What Car Insurance Do I need?
Even the most careful driver can be involved in a motor vehicle accident and understanding how to navigate Florida’s complex insurance claims can help you better protect your legal and financial interests. In 2017, about 400,000 car accidents occurred throughout the state with approximately 166,000 resulting in injury. At the Shiner Law Group, our award-winning car accident attorneys help you prepare for these taxing situations, so you can obtain the substantial, favorable results you deserve.
If you or your loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact our experienced law firm by phone or visit us online to review your legal rights and responsibilities in a free consultation. We understand involvement in a collision can be a stressful experience, so we customize our services on a contingency fee basis: you pay nothing unless we get you a recovery.
Understanding Florida’s Insurance Laws
In most cases, Florida drivers are legally required to maintain a minimum personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy of $10,000 to protect them in the event of an accident. Florida is a no-fault state, which means that car accident victims must seek financial compensation through their respective insurance carrier regardless of who was at fault; however, as some accidents can result in severe, life-threatening injuries, this minimum policy limit can be quickly exhausted. Hiring an attorney can help you recover economic losses by filing a personal injury claim against the negligible party.
Drivers may also purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance coverage, which protects them in the event the at-fault driver does not have a bodily injury liability insurance policy to compensate you for your injuries. This type of coverage is considered “first party” and will help you recover economic and non-economic losses associated with medical treatment and rehabilitation, as well as pain and suffering.
Additional Coverage Options
Bodily Injury Insurance (BI): Bodily injury insurance is a type of auto insurance that covers victims in the event another party’s negligence contributed to physical injury and property damage. In many accident cases, the injuries sustained often go beyond bodily harm, and bodily injury insurance also permits victims to recover compensation for emotional distress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which may cause the victims to experience disturbing dreams and flashbacks. Other signs of emotional trauma may include mood changes and a reduced ability to perform daily functions.
While a car accident victim may not have bodily injury insurance coverage, an experienced car accident attorney can help you recover compensation under certain conditions.
Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP) Insurance: GAP insurance is an optional auto policy provided to Florida drivers that helps cover the difference between the amount owed on the vehicle and the car’s cash value at the time of the collision—not the original value. For example, if you owe $10,000 on your vehicle and the car’s value is $5,000, if the vehicle is in need of replacing, GAP insurance will help you cover the $5,000 difference after your deductible.
It is important to note, however, that while GAP insurance can provide additional coverage (and even cover theft and negative equity), it does not cover other property damage or physical injury caused by the accident. Additionally, deductible costs, engine failure, and wrongful death are not covered under GAP policies.