Understanding Your Auto Insurance
I can't tell you how many times a new client will proudly tell me "I have full coverage", only to get the official insurance documents and find out they have much less coverage than they thought. So here's a helpful listing of what your automobile insurance statement really means.
- Bodily Injury Liability Coverage (BI) - Your coverage will be listed by two numbers, like 100/300. Or maybe 25/50, or 50/100. The first number is the maximum amount your insurance will cover if you cause an accident and one person is injured in the accident. If there are multiple persons injured due to your negligence, the second number is the most your insurance will cover for ALL the injured parties combined, with no one person receiving more than the individual limits (that first number). In Florida, BI coverage is optional. If you don't have it, you could be personally liable for all the injuries you cause in a automobile accident.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) - All auto policies must provide PIP coverage. Since Florida is a No- Fault State, PIP will pay your own medical bills at 80% and lost wages at 60%, no matter who was at fault for the accident. PIP is almost always capped at $10,000 in coverage for medical bills and lost wages combined. PIP will also cover things like mileage going to and from the doctors, a death benefit of $5,000 if someone is killed and other miscellaneous matters.
- Medical Payments (MP) - Med Pay is optional and the majority of people don't carry this coverage. Med Pay will cover the 20% of your medical bills that PIP doesn't cover.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) - If somebody else causes an accident and they have no BI coverage, or insufficient BI coverage, you can protect yourself by getting UM coverage. You can refer to our Blog site for an in depth discussion of the various amounts of UM coverage available. Like BI coverage, it will contain two numbers, such as 100/300. Like BI, the first number is for one person and the second number is for all claims combined. It is strongly recommended you purchase UM coverage
- Property Damage Coverage (PD) - All Florida policies must have at least $10,000 in PD coverage. This covers the cost to repair damage to the other car if the accident was your fault, or to replace the car if it is totaled. With the price of cars, and the cost to repair them, $10,000 doesn't go very far.
- Collision Coverage - If someone causes damage to your car, and they have no insurance or insufficient insurance, your collision coverage will pay to repair/replace your car. Or if you're in a one car accident, collision will pay to repair or replace your car.
- Comprehensive Coverage - This coverage will pay you for the loss of personal items in your that were either damaged in an accident or lost due to fire or theft.
- Rental Car Coverage - While your car is being repaired, you may need a rental car to get around. If you have this coverage, the Insurance Company will reimburse you up to a certain amount per day until your car is repaired.
- Towing Coverage - This will reimburse you, up to a certain amount, for towing your car due to an accident or mechanical failure.
- Umbrella Coverage - Those persons who have a lot of assets to protect may want to consider an Umbrella policy. This will give you additional BI and UM coverage in the event the claim exceeds the underlying amount of coverage. Talk to your agent about an Umbrella policy, as terms and conditions can vary between insurance companies.
If you have any questions about what coverage you actually have, feel free to contact me at Greene & Tischler, P.A. Even if you are not a client, I will be glad to spend a few minutes to answer any question or concern you might have.