The best time to understand your automobile insurance is before you need it. Anyone registering a car in Florida is required to carry insurance, so taking a hard look at what you must have, and what you should consider, is a good idea.
In order to legally maintain your Florida registration and plates, you must have the following insurance:
Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Florida is a no fault state and this coverage pays for injuries suffered in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Your PIP covers family members and certain others if involved in an accident. It also covers you if you are involved in an accident riding in a car driven by someone else, or if you are involved in a bicycle or pedestrian accident. As we recently discussed, changes to Florida law enacted on January 1 of this year require you to seek medical care under your PIP coverage within 14 days of your accident, or risk loss of insurance coverage for your injury. Florida requires a minimum $10,000 PIP insurance, but you may wish to carry additional coverage.
Property Damage Liability (PDL). A minimum of $10,000 property damage liability insurance is required during the time you own or register a car in Florida. Unlike PIP that pays for personal injury, PDL pays only for damage to the property of others in an accident.
Two types of insurance not usually required under Florida law are bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance and uninsured motorist insurance (UM). BIL provides additional coverage in the event you cause serious bodily injury to another in an accident, and UM protects you if you are damaged by motorists with no insurance or insufficient insurance to cover injury to you or your family members.
While minimum insurance amounts allow you to drive legally on Florida roads, the actual insurance required will not be sufficient to protect you and loved ones in the case of a serious or catastrophic injury. Know your coverage, and obtain skilled legal help if involved in an accident.