injury liability insurance, anyway, since it can help cover legal fees and other expenses if you cause a serious accident. And no matter what, you should be sure to fulfill the minimum Florida car insurance requirements to avoid facing consequences for driving without insurance.
Finally, drivers should also consider purchasing other types of car insurance in order to better protect themselves, given that liability insurance does not provide any coverage for the policyholder’s own injuries or property. For instance, collision insurance covers damage to the policyholder’s car regardless of fault. And comprehensive insurance pays if the policyholder’s vehicle is damaged by something besides an accident, like a natural disaster or vandalism.
You need enough liability insurance to cover the full value of your assets. Your bodily injury liability coverage should be as much as your net worth, while your property damage liability insurance can be slightly lower since property damage claims are usually less expensive. Purchasing enough liability insurance to cover the value of your assets protects you from financial ruin if you cause a serious car accident.… read full answer
When to Carry Only the Minimum Liability Coverage
Although almost every state requires drivers to carry liability insurance, the minimum coverage is not always enough to cover the cost of an accident. It’s always best to carry as much liability coverage as you can afford, especially if you have a high net worth.
If you don’t have many assets or think the risk is worth it, you might be comfortable with carrying only the minimum coverage. But no matter what, make sure you’re carrying enough insurance to comply with state law and avoid paying fines for driving uninsured.
Liability Limits on Auto Insurance
Liability limits on auto insurance are the maximum amount that your insurance company will pay for injuries and property damage in accidents that you cause. Liability limits are typically written as three numbers divided by slashes.
For example, Arizona’s liability coverage requirements are 50/30/10. That means drivers need to carry $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage overall.
Why You Need More Liability Insurance Than the State Minimum
Your insurance company will never pay for anything beyond the limits of your policy. Using the Arizona example, if you cause an accident that leads to $70,000 in medical bills for the other driver, you will have to pay for $40,000 if you are only carrying the minimum insurance required. And if you can’t afford to pay the full amount, the other driver can sue, and you can have your assets seized or wages garnished to cover the remainder.
No, uninsured motorist coverage is not required in Florida, as drivers can reject the coverage in writing. Still, insurance companies are required to offer at least $10,000 in uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person (up to $20,000 per accident).
For Florida drivers who do not opt out by rejecting the coverage in writing, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage helps pay for a car accident in which the other driver doesn’t have car insurance, or doesn’t have enough coverage for the damage they caused.… read full answer
Why You Should Get Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida
Normally, an at-fault driver’s insurance helps pay for any damage after an accident. However, if the other driver doesn’t have any – or enough – coverage, it can be time-consuming and difficult to sue them for funds to cover any medical or repair bills. That’s where this optional insurance coverage can help you save time and money.
Even though Florida does not require uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, you should still consider buying it. In Florida, an average of 27% of drivers on the road don’t have car insurance, which means there is a 1 in 4 chance that the other driver won’t have coverage if you get into an accident. Car accidents in Florida can be very expensive, too.
Key Facts About Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Florida:
Minimum Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury: $10,000 per person and up to $20,000 per accident
Florida requires $10,000 of personal injury protection, or PIP coverage, for every car registered in the state or driven within the state for more than 90 days in a 365-day period. So even if you’re a seasonal resident or long-term visitor to Florida, you may need to carry Florida’s minimum PIP coverage. Florida PIP covers medical costs, lost wages and death benefits. It can also pay for at-home services like laundry, house cleaning and pet care, if they’re necessary due to an accident. PIP not only protects you while you’re driving, but also if you are injured in an auto accident while riding in someone else's car, walking, or riding a bike.… read full answer
Florida PIP coverage is also called Florida no-fault insurance. It pays policyholders for their own medical expenses after an accident, regardless of fault. PIP offers injured parties up to $10,000 in immediate medical coverage, without going through the lengthy process of establishing fault through the courts.
Florida’s no-fault regulation is limited, however. When an accident causes injuries that are serious (costing more than $10,000 in medical expenses and/or lost wages) or permanent, Florida acts like an at-fault state. The victim is then allowed to sue the at-fault driver for losses. The at-fault driver must compensate the victim through bodily injury liability insurance or personal assets.
In Florida, you can choose whether you want your PIP to cover just yourself or every resident in your household. In other states, like Michigan and New Jersey, PIP automatically covers all household members. Florida PIP is also different from other states because it covers only 80% of your medical expenses and 60% of your lost wages. For example, if your medical bills are $10,000, PIP will cover $8,000 of them.
If your injury is not considered an emergency, your benefits are limited to only $2,500. And if you don’t receive medical treatment within 14 days of the accident, you’ll receive nothing. If you die in a vehicle accident, Florida PIP will pay your family up to $5,000 for funeral expenses.
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