10 Jul Understanding Your Auto Policy
Many people automatically assume they have “full coverage”, only to get into an accident and find out they do not. Do not wait until you get injured in an accident to find out that you do not have adequate coverage. Call your insurance professional today, ask all the right questions and make sure you are protected. Below is a very brief description of car insurance coverages available to you. This is not all you need to know but it is a good foundation to start a conversation with your insurance agent.
Car insurance coverage can make all the difference in Florida
The most important piece of advice that I can tell all my clients is to KNOW YOUR POLICY!
Bodily Injury Coverage (BI)
This is the amount of money that pays another party for their injuries if you are at fault for hurting them. This coverage is very, very, important and actually IS NOT required by Florida Law! That’s right, Florida law does not require this coverage but it is very important. If you are involved in a car accident and you are found to be at fault, you may be held responsible for the other parties’ injuries. This coverage is normally sold in stages of limits. Typically the limits are $10,000, $25,000, $50,000, $100,000, $250,000, $500,000, $1M and up. This is the maximum amount of money that your car insurance will pay the other party who is injured in the accident. If you do not have this coverage, or if you do not have enough, you could get sued personally for these injuries. This is a very scary thought! An injured party could even garnish your wages from work if they win a case against you. Don’t take this chance, buy this coverage and buy enough, so that if you hurt another person, your insurance pays them.
This coverage IS REQUIRED by Florida Law. It is also typically sold in stages of limits; they are typically $10,000, $20,000, $25,000, $50,000, $100,000, $250,000 $500,000 $1M and up. These limits are the maximum amount of money your insurance will pay another party for damages to or to replace their car. It is very important to choose these limits wisely, if you do not have enough coverage there is a very good chance that you will get sued. This is because it is not up to the other party that owns the car, but it is up to their insurance company. Let’s face it, if an insurance company has a chance to sue you to recover money they paid out, they are going to do it!
Collision / Comprehensive / Rental
This coverage is very, very important. It is the amount of money that your car insurance will pay you to repair or replace your car. Imagine being without your car for 3 days, 5 days, a week, a month! Most of us multitaskers don’t even want to think about this. The inconvenience alone when in an accident is traumatic and stressful. This coverage will ensure your car is repaired correctly. It will also ensure you have a rental car at your convenience during the repair time. If your car is totaled as a result of the accident, it will ensure that you are able to replace it with a comparable car. DO NOT rely on the other party’s insurance company to cover these problems. Often time the other company can take weeks even months to pay out these monies or they may try to not pay at all. Or it could be that the other person does not have car insurance at all. Do NOT take the risk; protect yourself, your job and your family, buy this coverage and buy enough! Do not ignore this coverage just because it is not required by Florida law.
Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM)
This is unquestionably the most important and underused coverage! This coverage can make all the difference in the world to you and your family. This coverage is very similar to bodily injury coverage but instead of paying the other person for their injuries, it allows your insurance to pay you for your injuries. Even though this coverage is categorically essential, it is NOT REQUIRED by Florida law! If you are hit and injured by someone else DO NOT rely on them or their insurance to pay you for your injuries. Buy this very important insurance coverage to have.