Whose Florida Auto Insurance Will Pay for My Damages?
Even though Florida is a no-fault state, the person who is responsible for an automobile accident is still responsible for covering the property damages, while medical expenses are covered by each driver's own policy. To help ensure that drivers are prepared for such a situation, Florida law requires that all vehicle owners in the Sunshine State maintain car insurance that includes property damage liability (PD) coverage and personal injury protection (PIP) before legally operating a motor vehicle.
Coverage for Property Damages
When FL motorists do damage to another person’s property in an accident, their PD insurance will cover the necessary costs up to their policy limits. The minimum threshold that a person can buy is $10,000, but this amount may not be high enough to cover extensive damages, and they can buy more. If total damages exceed the policy limits, the policyholder would still be financially responsible for any remaining expenses, and this could potentially lead to significant economic loss.
Coverage for Medical Expenses
In an accident that results in personal injury, many of the medical expenses resulting from crash-related injuries will be covered by each motorist's own PIP, which is the other coverage type that all motorists who buy auto insurance in Florida must purchase. PIP also covers members of the policyholder’s household, the insured driver when he or she is a passenger in another car, and certain licensed drivers who operated the insured automobile. The minimum limit that a motorist needs to purchase is $10,000.
Higher Insurance Requirements Following Accidents, DUIs
If FL motorists are found legally liable for a collision that results in physical injuries and property damages, they must also add at least $30,000 worth of bodily injury liability (BI) coverage to their policy. This protection works the same way as PDL but applies to medical expenses, and it kicks in only after the injured party's PIP limits have been exhausted. For example, if a resident is at fault for a collision and the other driver sustains $25,000 in injuries, the other person’s PIP would cover $10,000 of these costs, and the remaining $15,000 would be covered by the policyholder’s BI if a claim is filed against it.
Drivers who have been convicted of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol are required to get BI minimums with a total of $300,000 in coverage per accident, in addition to bumping up their minimum PD threshold to $50,000.
Although many of these coverages are only required under certain circumstances, the Florida Chief Financial Officer encourages residents to consider adding BI to their policy anyway, and to consider increasing their other limits.