Frequently Asked Questions - What Is Considered Full Coverage Auto Insurance in Florida?
In the State of Florida, by law, if you have a car, you are required to have only Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits AND Property Damage Liability (PDL). Therefore, the State of Florida's minimum requirements for auto insurance coverage are $10,000 for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 for property damage liability (PDL). If you carry those coverages, you have what is considered “full coverage” in the sunshine state. Since the words “full coverage” are misleading, many people in the State of Florida have the misconception that they have “full coverage”. For instance, they believe they carry all the other coverages, such as:, Bodily Injury (BI), Uninsured and Underinsured (UM and UIM), Medical Payments (Med Pay), comprehensive and collision coverage, when in fact, they only have the bare minimum required by law in the State of Florida.
First and foremost, the State of Florida is considered a No-Fault state. A No-Fault state, simply means that it does not matter who is at fault for the auto accident, each person will make a claim under their own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. In the state of Florida, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is required to be purchased by all owners of motor vehicles registered in this state. Florida Statute 627.7407 (5) states: “(a) That beginning on January 1, 2008, Florida law requires the policyholder to maintain personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage and that this insurance pays covered medical expenses for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle crash by the policyholder, passengers, and relatives residing in the policyholder’s household. (b) That if the policyholder does not maintain personal injury protection coverage, the State of Florida may suspend the policyholder’s driver license and vehicle registration.” What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP)? PIP (Personal Injury Protection) is the type of insurance that will pay cover medical bills up to 80% and 60% of wage loss. In Florida, you must carry $10,000.00 in PIP coverage. Florida PIP covers medical costs, lost wages, and death benefits. In case of a death, PIP coverage offers compensation of up to $5,000.00. PIP would also pay for funeral and burial expenses. In addition, PIP insurance coverage will cover you as a pedestrian or riding a bicycle. Furthermore, it is extremely important that if you are filing a Personal Injury Protection claim, you start treatment within fourteen (14) days from your auto accident. If you do not, your automobile insurance company can deny your coverage and refuse to pay. These medical expenses must also be “reasonable” and “medically necessary” or a PIP carrier may deny payment for certain services it deems to be unreasonable or not medically necessary.
Property Damage Liability (PDL) in the amount of $10,000.00 is also required in the State of Florida. What does PDL cover? This type of insurance covers any damage to another person’s property caused by you or someone else driving your insured vehicle.
As mentioned earlier, in the State of Florida, you are not required to carry other coverages such as Bodily Injury (BI) or Medical Payments (Med Pay), Collision, Comprehensive, and Under and Uninsured (UM and UIM) coverages. These coverages are all extra and cost more money. Nevertheless, as a driver, it is your decision if these coverages might be beneficial to you. In the long run, they might be.
Therefore, Bodily Injury (BI) is the type of insurance that covers a person if you hit them and they are hurt. Medical Payment coverage or Med Pay is extra coverage to pay for your medical bills. It can also help cover the 20% not paid by your PIP benefits. For instance, if you are injured in an auto accident with a person that only has the minimum required in the State of Florida and that person is at fault, you will have to make a claim under your Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage against your own car insurance company. UM, coverage is the type of insurance that pays for injuries caused by an uninsured (someone that has no insurance) or underinsured (someone that does not have enough insurance). Collision Insurance is the type of insurance that will cover damage to your own vehicle after an accident. Comprehensive insurance is the type of insurance coverage that helps pay to replace or repair your vehicle if it is stolen or damaged in an incident that is not a collision.
All these extra coverages such as bodily injury, med pay, collision, comprehensive, under and uninsured coverages are extra and cost more money, however, in the State of Florida, it is up to the driver to get those coverages depending on their needs and wants. Therefore, it is important, that when you are shopping for auto insurance, you ask questions and familiarize yourself with the types of insurance and coverages available and or required in the State of Florida. Sometimes, due to lack of knowledge, language barriers, or simply not reading declaration pages when signing and buying car insurance can mislead a person into thinking they have “full coverage” when they simply have what the law requires in the State of Florida.
Again “full coverage” in the state of Florida is only PIP and PDL. Can I get in trouble if I do not carry full coverage (PIP and PDL) in the State of Florida? If you live in the State of Florida and you do not show proof of insurance, carrying the minimum required, your license can get suspended or not renewed along with your vehicle registration.
Furthermore, it is also very important that you understand, that if you do not carry Bodily Injury liability insurance and you get involved in a car accident, you could be at risk of being personally liable and sued. Again, Bodily Injury (BI) coverage is not required in the State of Florida. Since Bodily Injury (BI) is not required in the State of Florida, it is important that you as the driver protect yourself and your vehicle in case of an auto accident.
Nonetheless, if you have been injured in an auto accident and your insurance is not providing you coverage as specified under your policy, speak to an experienced Central Florida personal injury and car accident lawyer at Trial Pro. Call us at Trial Pro, P.A at-1-800-Trial Pro.