Car insurance is an extremely important purchase for drivers everywhere. Not only does the law require you have at least a certain amount of insurance in order to drive on public roads, but insurance is valuable financial protection in the event that you’re involved in an accident. However, do you really know what’s in your insurance policy, and whether you’re as covered as you think you are? It may surprise you to learn just how many people don’t actually know what they’re paying for and how inadequately protected they actually are.
On this blog, our Martin County car accident attorneys will go over the different types of car insurance products available to you and discuss not only what they do, but why they’re important to your overall protection.
Liability coverage is protection against any damages that might be your responsibility, be it injuries to other drivers or pedestrians as well as property damage. Under Florida law, you are required to carry at least a minimum amount of liability coverage in order to legally operate a vehicle on public roads. However, that minimum insurance isn’t much: $10,000 in personal injury protection and $10,000 more in property damage liability.
In other words, if your policy only had this minimum amount of coverage, you would only be protected for the first $10,000 in injuries that other parties suffered in an accident—anything beyond that is your responsibility. Which means you could still find yourself the subject of a lawsuit to recover anything beyond that minimum policy, and you’d be surprised just how quickly $10,000 in coverage can dry up. As car accident attorneys, we strongly recommend policies with a maximum of anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 worth of bodily injury coverage and $50,000 or more in property damage to keep you fully covered in the event of an average accident.
Collision insurance is what protects you in the event of a car accident and your vehicle suffers damage. When you collide with another vehicle and you’re deemed to be at fault for the incident, collision insurance is what will either get your car fixed, or compensate you for the remaining value of your car if the repairs would cost more than the car itself is worth (known as being declared a “total loss.”) Of course, both of these situations are also limited by the amount of coverage on your policy as well.
Comprehensive insurance is similar to collision insurance in that it’s designed to help protect you from the cost of repairing your car when it suffers damage, only instead of damage from collisions, comprehensive coverage protects you from other sources of damage such as falling tree branches or golf ball-sized hail. Much like your collision coverage, comprehensive coverage does pay for the repairs of your vehicle, or compensate you for its value if the repair costs exceed it, but you are also only covered up to the limit of your policy. Comprehensive coverage is also what protects you in the event your vehicle is stolen.
Uninsured motorist coverage is another type of protection that every driver should have, but far too many people either choose not to or simply don’t know that they don’t have it. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage are designed to provide you with protection in the event you are involved in an accident with a driver that doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have insurance that’s substantial enough to cover all of the damages you sustain. When the other person’s insurance comes up short, this protection fills in the gap and makes sure you aren’t paying anything out of your own pocket.
Let’s look at an example. Say you’re involved in an accident and sustain $20,000 in medical bills as a result. The other driver, who has minimum insurance, only covers the first $10,000 in damages before their policy runs dry. This is where uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage kicks in—your own policy would provide you with the extra money needed to pay the rest of your bills, provided you have at least $10,000 in underinsured motorist coverage.If you’ve been injured in a car accident and need assistance getting the compensation you deserve, speak with a Martin County car accident attorney by calling Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC at (866) 675-4427 today!