Florida’s Minimum Insurance Requirements
Florida law requires drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL). Moreover, Florida is also a no-fault state, meaning that after a car accident, regardless of who is at fault, each driver’s own insurance coverage pays for medical expenses and property damage up to the limit on the policy. However, this minimum requirement may not be adequate to cover injuries and property damage in moderate to severe car accidents.
PIP and PDL Coverage are Sometimes not Enough Coverage
Even if a driver has PIP and PDL coverage, which meets the minimum requirements under Florida law, in the case of a serious injury, such as disfigurement, fractured bones, substantial disability for 90 days or permanent disability, the injured person is not limited to filing a claim with their own policy and may hold the at-fault driver liable for their injuries. While Florida does not require drivers to carry Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) insurance, if you do not have this insurance and injure another driver or passenger in another vehicle, you can be sued and liable for the injured person’s medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
UM/UIM Coverage can Save Drivers From Financial Ruin
Many drivers might purchase the requirements under Florida law and consider themselves protected. However, because many drivers, up to 12 percent on the road, are uninsured or underinsured, the minimum requirement under Florida law may not be the best option. If you are hit by someone who has no assets and not enough insurance coverage, you could be left paying out of pocket for your injuries and property damage.
However, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, otherwise known as UM/UIM coverage, can be purchased from your insurance company to protect you and others in the case of a serious car accident. Having UM/UMI added to your policy will cover injuries that you or passengers in your vehicle have or will cover another driver or passenger’s injuries in the case that you are at fault for a more severe car accident. Situations in which the UM/UIM coverage may apply are when you are not at fault for the accident, the at-fault driver does not have sufficient liability insurance to pay for your injuries and property damage, or if you are a victim of a hit and run.
If you believe that your health insurance will cover you in the case that you suffer from an injury, UM/UIM coverage does not require a deductible as some health insurance policies do. Further, UM/UMI protects you in the event that you are at fault in an accident that leaves another driver and/or passenger with serious injuries. Florida drivers should review their insurance policy and consider adding UM/UIM coverage to their policy.