As a Florida motorist, you’re probably concerned about accident risks and how such an incident could affect you physically and financially. Even car accidents that appear minor at first could result in long-term or lingering injuries that cost further medical care and lost wages.
After an accident, it is important to understand the differences between personal injury protection benefits (PIP) and bodily injury liability coverage and how each might affect your ability to recover your damages. At Eltringham Law Group, we provide personal injury legal assistance and can help you learn more about PIP vs. bodily injury coverage in Florida. Contact our Fort Lauderdale auto accident attorneys today.
What Is Personal Injury Protection?
In some states, when car accidents happen, the local courts must decide which driver caused the accident and to which degree each is responsible. In these fault states, the question of liability can cause personal injury cases to continue for months before injured victims receive compensation.
Florida, however, is a no-fault state and requires you to carry personal injury protection coverage which is commonly referred to as PIP insurance that pays for damages that may result from a car accident. This insurance covers a variety of payments, including:
- Up to 80% of your medical bills
- Up to 60% of your lost wages
- Surgical costs
While PIP can help you recover most financial losses, it does not cover damage to your vehicle or costs that exceed the limits of your policy.
As a resident of Florida, the state requires that you carry both PIP and property damage insurance that covers up to $10,000 in coverage. Your individual insurance company can help you decide how much other additional coverage you need based on how often you drive, if you do so for a living, or if you want to add additional family members to your car insurance.
What Is Bodily Injury Coverage?
Unlike PIP coverage, Florida does not require you to carry bodily injury coverage. However, getting both types of insurance protects you financially. Bodily injury liability covers damages and the cost of injuries for other drivers if you cause or are partially at fault for an accident. It does not cover any damages you may incur, but it may help you avoid having to pay for any third-party costs out of pocket. Bodily injury coverage also pays for the injured person’s lost wages and medical bills.
How Does PIP Coverage vs. Bodily Injury Coverage Compare?
The main difference between PIP coverage and bodily injury insurance is which driver they cover. PIP covers you and your passengers, while bodily injury coverage protects other drivers in case of an accident where you may be at fault or partially at fault. PIP carries a deductible, while bodily injury coverage does not. Each type of insurance offers a variety of advantages to you as a motorist.
The advantages of personal injury protection insurance
PIP requires that your own insurance provider cover the initial cost of treating your injuries and other financial damages right away instead of trying to determine who caused the accident and the stress of seeking these costs from the other driver’s insurance company. In other words, your right to receive PIP benefits is automatic any time you get into an accident, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. This is why Florida is sometimes referred to as a “no-fault” state. You may also be entitled to additional compensation from the at-fault driver when your medical expense and other financial damages exceed the dollar amount of benefits available under PIP.
The advantages of bodily injury coverage
While you need not carry bodily injury insurance in Florida (unless you have a history of prior car accidents or certain traffic violations), it is still highly recommended for all motorists. One of the greatest pros of this coverage is that it pays for a variety of damages to drivers who may get injured in an accident that is your fault or at least partly your fault.
Bodily injury coverage also pays for pain and suffering as well as lost wages and other economic damages that may be claimed by an injured victim. Critically, bodily injury coverage gives you peace of mind, knowing that you will most likely not have to come out of pocket if a claim is made against you or another listed driver on the policy.
What Are the Minimums for Florida PIP and Bodily Injury Coverage?
As a Florida motorist, the state’s no-fault laws require you to carry PIP. Without exception, every car registered in the State must have PIP coverage on the policy. If you wisely choose to purchase bodily injury insurance, you can opt for the minimum, which is $10,000 per accident.
However, it is highly recommended that you purchase as much coverage as you can comfortably afford. Especially if you have assets like cars, boats, money in the bank or even a second home.
Bodily injury vs. personal injury protection in Florida may seem confusing at first, but the main difference is that you must carry PIP insurance that pays immediate benefits to you, while bodily injury insurance is optional but protects you from long-term financial harm if you’re found to be at fault in an accident. You may want to speak to your insurance representative about how much insurance you require depending on your driving habits and how many family members you include on your policy.
What Are the Advantages of Florida’s PIP Coverage and No-Fault Car Accident Laws?
While PIP vs. bodily injury in Florida share some features, each offers coverage, the other does not. Florida requires one, and insurers offer the other for a variety of reasons.
Protection for both parties in an accident
PIP and bodily injury insurance protects you, other drivers, and passengers. In some cases, bodily injury insurance can cover additional expenses if you exceed the coverage of your PIP.
Peace of mind
As a Florida driver, you may have concerns about what might happen if an accident occurs, and you have numerous medical bills and cannot return to work because of your injuries. PIP protects you with automatic coverage, and you need not worry about out-of-pocket expenses, especially if you carry more than the minimum for each type of coverage.
Contact Us Today for Assistance With Your Personal Injury Case
Learning about what PIP and bodily injury cover in Florida can help you choose insurance policies that best protect you, your loved ones, and everyone with whom you share the state’s roads.
However, if you experience a serious car accident that causes you permanent or catastrophic injuries that reach beyond your coverage or that of another driver, then call our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys today at Eltringham Law Group for assistance at 561-338-0420, our use our contact form for a free consultation and for further assistance.