When I first meet with clients who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, I always ask them about their auto insurance. They will often tell me that they have "full coverage." These clients are often disappointed to discover that their insurance is woefully inadequate to protect them or compensate them when it matters most.
If you own a vehicle which is registered in Florida, you are only required to purchase $10,000 in personal injury protection (commonly referred to as PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage. PIP will pay for your medical expenses and lost wages regardless of who caused the accident. Property damage liability coverage pays for damages that you cause to another person's property.
Florida law does not require you to maintain other valuable insurance coverage. Four common types of coverage that you should consider purchasing are:
Bodily Injury Liability pays others for injuries or death for which you are responsible. This coverage also provides legal defense for you if the injured party files a lawsuit seeking damages.
Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist covers you for damages caused by a driver who has no insurance, a driver who has inadequate insurance or a hit-and-run driver. The Insurance Research Council has estimated that 23% of Florida drivers have no insurance. This percentage does not take into account Floridians who have insurance that does not provide bodily injury liability coverage.
Collision pays for damage to your vehicle when it is hit by another vehicle.
Comprehensive covers your vehicle for losses caused by an incident which is not a collision. This may include incidents like thefts, floods or fires.
The aforementioned coverages are not an exhaustive list of all types of insurance coverage available to you. However, purchasing some or all of these coverages will definitely give you more piece of mind if you are involved in an auto accident.
Corey A. Bundza is the managing partner at the Law Office of Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A. in Daytona Beach, Florida. Mr. Bundza focuses his practice on representing clients who have been injured through the fault of others.