In the State of Florida, there is minimal mandatory insurance requirements to have a vehicle registered. A vehicle owner is required to carry Property Damage insurance and is required to carry PIP - Personal Injury Protection insurance. Vehicle owners often proclaim that they have "full coverage". The truth of the matter is that there is no such thing as "full coverage". There is minimal mandatory insurance and all coverage beyond the minimal mandatory insurance is optional insurance. Based in Jacksonville, Florida, automobile accident attorney David Wolf handles cases across the State of Florida. He has 30 years of experience and brings a steady work ethic and dedication to each case and client.
Let's discuss each type of insurance and how it works.
Property Damage Insurance. This is mandatory insurance for a Florida motor vehicle owner. Property Damage insurance would pay for the vehicle damage to the other driver if it can be established that the insured motor vehicle owner or a permissive driver was at fault for the automobile accident. Let's say that John Smith is driving a 2015 Lexus. He is hit in a rear end accident by a 2016 Ford Truck driven by Mary Jones. John Smith is insured with GEICO and Mary Smith is insured with State Farm. John could file a Property Damage claim against the State Farm insurance policy carried by Mary Jones.
Collision Insurance. This is optional insurance for a Florida motor vehicle owner. It will pay for your own vehicle damage or total loss if the other driver does not have insurance OR the other driver's insurance company refuses to pay for the repairs or total loss in full.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance. This is mandatory insurance for a Florida motor vehicle owner. PIP covers 80 % of medical bills up to $10,000. Under some policies, PIP can also cover 60 % of wage loss and mileage reimbursement for travel to and from medical providers. PIP is part of Florida's No Fault Laws. Let's take an example. Let's say that John Smith is injured as a result of an automobile accident. Mary Jones was at fault for the crash and is inured with GEICO. John Smith is insured with State Farm. Even though Mary Jones was at fault for the crash, John Smith would still need to have his medical bills process through his own PIP carried on his own GEICO policy. While this does not seem fair or right, this is the way that the law and PIP operate in the State of Florida.
Medical Payment Insurance. This is optional insurance for a Florida motor vehicle owner. Medical Payment insurance, otherwise known as Med Pay insurance, can be purchased to provide additional benefits for the payment of medical bills. Many motor vehicle owners do not opt for this coverage as it raises the premium of the insurance policy. It is helpful to have Med Pay coverage as it will pay for medical bills not covered by PIP. It is also helpful to have Med Pay coverage when and if the PIP benefits are exhausted.
Bodily Injury Insurance. This is optional insurance for a Florida motor vehicle owner. Bodily Injury insurance can be in the amount of $10,000 and go as high as $1,000,000 depending on what is purchased by the motor vehicle owner. Let's discuss the prior example involving John Smith and Mary Jones. John Smith is insured with GEICO. Mary Jones is insured with State Farm. Let's assume that Mary Jones purchased $25,000 in Bodily Injury insurance coverage. If John Smith suffered injuries and treated for a period of time, he can then pursue a case or claim seeking the Bodily Injury insurance coverage. State Farm will evaluate the claim and decide whether to pay out the policy limits, offer something less than the policy limits, or even deny the claim.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Insurance. This is optional insurance for a Florida motor vehicle owner. This is often the most confusing and misunderstood type of coverage. An injury victim can seek UM benefits under a policy for his motor vehicle, a motor vehicle he occupied, or possibly a resident relative's motor vehicle. As such, there can be one or more UM insurance policies that apply to one accident. Simply stated, if you can afford to purchase UM coverage, it is helpful to do so. If you are injured as a result of an automobile accident, UM coverage can provide coverage to compensate a personal injury for damages associated with said injuries if the other driver did not have Bodily Injury insurance or failed to have sufficient Bodily Injury insurance to fully compensate the injury victim for his or her damages.