Auto Coverages in Florida

The state of Florida requires most automobile owners to carry two basic coverages, Personal Injury Protection coverage, otherwise known as “No-Fault” and Property Damage Liability coverage. There are other coverages that an owner of an auto can purchase, but in general, they are not required. The following is a brief list of the auto coverages you can buy in addition to the two that are mandatory.

PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION COVERAGE – We are constantly asked by clients why their insurance company has to pay their medical expenses when the other party was clearly at fault. The answer is simple: Florida law requires it to be done that way. Florida is a “NoFault” state. The No-Fault concept requires each of us to self-insure for our own auto accidentrelated medical treatment. We do this through the purchase of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage. The minimum required in Florida is $10,000.00. However, deductibles have been available in varying amounts up to $2,000.00 in the past. Under current law, the PIP deductible available for purchase cannot exceed $1,000.00. Motorcycles are excluded from the Florida No-Fault law and thus must carry Bodily Injury Liability coverage in the amount of $10,000.00 per individual, $20,000.00 per occurrence. Personal Injury Protection coverage will pay eighty (80) percent of your medical bills and sixty (60) percent of your loss wages due to an accident up to the limit of $10,000.00.

PROPERTY DAMAGE LIABILITY COVERAGE – A mandatory coverage in Florida required to be purchased in the minimum amount of $10,000.00. It is coverage that a person looks to for the repair or total loss compensation of their vehicle from the negligent/at-fault person’s policy of insurance.

BODILY INJURY LIABILITY COVERAGE – In most circumstances, this is optional coverage which is purchased to compensate an injured person for bodily injuries caused by the negligent/at-fault person who purchased this coverage. This is a coverage that the injured party hopes the at-fault party has so that their out-of-pocket medical expenses that PIP/No-Fault coverage does not cover and their permanent bodily injury damages are compensated. A person purchases bodily injury liability coverage to protect their assets from personal attack by the injured person who the purchaser caused injury to by their negligence in an accident. Since most people do not have significant, attachable assets and this coverage is not typically required by the state of Florida, many people do not purchase this coverage, but should.

UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE – An optional coverage that can be purchased by you to pay for you and your family’s bodily injury damages caused by a negligent/at-fault person who does not have bodily injury liability coverage or does not have enough to pay for all your damages. In our opinion, this is the most important coverage to purchase in the state of Florida. It protects you and your family in a situation where your bodily injury damages exceed the coverage that is available from your PIP/No-Fault coverage and the negligent/at-fault person’s bodily injury liability coverage, if they have any.

MEDICAL PAYMENTS COVERAGE – A coverage that you can choose to purchase to pay for the 20 percent of your medical bills that PIP/No-Fault coverage does not pay It will cover the 20 percent of your medical bills up to the limits of your purchased coverage If the PIP/No-Fault coverage limit of $10,000.00 is exhausted before the medical payment limit is exhausted, then the medical payments coverage should pay your bills at 100 percent up to its limit.

COLLISION COVERAGE – A coverage that you can choose to purchase for the payment of repairs or total loss compensation of your vehicle under your own policy of insurance regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE – Comprehensive auto insurance coverage covers property damage caused by incidents other than a car accident including theft, fire, vandalism, weather, falling objects, and animal damage.

At the Law Office of Charles S. Philips, we highly recommend that you take out your policy of insurance, consult the declarations page which declares what coverage you purchased under that policy and contact your agent to discuss your insurance needs for the future.