Insurance coverage. Most drivers in South Florida don’t carry it, or at least, don’t carry nearly enough to cover them in the event of a serious accident. Drivers often feel invincible, as if they don’t need to carry coverage because nothing will ever happen to them.
This is a patently false and dangerous belief to hold when we all share the road and must do our best to keep ourselves and others safe. While we can hope for the best and make every effort to be safe drivers in busy cities and suburban towns alike, the smallest fender bender can set an uninsured motorist out thousands of dollars; and worse, in the event of a death, financial ruin can occur.
It’s important to understand every type of insurance coverage and why each one is equally important. Selecting an insurance policy must be an informed decision made with all the facts at hand. This article will seek to provide our readers with everything they must know when selecting the car insurance coverage that’s right for their lifestyle.
#1: Bodily Injury Liability
This insurance policy provides exactly what it sounds like: It’s insurance coverage that protects the driver in the event they sustain a bodily injury in a motor vehicle accident, or accidentally injure someone else while behind the wheel (negligence would come into play in this instance, depending on the case).
However, dependent upon the selected policy, family members of the driver are often listed and covered as well. This is important if close family members are given permission to drive a shared vehicle. This type of insurance policy is extremely important for parents of new, teen drivers. Parents who allow their teens to drive their vehicle put themselves at-risk should they choose not to have this coverage.
#2: Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
In certain states such as Florida, there are specific laws requiring drivers to obtain Personal Injury Protection, or “PIP” insurance coverage. We explained exactly what “PIP” entails at length in Personal Injury Protection: Florida Drivers Without “PIP” May Be At-Risk:
“PIP coverage allows anyone covered by such a policy to file their own PIP claim with their insurance carrier (as opposed to the other party’s insurance carrier). Then, each driver involved the accident’s own insurer will pay their insured’s damages up to what’s allowable in the state they reside. When bodily injury expenses are in excess of that amount, the injured party can then proceed to file a lawsuit directly against the other driver said to have caused the accident.”
#3: Property Damage Liability
This coverage “foots the bill” in the event that a motorist damages another person’s property (their vehicle, lawn, mailbox, ) while behind the wheel. In addition to that, it can protect the driver from paying out of pocket for damaging other non-vehicular property as such: phone lines, fences, and windows.
#4: Collision Coverage
In the event that a driver’s car is totaled in an accident, this coverage is designed to provide protection financially from the burden of having to replace the vehicle out of pocket. This coverage can also provide necessary protections should the vehicle flip–Jeeps drivers have been common victims of these types of tragic accidents. Collision Coverage policies can also protect against road damage such as potholes and other unforeseen road construction that could cause damage to a vehicle, due to no fault of the driver.
#5: Comprehensive Coverage
Probably the most important type of coverage to have. This policy reimburses drivers for theft (of the vehicle and/or items in the vehicle), vandalism, car fires, and any other damage to the vehicle. This type of insurance also protects drivers from paying out of pocket for damage caused by anything other than a collision with another vehicle, such as: floods, hail damage, falling objects, and objects that come into contact with the car and cause damage (such as a golf ball).
There are certain states that currently do not require drivers to carry this type of policy, however, if the vehicle is leased or the driver is making loan payments, the lender or the car dealership may require it in the contract. It’s important to refer to the specific policy for details pertaining to a specific vehicle or claim.
#6: Uninsured Motorist Coverage
This coverage is again, extremely important because it covers the driver in the event of another driver’s negligence. Should a driver who caused the accident or hit-and-run have chosen not to carry adequate insurance coverage, or are completely uninsured, this coverage will protect a driver from having to pay for that careless decision. In busy cities like Miami, accidents happen, and drivers shouldn’t have to pay the price for another, less responsible driver who chose to act in a negligent manner and put others at-risk with their decision to text, talk on the phone, or eat while driving. This is the type of insurance drivers should always carry but hope they never have a reason to use.
#7: Underinsured Motorist Coverage
When an at-fault driver doesn’t have the coverage necessary to pay for totaling another driver’s car, this is the coverage a driver will absolutely want to have. As a bonus, this coverage provides protections in the event a person is hit by a negligent driver or sustains any bodily injuries as a result of another driver who chose to act recklessly.
Now that we’ve discussed each type of insurance policy and it’s importance, Sagi Shaked of the Shaked Law Firm provides a video explanation of everything we’ve covered here: