What Are My Policy Limits?

After an auto accident, you may be asked, “What are your policy limits?” To answer this question—you will need to know the different types of policies, and who is covered under each policy type.

First, in the State of Florida, the minimum amount of coverage a driver must have to maintain a valid Florida Driver’s license is $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL).

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance covers you – regardless of fault (i.e. whether or not you cause the crash) – up to the limits of your policy. People riding in your vehicle who carry PIP will receive coverage under their own PIP for their injuries, along with certain licensed drivers who drive your vehicle with your permission. PIP coverage protects you while in someone else’s vehicle, as a pedestrian, or bicyclist if you suffer an injury in a crash involving a motor vehicle. The Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law, requires all owner/registrants of a motor vehicle with four wheels or more to carry a minimum of $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) if you own a motor vehicle in Florida. Florida law requires you to maintain PIP insurance continuously throughout the licensing and registration period.

Property Damage Liability (PDL) Insurance

Property Damage Liability (PDL) Insurance coverage pays for damages you or members of your family cause (and are liable for) to other people’s property in a crash involving a motor vehicle. The Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law, requires all owner/registrants of a motor vehicle with four wheels or more to carry a minimum of $10,000 of Property Damage Liability (PDL) if you own a motor vehicle in Florida.

Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) Insurance

Although you are not required to carry BIL insurance, we recommend you carry as much as you can afford. Remember, the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance may cover only $10,000.00 of that person’s injuries; and, as we all know, catastrophic injuries well exceeding $10,000.00 may occur as a result of an automobile collision. So, if you have greater BIL coverage, you will further shield yourself from personal financial liability in the unfortunate event that you, or an individual driving your vehicle with your permission, catastrophically injures another. Bodily Injury Liability coverage pays for serious and permanent injury or death to others when you cause a crash involving your automobile. Your insurance company will pay for injuries up to the limits of your policy and provide legal representation for you if you get sued. In particular, your company pays for injuries caused by you or members of your family who live with you, even if they were driving someone else’s vehicle. It may also cover others who drive your automobile with your permission. Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) Insurance is not required in Florida.

Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage

Although you are not required to carry UM insurance, we recommend you purchase as much as you can afford. Remember, Florida law does not require an at-fault driver to carry bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage-so without UM insurance, the coverage available to you is limited to your own PIP policy, and/or your health insurance coverage, if any. Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage protects you when the other driver either doesn’t have enough auto insurance or none at all. UM Coverage is important coverage to have, particularly in Florida. Because Florida law only requires drivers to carry $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL), there may not be ample coverage for you or a loved one if an accident occurs, resulting in serious injury, a need for operation(s) or extensive hospitalization, or even death.

Be sure to read and understand your insurance policy limits. If you have any questions about this article, please contact an attorney at SESSUMS LAW GROUP, P.A. any time.

Mark A. Sessums, Esq., is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law and handles accident and injury cases throughout Florida with the firm, SESSUMS LAW GROUP, P.A. The firm has office locations in Lakeland, Florida and Sebring, Florida.

Sources:
http://www.flhsmv.gov/
Section 627.727, Florida Statutes

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