Why Do I Need More Than “Full Coverage” Insurance?

If you own a car in Florida you are mandated to carry two types of automobile insurance coverage. The first is property damage and the second is PIP (Personal Injury Protection). The minimum amount required for each is $10,000. Many insurance agents will tell you that this “full coverage”. Full coverage simply means you have met the minimum requirement of the law, which are completely inadequate in almost every case.

PIP was written into law in the 1970’s, over 40 years ago. PIP is intended to provide quick and certain reimbursement to you for lost wages and medical expenses as a result of a car crash accident, regardless of fault. The problem is that PIP is limited $10,000. This is the same limit set when the law.

This is the bare minimum and not nearly enough. In order to protect yourself and your family, we recommend purchasing much more than the minimum mandated coverage. It is not enough coverage to cover your expenses after an accident. The problem with PIP is that more often than not, the $10,000 limit is the same amount that was set when the law was originally written, some 40 years ago. Today, if your injury is so severe that you require a medical helicopter ride, you’re out of PIP coverage before landing at the hospital.

Another problem with PIP is that it does not cover your medical bills or lost wages at 100%. PIP only pays 80% of your medical bills, and only reimburses 60% of lost wages. Again, this is a combined medical and wage loss coverage up to $10,000. Your losses may far exceed this $10,000, particularly if you have a permanent injury.

PIP laws have recently changed, making even more dangerous to not have additional coverage for you and your family.

So here’s the new part – If you don’t get medical treatment within 14 days of your accident, guess how much P-I-P you’ll get? None! If a doctor, nurse practioner, or PA doesn’t diagnose you with an “Emergency Medical Condition”, you will be limited to $2,500 in PIP. A chiropractor is not allowed to diagnose a condition as an “emergency medical condition”, so even though you might be seeing a chiropractor to help you heal, you’ll still need to see a doctor, nurse practioner or PA as well .He or she will do an exam and determine whether you have an “emergency medical condition” If you do, and so long as you saw a medical professional within 14 days of your accident, you’ll get $10,000 in PIP.

So, if you are hurt from an accident, don’t just pop some Tylenol or Advil and assume you’ll feel better better with time. If you are hurt, seek medical care immediately. If you don’t, you might just be throwing away $10,000 in insurance benefits.

The second type of coverage that is mandated is property damage. Unlike PIP, it is quite simple to understand. Property damage coverage is the portion of your automobile insurance that will pay to “fix” the stuff that was damaged in the accident. Most of the time, the “stuff” that is damaged is your vehicle. However, property damage may cover other items, such as a damaged bicycle or child’s safety seat. The minimum amount required in Florida is $10,000. Clearly, with cost of vehicles today, $10,000 is rarely enough to cover property damages in a car crash.

There are additional coverage’s you can purchase that will protect your family. Although it will be an additional cost, if you are involved in an automobile accident that results in property damage and injuries, those premiums will be well worth it. When purchasing automobile coverage for your vehicle, ask your agent or a personal injury lawyer to explain the additional coverage you may purchase.