Tons of drivers on Florida roads do not have insurance at all or the right kind of insurance to cover them in the event of a car accident. Florida is an odd state where the law only requires you to carry $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 Property Damage (PD) liability coverage. PIP is the coverage that pays for your medical treatment after you were involved in a car accident. PD is the coverage that pays for the damage you may have caused to another vehicle. What is odd about Florida’s minimum requirements? The state doesn’t require drivers to purchase coverage that insures against injuries! This is a big problem in Florida.
Bodily injury coverage for car accidents
Bodily Injury (BI) coverage is the type of coverage that you can purchase to cover another driver’s injuries in the event you hurt someone. The majority of the states in the country require one to purchase BI, except Florida. In Florida it is optional. Bodily Injury coverage pays for serious injuries including permanent injuries and death when you hit someone else. This coverage also provides for your legal defense if you get sued. Clients often come to our office for help and we quickly discover that the driver who hit them does not have BI insurance and there is nowhere we can recover money. It is unfortunate, but you can blame the local government for that.
Uninsured Motorist coverage
In addition to buying BI coverage, everyone in Florida should buy Uninsured (or underinsured) Motorist (UM) coverage. This is the type of coverage that pays for your damages if the at-fault driver either lacks BI coverage or has an insufficient amount of BI coverage. If you are going to buy BI insurance to protect other drivers, then why wouldn’t you purchase UM coverage to protect yourself and your family? UM coverage comes in two forms: stacked and unstacked. If you buy stacked UM coverage you can apply it to multiple cars on your policy. Unstacked UM coverage applies to a single car. This is something you should consult with your car insurance company about at the time of purchase. The car insurance companies will ask you to sign paperwork if you elect to reject UM coverage at the time of purchase. Most Floridians reject it and do not even realize what they are doing.
There are bills every year or so that get sent around the Florida Legislature which would require all Florida drivers to purchase BI and repeals the mandatory PIP requirement, but don’t wait for local politicians to come to their senses. Check your policy and make sure you have the right coverage in case you get in a car accident.
If you do happen to get into an accident please contact ERIC MAUSNER LAW, P.A., a personal injury lawyer in Miami, FL, can help you if you have suffered injuries due to a car accident or any other cause. Call today – 305-800-TORT (8678). Our consultations are free.