Personal Injury Video Law Tip
This video law tip from Injury Attorney Bill Abel discusses the role of car insurance in Florida as it relates to protecting you in a lawsuit, or in getting money from an insurance company if you need to sue them for damages or injuries you’ve sustained in an accident.
“Automobile insurance protects your assets and your property. There are different types of automobile insurance. Such as, bodily injury protects you if you’ve injured somebody else, so it protects your assets. Uninsured motorist, or UM coverage, protects you when somebody else has hit you and they don’t have assets. So it’s important to have automobile insurance.” – Bill Abel
Additional Information about if you need auto or car insurance in Florida?
Automobile insurance does a few things, it protects you if you cause an accident and it can compensate you if someone causes an accident and injures you.
How does automobile insurance protect you?
The insurance company owes you two things when you purchase auto insurance:
- the duty to indemnify you, and
- the duty to defend you
First, the insurance company will pay someone you injure up to your policy limits. For example, if your insurance policy provides for bodily injury benefits of $50,000 per person, then the insurance company is obligated to pay up to $50,000 to settle the case. If you have assets, you will want to have high enough policy limits to protect those assets because an injured party can seek money directly from you in excess of your policy limits.
Second, when you have an insurance policy that provides bodily injury coverage, the insurance company has a duty to provide a defense for you should you cause an accident. It can be very costly to hire an attorney. As a result, this is an invaluable benefit that your insurance policy provides, but only if you have bodily injury coverage.
How does automobile insurance compensate you if you are injured in an accident?
Your policy will provide PIP benefits, (also known as Personal Injury Protection or No Fault Benefits) and your policy MAY provide UM coverage (also known as Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Coverage).
PIP Insurance is required under Florida Law and will pay up to $10,000 in medical benefits regardless of who caused the accident. There are some limitations on the use of these benefits, including that they have to be used on emergency medical treatment within 14 days of the accident. While PIP benefits are important, there is no more important type of automobile insurance than UM coverage. This coverage protects you if you are injured by a driver who does not carry automobile insurance or has insurance but with low policy limits.
The trick with this insurance coverage is that the policy limits cannot exceed the amount of you bodily injury coverage and it may be waived altogether. As a result, I recommend that you carry high bodily injury limits so that you can have high UM limits. The higher the better. Nothing would be worse than to be injured in an accident and not be compensated because you did not insure yourself with UM coverage. Think of it this way, with bodily injury coverage you are buying insurance if you hurt someone while with UM coverage you are buying insurance if someone hurts you. Doesn’t it make sense to protect yourself from all of the dangerous drivers on our roads?
Personal injury law video number 100007: Why is auto insurance important in a Florida accident case or lawsuit?