Types of Auto Insurance Coverages

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There are several different types of insurance coverages within a single automobile insurance policy. It is essential that you understand the coverages you have selected in your particular insurance policy before you actually need it. Many people do not understand their insurance policy coverages until after they have been in an  automobile accident.  Unfortunately, it is only after they have been in an automobile accident that many people realize and fully understand that they may lack important insurance coverages.

The following outline of coverages is for information purposes only. These descriptions are subject to the terms and conditions of your particular insurance policy.

Bodily injury liability (BI)  Bodily injury coverage will pay when you are legally liable for injury or death caused by your vehicle. The State of Florida does not require bodily injury coverage, therefore, many Florida drivers do not carry this important coverage.  If you are unfortunate enough to be hurt or killed by a vehicle lacking bodily injury coverage then there will be no such coverage to benefit you.  This is why it is extremely important that you obtain uninsured/underinsured (UM) UM coverage is explained below.

Property Damage Liability (PD) Property damage liability will pay when you are legally liable for damage to the property of others caused by your vehicle. Property damage liability will pay for damage up to the limits of coverage selected, plus the cost of any legal expenses. A minimum limit of $10,000 must be selected. Higher limits are available.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) PIP coverage will provide coverage for medical treatment, lost wages from injury, and death benefits for the named insured (including a resident spouse), relatives, passengers and pedestrians who do not have their own personal injury protection and are injured in a motor vehicle accident regardless of fault.
Regardless of who was at fault for the accident, the law generally provides that PIP must pay before other insurance coverages. Generally,  most people carry $10,000 in PIP coverage. However, various deductibles and exclusions are available with PIP coverage. For example, if at the time you purchased PIP coverage you selected a $1000 deductible, then if you are in an accident you will be responsible for the first $1000 of your medical bills. Additional PIP coverage (APIP) is usually available if you  choose to purchase it.

On January 1, 2013, Florida’s PIP law underwent substantial changes which negatively impact those who have been injured in automobile accidents. For example, chiropractic treatment under PIP is now limited to $2500. Another new change to the PIP law states that an individual must seek initial medical services and care within 14 days after an accident in order to qualify for any PIP benefits. For this reason, it is extremely important not to wait to seek medical care after you have been injured in an automobile accident.

Additionally, the revised Florida PIP law provides that PIP will cover up to $10,000 in benefits only if the determination is made that the patient had an “emergency medical condition.” Otherwise, benefits may be limited to $2500. Only a medical doctor or another qualified specialist can make the determination that the patient had an “emergency medical condition.”

Medical Payments (Med Pay)  Med Pay is an optional type of coverage that pays medical, dental, hospital, funeral and related expenses for you and household relatives resulting from a motor vehicle accident. Med pay for coverage protects anyone riding in your vehicle. It also covers you and household relatives and other vehicles or if you are struck as pedestrians. Med Pay will only pay after PIP benefits have been exhausted or when PIP benefits do not apply. Med pay does not apply to lost wages.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) UM coverage is optional coverage that can be extremely valuable. UM coverage will pay you and passengers in the insured motor vehicle any monetary damages that you are legally entitled to recover as a result of bodily injury or death that was caused by an uninsured, underinsured or hit-and-run motorist. Because many Florida motorists do not carry any or inadequate bodily injury liability coverage, it is important that you carry UM coverage to protect you in the event you are injured or killed by one of those motorists.

Comprehensive Damage (Comp) Comprehensive coverage will pay for loss or damage to your vehicle caused by fire, theft, vandalism, hail, wind storm, riot, falling objects, flood, etc.

Collision Damage (Coll) Collision coverage will pay for loss or damage to your vehicle caused by collision with another object or when your vehicle flips.

Towing and Labor Costs (T/L) Towing and labor costs coverage will pay up to the designated limit per claim for towing your vehicle and any labor cost at the place of disablement. Totally and labor costs coverage will not pay for parts or subsequent repair costs.

Rental Reimbursement (RR)  Rental reimbursement coverage will pay towards expenses to rent a vehicle if you have a loss that is covered under your comprehensive or collision coverage, and your vehicle is disabled longer than 24 hours.