How Much Car Insurance Should I Buy?
Ultimately, how much car insurance you should buy depends on your situation. When selecting a policy, you should consider your financial resources, driving history, and age.
Our Florida car accident lawyers have years of experience navigating the claims process. In that time, we’ve learned how much car insurance one should buy. Consider the following information when selecting a liability policy for your vehicle.
Florida Requires Drivers To Carry Some Types of Insurance
According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV), Florida law requires you to purchase two types of auto insurance coverage before registering a car, truck, or another vehicle with four or more wheels. This includes:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
- Property Damage Liability (PDL)
Many people refer to PIP coverage as “no-fault” insurance. This policy pays for 80 percent of your accident-related medical expenses up to the policy limit regardless of fault. It also pays a portion of your lost earnings.
PDL coverage pays for the damage to another party’s vehicle or other property in a crash you cause. It may also pay for damage you caused while driving a rental car or a loved one’s vehicle or if someone else borrows your car.
What Rules Must I Follow With My Required Coverage?
Florida requires drivers to show proof of at least $10,000 in PIP and $10,000 in PDL to register a vehicle and receive tags. All drivers must maintain continuous coverage on any vehicle, even if it does not run or they have it in storage.
If a driver does not maintain the required coverage, they could face serious consequences. This includes:
- A three-year suspension of driving privileges
- A suspension of the vehicle’s registration
- No access to temporary or hardship driver’s license programs
- A reinstatement fee of up to $500 after the suspension
What Is Bodily Injury Liability Coverage? Do I Need It?
Our attorneys recommend everyone also carry bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage. Florida law does not require most drivers to carry these policies, but they protect the policyholder’s assets when they cause a serious crash. BIL pays for serious injuries or wrongful deaths that occur because of the policyholder’s negligence.
In other words, if you make a mistake behind the wheel and cause a crash, this policy protects your family’s financial stability. If one or more of the victims of the crash suffer serious or lasting injuries, you may be legally responsible for paying their damages, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Pain and Suffering
- Other related expenses and losses
Again, Florida does not require motorists to have BIL coverage. However, it could mean the difference between financial stability and financial hardship if you cause a collision.
Why Uninsured Motorist Coverage Is Vital in Florida
We also recommend that all drivers in Florida carry uninsured motorist (UM) insurance. An Orlando Sentinel report shows that 20.4 percent of Florida drivers were uninsured in 2019, based on the newspaper’s analysis of data from the Insurance Research Council.
An uninsured motorist policy pays for your losses if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or does not have adequate insurance to pay for your losses. This could cover amounts beyond your standard PIP policy. It also kicks in when:
- The at-fault driver leaves the crash scene
- Another vehicle causes a crash but is not directly involved (a “phantom” vehicle crash)
These policies cover expenses you could recover from the at-fault driver’s BIL policy if they had one. It includes medical expenses and lost income beyond your PIP policy, pain and suffering, and more.
Our Florida Car Accident Lawyers Also Suggest Getting These Policies
When possible, we also recommend the following types of coverage:
Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
Many people opt for “full coverage” insurance. While this name sounds like it covers everything, it only provides you with policies that pay for repairs to your vehicle regardless of fault.
Collision policies handle accident-related expenses, and comprehensive policies handle most other situations, such as flooding, hail, or fallen-tree damage. Most finance companies require this coverage until you pay off your car loan.
Medical Payment and Accidental Death & Dismemberment Coverage
Medical payment coverage pays for your treatment expenses beyond your PIP policy. This coverage includes you, your family, and your passengers regardless of fault. It also applies if your injuries occurred in someone else’s car or if a car hits you on foot. Accidental death and dismemberment coverage pays out for wrongful death damages in these cases.
Towing, Rental Reimbursement, and Other Extras
Having coverage for towing, rental car reimbursement, and other extras is great if you have the money. However, it may be better to increase your minimum BIL and UM coverage instead.
Speak to an Attorney if You Suffered Injuries in a South Florida Crash
If you suffered injuries in a Florida car accident and have questions about insurance claims and your legal options for compensation, call our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers from the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato. We offer free case reviews. Dial (954) 633-8270 to connect with our team.