Did you know that having adequate insurance coverage on your car is probably the most important thing you can do to protect yourself in the event of an accident? Day in and day out people are shocked when they are told by a lawyer that they are going to have to pay tens of thousands of dollars or more of their own money in out of pocket expenses even though they did not cause the accident and the at fault party complied with the Florida insurance laws. It can be heart breaking to see how in one second, a person’s life can be devastated because they failed to plan and purchase adequate insurance. Especially when they thought they had . Could this be you? This article will discuss what insurance Florida law requires to legally get behind the wheel of a vehicle and what insurance you really need to protect yourself. But get ready, this can be quite a lot to take in all at once.
The best time to take advantage of this information is before you are in an accident. Consider that in 2006 there were 214,000 accidents in the state of Florida. These are the minimum requirements for car insurance in Florida:
Have $10,000 worth of property damage coverage to pay for the other person’s car repairs if you were at fault. Just know that this will not pay for damage to your own automobile.
Have $10,000 worth of personal injury protection to pay for some of your own medical bills and lost wages. Since Florida is a no-fault state, your own insurance company must pay 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages up to $10,000.
According to the latest statistics at least 23% are driving on the roads with no insurance at all and the number is expected to rise. These are some recommendations on what insurance you need to adequately protect yourself:
1. Purchase Collision Insurance on your own auto policy. If you do not have collision insurance, you will have to pay out of pocket to repair or replace your vehicle if:
- The damage to your car is more than $10,000
- The at fault driver is driving illegally with no insurance
- You caused the accident
2. Purchase to protect yourself if your car is worth less than the amount of your bank loan, which is called being upside down on a loan. This happens the minute you drive a car off the car lot if you got a loan that was close to the full purchase price. Word of warning, if you don’t have GAP insurance you will have to pay the difference out of your own pocket if your car is totaled and you owe more to the bank than the car is worth.
3. Purchase in the recommended amounts of $50,000 to $100,000 to protect yourself just in case if, Your medical bills and lost wages are more than $10,000 and many can be. Just consider that with the high costs of healthcare, $10,000 in PIP coverage can be spent before you ever get out of the ER.
You have serious injuries. It may take a while for your case to settle or be tried and this will help you get through the rough times.
4. Purchase Medical Payment Coverage with $5,000 being the recommended minimum to protect yourself. This amount will cover the percentage that PIP does not pay.
5. Purchase Bodily Injury Liability in amounts as much as $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident or more if you have substantial assets. Coverage to protect yourself if:
- You were at fault in an accident and caused serious injury and this will protect your personal assets.
- You need to purchase uninsured motorist coverage. But wait! In order to be eligible to get uninsured motorist coverage you must first have bodily injury coverage.
6. Purchase Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage $100,000/$300,000 minimum and make sure to get “stacked” coverage if you have more than one car. You want to protect yourself in the event the at-fault party has little or no liability insurance and your case is worth more than the amount of insurance the other person has.
7. Purchase . If you have two or more vehicles on the same insurance policy you are eligible to get additional “stacked coverage” at a very low cost. This gives you a lot more insurance coverage at a very low cost.
One last word of advice. All of these insurance recommendations may sound expensive, but you will be surprised to find out it costs a lot less than you think, especially if you have a good driving record. Avoid the so called “low cost” insurance companies, and get competitive pricing from the major companies. This information will take you a long way into finding the right automobile insurance to fit your needs.