Florida Minimum Car Insurance Coverage
This article will explain the minimum amount of coverage required to operate a motor vehicle on public roadways in Florida and why it is so terrible. Many clients get this coverage confused with the term “Full Coverage” which is typically a combination of various coverages designed to protect you in the event of an accident. After reading through this article you will have a better understand why having the minimum coverage required by the state is designed to protect others more than it is you. For a more in-depth analysis on the core coverages available check out our article Full Coverage Car Insurance.
What Is Required?
There are only two required car insurance coverages in Florida, they include Personal Injury Protection and Property Damage Liability. These two coverages are outlined below:
Personal Injury Protection (PIP): This insurance is designed to pay for up to 80% of your medical expenses following an accident caused by either you or someone else, regardless as to who is at fault following a car accident. Florida requires a minimum of $10,000.00 in Personal Injury Protection. (Example) Following an accident, if you accrue $1,000.00 in medical expenses for a hospital visit or other medical care following an accident, your PIP insurance should pay for $800.00 leaving the remaining $200.00 your responsibility. Generally, most people have $10,000.00 in PIP limits on their auto policies. Once your insurance has paid out $10,000.00 in benefits for medical coverage, any remaining balance is also then your responsibility. If you would like even more information on what this car insurance coverage is and what it does following a car accident you can click this link for Florida Statute 627.736.
In short, this coverage is designed to protect doctor offices after treating you following a car accident. While it is true that PIP coverage pays a good majority of your medical bills up to the Florida required minimum of $10,000.00 limit, this coverage is designed more to protect doctors’ offices from having to collect debts from individuals following an accident. It is important to note that this coverage does not reimburse you directly, and you never receive any payments for pain and suffering from this coverage.
Property Damage Liability (PD): Property Damage Liability is a little more straightforward in comparison to personal injury protection. This coverage is designed to pay for the persons property you cause damage to when you are at fault in a car accident and vice versa. Florida’s required minimum is $10,000.00 for property damage liability. (Example) You collide with the rear of another person’s car and after getting estimates for repair, the total for his vehicles comes to $12,000.00, if you have $10,000.00 in property damage liability, your insurance should pay for $10,000.00 of the damages and you will be responsible for the remaining $2,000.00. For a comprehensive understanding of how property damage liability works please visit Florida Statute 324.022.
This coverage is also designed to protect other people following an accident you cause. As you can see, this coverage only applies to the other persons property you may damage following an accident you cause.
What Am I Paying For
The bottom line is if you have the minimum required coverage in Florida for car insurance your monthly premiums go towards protecting other people after an accident. It is no wonder that Florida has one of the highest uninsured vehicle rates out of all the United States, 26.7% according to The Insurance Research Council in 2015.
Unfortunately, with the minimum coverage if you are the victim of an accident in Florida and you do not carry supplemental coverage like Uninsured Motorist / Underinsured Motorist there is more than a 1 in 4 chance that you will not make a recovery for your medical bills and pain & suffering. Our law office sees clients on a weekly basis where they have been struck by another car and are now responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of medical bills that they are now responsible for.
What Can I Do
Speaking with a qualified insurance agent is a good place to start. One that has your best interests at heart and your financial security in mind will never recommend a policy with the minimum coverage. Another great solution is to speak with one of our car accident attorneys that deal with insurance companies on a routine basis. Our office offers complimentary insurance coverage analysis and we would be happy to give you advice on coverage you may be missing at no cost.
If you would like to see what car insurance we recommend having in Florida, follow this link to our article on Full Coverage Car Insurance or contact our office today.
Law Office of Logan T. Lawrence
716 East University Avenue
Gainesville, Florida 32601