What Are The Minimum Coverage Requirements For Auto Insurance Pdf English

What are the Minimum Coverage Requirements for Auto Insurance in Florida?

In Florida, vehicle owners may be required to purchase two types of auto insurance.

The first type of auto insurance is outlined in the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law Fla. Stat. § 627.736. It requires every person who registers a vehicle in Florida to provide proof they have personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PD), with minimum limits of $10,000 each. PIP covers injuries you and certain others may incur in an auto accident, regardless of fault. PD covers your liability if you damage property belonging to someone else in an auto accident. Examples might include another person’s vehicle, a telephone pole or a building. Individuals who are in the State of Florida with their vehicle for more than 90 days in the last 365 days must carry these minimum limits of coverage. It is important to note that the 90 days do not need to be consecutive in order for the law to apply.

The second type of auto insurance is outlined in the Florida Financial Responsibility Law. It requires drivers who have caused accidents involving bodily injury/death or received certain citations to purchase bodily injury liability (BI) coverage with minimum limits of $10,000 each person and $20,000 each accident, referred to as split limits. You may purchase a policy that covers both types of insurance required with a single limit of at least $30,000. Drivers convicted of driving under the influence must purchase BI coverage in the amount of $100,000/$300,000 and $50,000 in PD liability. The reason for the Florida Financial Responsibility Law is to require owners or operators of motor vehicles to be financially responsible for damages and/or injuries they may cause to others in an auto accident. The failure to be financially responsible may result in the loss of driving privileges in Florida. Although there are other ways to prove financial responsibility that are acceptable to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, this blog post deals strictly with insurance.

Bodily Injury Liability (BI)

This coverage protects you for injuries or death to someone else that you are legally liable for after a motor vehicle accident. As the owner of a vehicle, anytime an accident occurs involving your insured vehicle (whether or not you are driving), the possibility exists that you may be held financially responsible for any damages. This coverage not only covers the actual loss incurred, it can also provide coverage for your defense if you are sued. When referring to BI limits of liability, the first number represents the maximum amount of coverage you have for each individual injured in a given accident and the second number is the maximum amount of coverage available to all injured persons in that accident.

Property Damage Liability (PD)

PD liability pays for damage to another person’s property caused by you or someone else operating your insured vehicle. Most often this coverage will be used to repair the other automobile(s) involved in an accident with your insured vehicle. It can also be used to pay for damage to street signs, mailboxes, buildings or other property owned by another party.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM)

This coverage is optional but provides very important benefits to you and certain others who sustain injuries from an auto accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. The coverage allows you to collect amounts from your own insurance carrier that you would have been able to collect from the at-fault party if they had insurance or sufficient insurance limits. It can provide additional medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other expenses that might arise when an injury occurs. Once coverage has been triggered, benefits will be paid directly to the injured person, normally in a lump sum.

You may wonder why you need to purchase UM coverage if you have PIP and health insurance since in most cases, after your PIP coverage is exhausted, your health insurance may pay some of your medical bills. Most health insurance policies include deductibles and copayments which are out of pocket expenses for you. Health insurance normally does not provide coverage for expenses you may incur if you or a covered family member must stay in a convalescent center. In some cases where an injury is severe, permanent or requires a longer recovery time, it can be very important for your quality of life and financial health to have coverage that will continue to pay for lost wages, replacement services that may be required like lawn maintenance or housekeeping, pain and suffering or modifications needed for your home or automobile due to your injuries such as a wheelchair ramp or a vehicle with special equipment.

When purchasing UM, you must make two decisions. You must decide the limits you need and whether or not you want stacked or non-stacked coverage. All insurance companies are required to provide stacked UM with the same limits as your Bodily Injury coverage. Some insurance companies offer the option to purchase lower limits and/or non-stacked coverage. Stacked UM coverage means that the limit will increase by the number of vehicles you own, regardless of whether or not the vehicles are insured on the same policy. In other words, if you have stacked UM limits of 50/100 and own three vehicles, your actual coverage is multiplied times three or 150/300. If you elect non-stacked UM at 50/100, that is the maximum coverage available in an accident regardless of how many vehicles you own. Another important coverage difference between the stacked and non-stacked form is how the policy will respond if you are injured by an uninsured/underinsured motorist in a vehicle you own but do not have insured. In that case, only the stacked form would respond.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

You will often hear Florida referred to as a “No- Fault State.” This means that any time you are injured in an auto accident you will file the claim with your own insurance company, regardless of who is atfault. However, once an injured person pierces the tort threshold, they may seek recovery for costs not duplicated by PIP from the at-fault party. Standard PIP benefits required to be included on all Florida automobile policies include: 80 percent of all necessary and reasonable medical expenses incurred as a result of a covered injury, regardless of who caused the accident. It is very important to remember initial treatment must be received within 14 days of the accident to be covered. A limit of $2,500 applies to non-emergency medical treatment. If a medical doctor, an osteopath, a dentist, a physician’s assistant or an advanced registered nurse practitioner determines that the claimant suffered from an “emergency medical condition,” reimbursement for all services and care is up to $10,000, unless higher limits are purchased.

Making a decision about the amount of coverage you should carry is a personal decision based on many factors. Discussing your coverage needs with a qualified insurance agent can help you better understand your options. It is important to remember that if an accident occurs, and the injuries sustained by another party are beyond the limits of your insurance policy and the injured party has a permanent injury, scarring, disfigurement or is killed, they or their beneficiary may pursue recovery from you through the court system.