Far too many times, I have had to tell a client that unfortunately there was no insurance coverage available for us to pursue for their damages. And mostly clients were simply unaware that they could have purchased specific kinds of coverage on their car insurance policy to protect themselves. According to one source, the national average of uninsured drivers is 12%, but in Florida that statistic has gone as high as 26.7%! The following are just a few of the types of insurance that you need to consider when purchasing your Auto Insurance:
BODILY INJURY (BI)
Bodily Injury covers the injuries sustained by the other injured party (the victim or the person not at fault in the accident). It is important to provide an adequate amount of this type, especially if you have significant personal assets to protect. In the event that you cause severe injuries to the other party, you want your insurance limits to be high enough to cover their damages and avoid being personally sued for additional amounts.
PROPERTY DAMAGE (PD)
Property Damage covers the damages sustained by the other (not at fault) party involved in the accident. Again, it is important to have an adequate amount of this type of coverage in order to avoid being personally sued. For most vehicles, the $10,000 or $25,000 limits would be enough to cover standard repairs, but what if you cause damages to a luxury vehicle or multiple vehicles with several damage claims? If you are a person with assets, it would be important to carry an ample amount of coverage so that you are not required to come out-of-pocket for the damages you caused that are not covered by your insurance.
PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION (PIP)
Personal Injury Protection or PIP typically covers 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost wages up to the coverage limits of $10,000.00. However, there are a wide range of additional selections you can make when it comes to PIP. For example, you may select to have a deductible or to exclude wage loss benefits altogether. You may also purchase additional medical payments that will cover your medical expenses beyond the standard coverage amounts.
UNINSURED MOTORIST (UM)
Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist covers you and your household members or vehicle passengers in the event that you are hit by a driver that does not have Bodily Injury (see above) or does not carry enough of this coverage to adequately compensate you for your injuries. As I stated before, unfortunately there are many drivers who are driving around without bodily injury coverage. When you are involved in an accident with one of these drivers, your only recourse is to personally sue this driver in Small Claims Court and this can be very costly, frustrating, and time consuming. In addition, there is no guarantee you would be able to recover from that driver, even if you are awarded a judgment against them.
At the Law Office of Jerry Jenkins, we want to educate our clients and their friends and families on what they need to keep their loved ones covered. We are so committed to this, that we offer a free consultation and review of your Auto Insurance policy to walk you through any questions or concerns you might have. Please give us call today, we would love to hear from you.
By: Janelle Squire, Associate Attorney