With its scenic routes leading to popular beaches and theme parks, Florida faces unique challenges in auto insurance coverage. As the third most populous state with over 22 million residents, its roads are often busy with a mix of local and visiting drivers.
The high number of drivers increases the likelihood of accidents, making Florida the eighth most costly state in the U.S. for automobile insurance. While the Sunshine State mandates certain basic insurance coverages, these minimums are often insufficient in the face of accidents with serious injuries.
To ensure you’re adequately protected, here are our recommendations for adequate auto insurance coverage in the Sunshine State.
What Auto Insurance Does Florida Require?
Florida’s laws mandate that all drivers carry two types of auto insurance: personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL). Here’s a breakdown of the minimums and what they cover:
- PIP Insurance: PIP is designed to cover medical expenses and a portion of lost wages for you and your passengers after a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. In Florida, PIP insurance covers 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost wages with a required minimum of $10,000.
- PDL Insurance: This insurance covers the costs of damages to another person’s property (such as their car) if you are at fault in an accident. In Florida, the minimum PDL coverage required is $10,000. This insurance helps pay for repairs or replacement of the other person’s property.
When you suffer a severe injury in a crash that wasn’t your fault, and your PIP insurance doesn’t cover all your expenses, you can often file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver to recover the rest of your damages.
Additional Policies Available in the Sunshine State
While PIP and PDL are the only legally required forms of auto insurance in Florida, there are several other types of coverage that you might consider purchasing, including:
- Bodily Injury Liability (BIL): BIL helps cover the costs of medical treatments, potential legal fees, and other associated expenses if you’re involved in an accident where you’re at fault and others are injured. It safeguards against large financial liabilities from serious injuries you might cause to others.
- Collision Coverage: This insurance addresses repairing or replacing your vehicle after an accident, regardless of who is at fault. It covers damages to your car from a collision with another vehicle or an object like a tree or guardrail, protecting your financial well-being.
- Comprehensive Coverage: Comprehensive insurance provides a wide net of protection for your vehicle against various non-collision damages. This includes theft, vandalism, hailstorms, and other unexpected scenarios. It’s beneficial as it covers situations that are often beyond your control and could otherwise be costly.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage: This coverage helps protects you if you’re in an accident with a driver without insurance. It helps cover your medical expenses and repair costs that the uninsured driver would typically be responsible for. This coverage is particularly valuable in Florida; as of December 2023, the state reported 1,083,766 uninsured drivers.
- Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay): MedPay is designed to cover some medical expenses for you and your passengers after an accident, regardless of who’s at fault. It’s beneficial as it helps manage medical bills and related costs quickly, providing additional financial protection alongside your primary health insurance.
- Gap Insurance: Particularly important for newly purchased or leased vehicles, Gap insurance covers the difference between the actual value of your vehicle and the amount you owe on it. This is crucial in total loss cases, where the settlement from standard insurance might not cover your remaining loan or lease balance, preventing a financial loss on a vehicle you can no longer use.
What are the Benefits of Purchasing Extra Coverage?
Buying extra insurance coverage for your vehicle gives you multiple advantages in Florida. When choosing your policy, opt for as much as you can afford to get the following benefits:
- Financial Protection: Accidents can result in major expenses, including medical bills, vehicle repairs, and legal fees. Extra coverage can provide a safety net to protect your finances in a costly accident.
- Peace of Mind: Knowing you have ample insurance coverage can provide peace of mind. You won’t have to worry about draining your bank account for accident-related expenses that exceed your policy limits, which can be financially devastating.
- Enhanced Medical Coverage: Additional coverage options like MedPay can provide enhanced medical coverage for you and your passengers. This can be especially beneficial if you have serious injuries but health insurance with high deductibles or limited coverage.
Get Legal Guidance After a Car Accident
After a car crash in Florida, seeking legal guidance can help you understand your insurance coverages and get the benefits you’re owed. Our experienced Miami car accident lawyers at Aigen Injury Law can review your insurance policies, help you file a claim with the relevant parties, and get you the settlement you deserve.
Contact us today for a free consultation to share your case and discuss potential options for compensation.