Tips for Choosing the Right Car Insurance
Since the COVID-19 virus outbreak, many people have realized that the unexpected happens and we must be proactive to protect ourselves and family members. In Tampa Bay, even though the ‘safer–at–home‘ orders are under effect, there are still many car accidents happening. It’s just now mainly impacting those who are most essential to our communities and others taking a break from their current indoor lifestyle.
Now is the time to make sure you’re protected for our post-Coronavirus world; lawyer Mickey Keenan explains what to look for in your car insurance to keep you safe and protected should an accident happen. You think you have “full coverage” – you don’t.
Don’t Just Think, Plan Ahead
We understand no one wants to think about being involved in an accident, so it is tempting not to plan ahead. But an accident can happen at any time, you may not be at-fault. You may be rear-ended or involved in a head on collision (which sadly Hillsborough County is known for).
The best way you can protect yourself and your family is to plan ahead and make sure that you are fully covered by your car insurance. The state of Florida has some of the lowest minimum coverage requirements in the Country. To make sure you and your family are adequately protected, you need to go above the minimum.
Right now, some insurance companies are refunding or providing reductions to their premiums –which means it’s a great time to re-evaluate your policy and add key insurance that may be missing (ex. uninsured motorist coverage).
Florida Minimum Coverage Requirements
Florida is a no-fault car insurance state. This does not mean that it does not matter who is at-fault. It does mean if you are injured in an accident, your own insurance will cover 80% of your medical bills up to $10,000. This coverage is called personal injury protection (PIP), and Florida requires all drivers to have a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage.
Additionally, the state of Florida requires that you have $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL). PDL pays for any damage to the other driver’s vehicle if you were at fault. PDL does not cover property damage to your own vehicle.
PIP and $10,000 in PDL is all that’s required under Florida law if you own a vehicle. Many people in Florida only have this minimum coverage, and some drivers (current estimates 1 in 7) have no coverage at all.
Without sufficient insurance coverage, you run the risk every time you’re on the road. While the minimum required car insurance may cover you if you cause a minor fender bender, if there are injuries the minimum policy will not be enough to make you whole again.
What Car Insurance Coverage Should I Have?
While it may be tempting to take your chances and save a few bucks by only carrying the minimum amount of car insurance, this can hurt you down the road. That’s why you should seriously consider purchasing more than the minimum.
Personal Injury Protection
If you think about the skyrocketing costs of medical bills these days, it is hard to believe that $10,000 will be sufficient to cover medical bills and lost wages for even a minor injury. You could spend $10,000 on one emergency room visit. If you are seriously injured, and the other driver was at fault, it can take some time to get money from the other driver.
If the at-fault driver carried only the minimum, you will not get money from the other driver’s insurance. PIP will pay only 80% up to the $10,000. Ask your insurance agent about extended PIP coverage or Med Pay to cover the missing 20% and go beyond the $10,000; especially if you do not have health insurance.
If you are involved in an accident, Collision insurance will pay to repair or replace your vehicle – minus your deductible.
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident and have trouble navigating the car insurance system in Florida, Mickey Keenan Law can help. Call today to schedule your free consultation.
Bodily Injury Liability Insurance
If you are at fault in an accident that causes serious injury, you want to make sure that you protect your assets. Having bodily injury liability insurance protects your assets should you cause an accident. Keep in mind that in the case of a serious injury, the medical bills can stack up so you may want to purchase as much liability insurance as you can afford.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM)
If you are seriously injured in a car accident and the person that hits you carries only the minimum coverage required by Florida or has no insurance at all, or your case is worth more than the other person’s insurance coverage, you will need UM coverage to pay your expenses. That’s right, the minimum insurance required by Florida does not provide Bodily Injury Coverage.
All too often, drivers skip this key coverage and end up with no way to be compensated for their injuries. Make sure you carry UM coverage that equals your Bodily Injury Coverage limits. Consider getting stacked UM coverage which will provide you with more insurance.
If you total your car, GAP insurance covers the difference between the value of your car and what remains on your loan. If your car is worth less than the amount you owe on your car loan, you may consider getting GAP insurance.
Medical Payment Coverage
PIP only covers 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages so you may want to consider purchasing a minimum of $5,000 in medical payment coverage to make up the difference.
Additional Insurance Options
Some people may also want to consider extra car insurance to help you get additional protections like rental car coverage and roadside assistance as part of your plan. Having access to a rental car if your vehicle needs to be repaired or replaced is pretty essential for many drivers, and this type of coverage doesn’t usually cost very much.
If you find yourself in an accident, call Mickey Keenan.
Few things can upend your life like a serious injury or accident, and that is why at Mickey Keenan, PA it’s our lives’ work to help you pick up the pieces so you can move on with your life.
You deserve a personal injury law firm with not only the knowledge and experience to maximize the outcome of your case, but also a law firm that cares about you. If you’ve been injured in a car or motorcycle accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. We can help you navigate the Florida car insurance system.