What Does “Full Coverage” Car Insurance Mean?

Most insured drivers assume they are fully covered if they find themselves involved in a car crash. Especially in Florida—Florida is a no-fault state and makes every driver carry PIP insurance (Personal Injury Protection). But are you or the other driver really covered fully by your insurance policy?  

 

The attorneys at Mickey Keenan, P.A. want to make sure that you, as an insured Florida driver, understand what “full coverage” really means and how it may affect you in an accident. 

 

Full Coverage in Florida: Myth or Reality? 

 

Unfortunately, despite the name “full coverage,” full coverage auto insurance does not mean full coverage. Even with the best auto insurance, most car accident victims must battle with their insurance company just to receive a fair share. 

 

On top of full coverage car insurance not actually representing full coverage, Florida law makes this concept even more confusing. Florida is a “no-fault” state, meaning that no matter who is at fault, each driver uses their own insurance to cover the damages up to $10,000. Most insured drivers mistakenly take the idea of PIP coverage to assume that no matter how the accident occurs, they will be covered.  

 

This is not true and full coverage auto insurance in Florida is a myth; a dangerous myth that can leave you in a dire financial situation if you find yourself in an accident, whether it was your fault or not. 

 

 

What is “Full Coverage” in Florida? 

 

Full coverage is simply the legal bare minimum coverage in Florida. As an insured driver in Florida, without any additional add-ons, Florida law, as outlined in Florida Statute 627.737, states that Florida law only covers: 

 

 

  • Up to $10,000 in damages—regardless of fault. This PIP (personal injury protection) coverage only covers injuries to the insured policyholder up to $10,000 in damages. Specifically, only 80% of one’s medical bills and 60% of one’s lost wages. Additionally, damages will only be covered if claimed within 14 days of the accident. 

 

  • Up to $10,000 in PDL (property damage liability) for any damages caused to another driver’s vehicle. Put this into perspective- a new car would cost on average 4-5 times that amount, which would come out of your own pocket. 

 

 

However, Florida does not require policyholders to carry bodily injury liability insurance. This insurance covers damages to the injuries of the other party). If you chose not to add on this additional coverage, you are promising to cover $20,000 out of pocket for their bodily injuries. A trip to the Emergency Room can cost around $10,000 alone. 

 

 

Why You Should Consider Uninsured Motorist Coverage  

 

Florida car insurance companies are required to offer—but the policyholder is not required to purchase—additional types of supplemental insurance add-ons. These add-ons help to boost your insurance coverage but still do not make your policy full coverage, but they are better than nothing. 

 

One such supplemental add-on is uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM or UIM). This coverage will extend damages beyond the maximum $10,000 PIP coverage. Why is this so important, especially in a state that requires all insured drivers to carry PIP coverage? Because Florida has the highest percentage of uninsured drivers in the United States. On top of that, one in four accidents is a hit and run. 

 

UM or UIM coverage kicks in when the at-fault driver has insurance, but not enough coverage (more than $10,000) to fully compensate the accident victim for their damages. 

 

Florida law does require insurance companies to offer this supplemental insurance, but policyholders can choose to reject it—all they must do is sign a waiver saying they reject it. Many policyholders do reject this coverage, as they do not fully understand that they do not have “full coverage” auto insurance to begin with. 

 

 

The Importance of a Personal Injury Attorney on Your Side 

 

Experienced and knowledgeable accident injury lawyers in Florida understand why it is so important to help drivers who have been hit by uninsured or underinsured drivers. 

 

The personal injury attorneys at Mickey Keenan, P.A. are there by your side after an accident offering invaluable information about your policy and identifying what parties are liable and how to move forward with your claim.  

 

They are also there to help you negotiate. Sadly, insurance companies are not on our side and do not want to give the maximum number of damages you are entitled to without a fight. You should never represent yourself alone.  

 

If you have been injured in an auto accident, you need to contact Mickey Keenan, P.A. right away for a free consultation. Call us today at (813) 871-1300, our attorneys are ready to fight for you. 

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