Finding The Best Auto Insurance Coverage Plan in Miami
When consulting with our Florida car accident clients, the first question we ask is what kind of auto insurance plan they currently have, and 90% of the time their answer is, “I don’t know.” We spend much of our time in that initial consultation explaining what their plan covers and what kind of coverage they should have in order to be best protected. Time and time again we see clients who are dumbfounded when they learn that they must shell out thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses even if they were not at fault in the accident.
Why pay for someone else’s acts of carelessness? It is crucial to understand what type of coverage you have with your provider and make sure that coverage is adequate in the event that you find yourself victim to a Florida car accident. There’s no better time to learn this than before you get into a car accident.
What Insurance is Required by Florida Law?
- At minimum, you must carry $10,000 worth of property damage coverage to pay for the cost of damages to the other person’s car if you are the party at fault. This excludes costs of damage to your own car if you are at fault.
- You must also carry $10,000 worth of personal injury protection, or PIP, to pay for a portion of your medical bills and lost wages. Florida is a no-fault state, which means that your insurance company must pay 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages up to $10,000, even if you were not at fault for the accident.
This is all that is required to get behind the wheel in the State of Florida, yet only about half of Florida drivers carry the bare minimum required insurance while many have no insurance at all. If this doesn’t scare you, it should! This is why it is so crucial to make sure you have purchased adequate coverage to protect you and your loved ones.
The Best Auto Insurance Coverage: What We Recommend
We make the following recommendation to all of our clients during our consultations. Remember, this advice is way more valuable to those not yet injured than to those already involved in an accident, so be sure to consider the following:
- Extended Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – A minimum of $50,000 to $100,000 is recommended if your expenses (medical bills and lost wages) are over $10,000 and/or if you have serious injuries. It may take weeks or months for your case to settle. Your credit report will be adversely affected while your medical bills go unpaid. This extended coverage may help you.
- Collision Insurance – If you do not purchase collision insurance, you will have to pay for any repairs or replacement of your vehicle if the at-fault driver is driving illegally without insurance coverage, if the damage to your car is over $10,000 and the at-fault driver has only $10,000 in property damage coverage, or you are the at-fault party.
- GAP Insurance – GAP insurance will help you in the event that your car is declared a total loss and you owe more to the bank on a loan than the car is actually worth. Without it you will have to pay this out of pocket. The insurance company of the at-fault driver is responsible for only the market value of the car, not for how much you owe the bank financing your auto loan.
- Bodily Injury Liability (also referred to as BI) – We recommend $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident, or more if you have substantial assets. This will protect your personal assets if you are the driver to cause an accident involving serious injury. Another must is the purchase of UM coverage (explained below), and in order to qualify for UM coverage you first must purchase BI. BI coverage is not mandatory in the State of Florida.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM Coverage) – We recommend $100,000-$300,000 minimum, including “stacked” coverage (see below) if you own more than one car. UM coverage will protect you no matter what kind of insurance coverage the other parties have–even if they are not covered at all. For example, if your case is worth $50,000 and the other person only has $10,000 of liability insurance, you are still able to collect the remaining $40,000 from your own insurance company if you carry at least $40,000 of UM insurance.
- Stacked UM Coverage – If you drive more than one vehicle under the same insurance, you are eligible for additional UM coverage at a very low rate, greatly expanding the protection of your plan for a good price.
While all of these recommendations may sound expensive, you may be surprised to find out that they might end up not costing you that much, especially if you have a great driving record. The biggest take away here is that UM insurance is an absolute must as about 26% of Florida drivers carry no insurance at all. The easiest way to break it down:
- PIP must pay up to $10,000 in medical bills even if you are not at fault.
- BI insurance protects the other driver if you are at fault.
- BI coverage is not mandatory in the State of Florida.
- UM protects you in case the at-fault driver is underinsured or not insured at all.
Injured in a Car Accident in Florida
Our Miami Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representing those injured in car, bus, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian truck accidents. Our lawyers are ready to help you handle your claim across the State of Florida. We provide free consultations, and we are available to speak or meet with you at your hospital or home. Give our office a call at 1-866-597-4529 or email us at [email protected]. Our team is ready to help you seek the compensation you deserve.