Personal Injury Attorney Discusses the Need for Adequate Insurance for Drivers
As a driver, maintaining auto insurance is both a legal obligation and a smart way to protect yourself. If you get in an accident, insurance can cover (i) the damage to your vehicle and others, (ii) your medical bills, (iii) your loss of income, and (iv) any other losses that you or anyone else sustains in the collision.
Of course, sorting out insurance coverage in an accident is far from easy. Different types of coverage apply to different scenarios, and insurance that protects you under one set of circumstances may not protect you in another. Here is a brief overview of the primary forms of auto insurance coverage and when they apply:
Optional and Mandatory Auto Insurance in Florida
1. Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Personal injury protection (PIP) is one of the two forms of required auto insurance in Florida. Under Florida’s auto insurance law, if you own a vehicle that is registered in the state, you must carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection.
Personal injury protection covers medical expenses arising out of most types of accidents regardless of liability. This is why it is also known as “no-fault insurance.” In Florida, mandatory PIP insurance covers:
- The policyholder and his or her children, household members, and certain passengers who are injured in the policyholder’s vehicle;
- Policyholders who are injured while riding in others’ vehicles or as a bicyclist or pedestrian; and,
- Policyholders’ children who are injured in school bus accidents.
2. Property Damage Liability (PDL)
The other form of required auto insurance in Florida is property damage liability (PDL). As with PIP, the minimum coverage requirement for PDL is $10,000.
As its name suggests, property damage liability insurance provides coverage when you are at fault for causing damage to another person’s vehicle. It covers damage to other forms of personal property as well, such as clothing, personal electronics, and luggage stored in the damaged vehicle.
3. Bodily Injury Liability (BIL)
Bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance is the coverage most people think of when they think of an auto accident. This is the coverage that pays victim’s medical bills, loss of income, pain, and suffering, and other losses when they are injured in an accident that is not their fault. In order for an insurance company to pay, it must be convinced that its policyholder was negligent in causing the accident, and this is one of the key issues that are typically at the center of insurance settlement negotiations and car accident litigation.
4. Comprehensive Insurance Coverage
Like BIL, comprehensive coverage is an optional policy that can protect you in the event of an unforeseen accident. Comprehensive insurance coverage pays your repair bills and other costs when you are involved in an accident involving something other than another vehicle. Hurricanes, tropical storms, fallen trees, wild animals, and theft are all covered under standard comprehensive policies.
5. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage
Another optional, but critically important, optional type of auto insurance is uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. If you have UIM coverage and you are injured by an uninsured driver or in a hit-and-run accident, your insurance company will “stand in the shoes” of the at-fault driver’s insurer to cover your losses.
For more information on mandatory and optional auto insurance coverage in Florida, you can visit this FAQs page from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
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Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers in Palm Beach County,
If you have questions auto insurance, or if you have been injured in an accident and would like to speak with an attorney, our Palm Beach County law offices for a free consultation. To speak with me, Brian D. Guralnick, personally, call 561-202-6673 today.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. If you need advice on specific legal issues, please consult with a licensed Personal Injury attorney.