Automobile Insurance – The Basics
To simplify automobile insurance I learned that one of the easiest ways to understand the basic coverage was to break it down to: Coverage for yourself, Coverage for others and Coverage for your vehicle. The basic coverage that you will have to decide on when purchasing automobile insurance are:
- Personal Injury Protection
- Medical Payments
- Uninsured Motorist / Underinsured Motorist
- Bodily Injury
- Property Damage
Below is a little explanation of some of the basic coverage you may come across when purchasing or reviewing your auto insurance.
Personal Injury Protection
PIP is required in the State of Florida for all vehicle owners and drivers at a minimum limit of $10,000. The coverage covers your medical expenses, loss wages, and a death benefit regardless of who is at fault in the event of an accident up to the coverage limit selected. Many insurance companies offer additional options that allow you to tailor this coverage to your needs/wants. For example, if you are retired and no longer need wage loss coverage then many companies will allow you to remove the benefit.
Generally, Medical Payments covers the medical expenses for you in the event of an accident regardless of fault. It also covers medical expenses if you are hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian/bicyclist.
Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist
In the event of an accident where the other party is found to be at fault, but is uninsured or is underinsured, then UM may cover your medical expenses and loss wages up to the limit you selected.
The medical expenses to others in an accident that you are at fault and liable for can be covered through BI up to the limit you selected. This may also be called liability coverage.
PD is also required in the State of Florida with a minimum limit of $10,000. The repairs to a vehicle(s) or property that belongs to others in an accident that you are at fault and liable for can be covered through PD up to the limit you selected. This may also be referred to as liability coverage.
The cost to repair or replace your vehicle due to events such as fire, theft, vandalism can be covered through Comprehensive Coverage. The repairs of your windshield may also be covered through Comprehensive Coverage. It is helpful to research the age and value of your vehicle when deciding if this coverage is right for you.
The cost to repair or replace your vehicle due to a collision with another vehicle or object may be covered through Collision Coverage. May be also be called Other Than Collision Coverage. It is helpful to research the age and value of your vehicle when deciding if this coverage is right for you.
It is important to know that each company offers different limits and other optional coverage that may be beneficial to you such as gap insurance or towing & roadside assistance. It is also important to understand what is covered and what is not under each coverage as each company may differ.
Having the right type of insurance is very important, especially in FL. If you have any questions on your existing insurance or if you want to see if there is a better solution for your situation, contact me here.