Overview of Florida Auto Insurance Law
Having insurance covering your automobile, truck, motorcycle and other motorized vehicles will provide you with proper protection in the event of losses from traffic accidents. It also protects you against liability you may have to those who you cause injuries to where the accident was your fault.
Florida’s Required Coverage
In order to operate a motor vehicle on the public roadways of this state, you must have a minimum of $10,000.00 in property damage liability and also a minimum of $10,000.00 in no-fault insurance, otherwise known as personal injury protection coverage.
You should be aware that Florida’s laws pertaining to financial responsibility requires drivers to be responsible for injuries to others up to $10,000.00 per single claimant, or $20,000.00 per accident. It is wise to carry bodily injury liability coverage to protect you in these situations.
No-Fault Insurance (PIP)
Since Florida is considered to be a no fault state, the first $10,000 in medical bills and wage losses must first be processed though your own automobile insurance company. In effect, payment will be made at the rate of 80% of your medical bills, and 60% of your wage loss, until the limits have been paid, minus any deductible you have chosen on the policy. It also provides $5,000.00 in death benefits, which is inclusive in the $10,000.00 total coverage.
PIP allows you to obtain the medical care you may need right away without first having to wait on the at fault party’s insurance company to accept payment on the claim. It also pays 100% of replacement services such as yard work, childcare and housekeeping services. So even though the accident may not be your fault in any way, the first medical bills and wage losses go through your insurance carrier. The 20% of medical bills and the 40% of wage losses your company is not obligated to pay will be part of your damages pursued against the at fault party at the conclusion of your claim.
Bodily Injury Liability Insurance
This is the coverage that protects you from claims made by the people who you have negligently injured while operating a motor vehicle. Since serious orthopedic and neurological injuries can easily occur in even minor impact collisions, you need to make sure you have enough of this type of coverage to fully protect you and your family.
Property Damage Insurance
This is the coverage that protects you in the event you have caused damage to someone else’s vehicle (due to your fault) and to other types of property, such as telephone poles, mailboxes, fences, buildings, etc.
Auto Insurance policies also may provide for other types of coverage, such as medical payment coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, comprehensive, collision, rental car reimbursement and towing. It is recommended you check with your insurance agent for all the coverages potentially available and which may be best for you and your family.
Drivers Who May Be Excluded from Coverage
Not all drivers who are operating your vehicle with your permission are necessarily covered under your policy. For example, any driver who lives in the insured’s home or who regularly uses the insured’s vehicle must be a listed driver with your insurance company. Otherwise, your insurance company may deny the claim based upon a material misrepresentation.
It is important to closely read your automobile insurance policy to determine if this or any other exclusion may apply in your situation.