Can you tell me what you are covered for under your automobile insurance policy? You may be surprised, but most people cannot.
The reasons are many. They may have purchased the insurance many years ago and just routinely pay the premiums without knowing what they are really covered for. They may have just asked their insurance agent for the bare minimum without even knowing what that means. They may have simply asked the insurance agent to give them guidance and then agreed to what the agent recommended.
Do you understand what you are and are not covered for?
Today, it’s time to find out what you are covered for. Pull out your automobile insurance policy and find the document that has Automobile Policy Declarations or similar words written on top. This document should identify the named insured, the premium, the vehicles covered, and the coverages and limits of liability. This last part tells you what you are covered for under your policy.
Having looked at your Declarations, do you understand what you are and are not covered for?
Florida law requires every driver to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage coverage.
- PIP is insurance that provides certain medical benefits, lost wages, and other expenses resulting from an accident, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
- Property Damage coverage provides you insurance in case you damage another vehicle.
Other important coverage that you should consider if it is not already listed on the Declarations is Bodily Injury, Uninsured Motorists, Collision, Comprehensive, and Medical Payments coverage.
These coverages can be summarized as follows:
- Bodily Injury is insurance for if you hit someone and they get injured.
- Uninsured Motorist is insurance if someone hits you and they do not have insurance or enough insurance to compensate you for your injuries.
- Collision is insurance for damage to your vehicle resulting from a car accident.
- Comprehensive is insurance for when your car has sustained damages that did not result from a collision (i.e., a falling tree, an act of vandalism).
- Medical Payments is insurance in cases where personal health insurance and/or PIP coverage is not enough to pay the medical bills for the driver and/or passengers.
Now that you know what kind of coverage you have or may choose to purchase in the future, you should also consider the limits of liability. For example, Florida law requires drivers to have $10,000.00 in Proper Damage insurance. However, what if you cause an accident where the amount of damage exceeds those limits.
You will most likely be limited to recovering only $10,000.00 for your pain and suffering.
You will be responsible for them. Likewise, what if you only have $10,000 in Uninsured Motorist coverage, but the negligent driver does not maintain insurance and you are seriously injured. You will most likely be limited to recovering only $10,000.00 for your pain and suffering.
In short, it is important that you understand both what you are covered for and how much coverage you have. You do not want to be one of those people who suffers an accident and then finds out that there is no meaningful insurance available to protect your assets or otherwise compensate you for your injuries.