Auto Insurance Explained
Driver and Vehicle Owner Responsibility
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
- That the Defendant was negligent in causing the accident,
- The injuries meet the applicable threshold by medical testimony,
- The injuries suffered by the Plaintiff were caused by the accident,
- The full extent of compensable damages that have been suffered
Medical Payments Coverage
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
Motor Vehicle Insurance Policies provide coverage for the person or persons who are specifically named in the policy, known as the Named Insured’s. Many Motor Vehicle Insurance Policies will provide the Named Insured’s with coverage no matter what vehicle he or she is driving. Depending on the terms of the policy, there also may be coverage for family members or persons who drive those vehicles identified in the policy who have permission to operate the vehicle.
A Motor Vehicle Insurance Policy will usually cover the Listed Vehicles, which are those vehicles specifically identified in the policy. In addition, coverage under a Motor Vehicle Insurance Policy may also cover for a limited time period, vehicles the named insured has purchased but has not yet put on the policy.
When a Motor Vehicle Insurance Policy has Bodily Injury Coverage, the Policy Limit is the amount of insurance coverage available under the policy for the specific type of coverage. For Bodily Injury Coverage, the Policy Limits are usually phrased in terms of the maximum amount the insurance company will pay to a single person and the maximum amount it will pay for any one accident. A policy with Bodily Injury Policy Limits of $50,000/$100,000, for example, means that the insurance company could pay any person injured in an accident for which their insured is found negligent and responsible, up to $50,000 in compensation. However, the insurance company will not pay more than $100,000 for any single accident, regardless of the number of people injured in that accident. A policy may also have Single Limit Bodily Injury Coverage, for example, Policy Limits of $10,000. This would provide a maximum amount of coverage available for the insurance company to pay to any one person, however if multiple parties are injured, the total amount of coverage available to be shared by all injured parties is $10,000.
Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage
In Florida and many States, when the injuries a person or family sustains requires compensation which is greater than the available Bodily Injury Policy Limits of the Defendants insurance coverage, the Injured Party may look to their own Motor Vehicle Insurance Policy if they have purchased coverage known as Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist (UM) Coverage, or they may seek additional damages directly from the person or persons responsible for causing the injury from their personal assets. Under some policies it is possible to multiply the policy limits of UM Coverage by the number of vehicles listed in the policy, which is known as Stacking. As the name of this type of coverage suggests, UM coverage provides the insured with additional coverage in the event that they are injured by an uninsured driver, or a driver with insufficient bodily injury coverage in relation to the claimants injuries and damages.
The importance of having UM coverage under your Automobile Insurance policy in Florida cannot be overstated. For persons injured in a motor vehicle accident in the United States, there is approximately a one in seven chance that the driver at fault is uninsured. According to recent studies by the Insurance Information Institute, Florida ranks second in the nation for uninsured motorists. In Florida, there is approximately a one in five chance that the driver at-fault is uninsured. Unfortunately, there is presently no requirement in Florida that drivers carry Bodily Injury Liability coverage under their automobile insurance policies.