When you are shopping for a car insurance policy, it’s no surprise that you may find yourself a bit overwhelmed or confused about which to choose, why to choose it, and if you really need it at all. As you start selecting packages and seeing the final price increase, you might start thinking about cutting back on extras, and if you are 1 of every 4 people in the state, might skip it altogether (this is a terrible idea). Take a look at these brief explanations of each policy, and consider your options. If you are involved in an accident, the first thing a car accident attorney like Friedland & Associates in Fort Lauderdale is going to ask is about your existing coverage – make sure you have a good answer for them.
Personal Injury Protection
PIP is mandatory in Florida, and it covers you for up to $10,000 of medical bills or lost wages. Since it is a no-fault policy, it covers you with no questions asked. In the event of a serious accident, it is unlikely that your PIP will cover everything, but it’s a really good start.
Property Damage Liability
PD Liability covers the damage that you may cause to other people’s property, including cars, homes, mailboxes, and anything else that might be damaged or destroyed in an accident that you caused. In the event that your car is damaged in an accident that someone else caused, your personal damage liability will not be affected, because you will submit a claim with the other driver’s insurance.
Bodily Injury Liability
Bodily Injury liability is an optional policy in Florida, but is a very good idea. This policy covers any personal injuries that may occur in an accident that you cause. If you do not have this policy, you are on the hook for compensating the victims, and this can mean complete financial ruin for many people.
As we said above, 1 in 4 Florida drivers is uninsured - more than double the national average of 13% in 2015. So what happens if one of these uninsured drivers hits you while you are on the road? UM insurance covers you in this event, so that you can get your car repaired or replaced and your medical expenses covered if you are unable to file a claim with another insurance company. In some cases, this policy will be used in the event of a hit-and-run where the offending driver can not be located.
Collision coverage reimburses you for repair or replacement costs of your vehicle after an accident. This is not mandatory, and if you choose not to use it, just make sure that you are prepared to pay the costs out of pocket. If your car isn’t worth a whole lot, it might make more financial sense to just keep emergency money in a savings account. This is only a question you can answer for yourself, but one that you should consider.
Comprehensive coverage is for anything that could go wrong that is NOT a car accident. If you are driving down the road and a phone pole falls on your hood, your comprehensive coverage will take care of it. The same goes for flooding, hail, theft, or anything else that may come your way. Comprehensive coverage is one of those policies that you don’t think of until you really wish that you had opted for it.