Insurance Myths: What type of Insurance is actually needed in Florida?
By: Tampa Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez, Esq.
Many of you have heard all types of story both good and bad about car insurance. Hopefully this article will help lift some of the vial of confusion.
I don’t need motorcycle insurance
Insurance is not need to register your motorcycle, but if you are in an accident and do not have insurance be prepared to pay for everything yourself out of pocket. If you are found to be at fault (or even partially at fault) for the accident you are responsible for covering the costs of property damage and the bodily injury suffered by the other party. The owner of the motorcycle needs to carry Liability insurance. Motorcycle owners are unable to purchase personal injury protection for their motorcycle even if they have it for their other vehicle. You can also have your driving privileges suspended along with your registration and tag. To get your privileges back will cost you a lot in fees.
There is no such thing as full coverage insurance in Florida. What most people have when they think that they have full coverage is property damage and personal injury protection only. Basically, the bare minimum in Florida to obtain a driver’s license. These are the only two types of insurance coverages which are required by the state of Florida. Frankly, this is the bare bones minimum and it is never enough. Other insurance that you may consider to protect you and your family:
Bodily Injury Liability referred to as BI. BI is to protect your personal assets if you caused or contributing to an accident. Basically, it kicks in if you are at fault. If you do not have BI and are found at fault in judgment you are the one on the hook the settlement (money). If you don’t have Bodily Injury Liability coverage, and you want to have an attorney defend you in a lawsuit brought against you by an injured party, the attorney’s fees alone could be more than $20,000.00. This does not even include what you would owe to the victim. Typically, this is what you collect from the at-fault party when you are not at fault and are injured by the at-fault party.
Uninsured or underinsured Motorist coverage is referred to as UM.
When you have UM your own insurance company will pay you for your damages if the at-fault driver either does not have Bodily Injury Liability coverage or does not have sufficient coverage to adequately pay all of your damages. Underinsured motorist coverage is perhaps the most important coverage you can buy to protect you and your family. It is also the cheapest coverage you can buy “dollar for dollar.”
The belongings in my car are covered by my car insurance.
Only the vehicle and its passengers may be insured by the car insurance policy. Personal items like cell phones, laptops, instruments, strollers, etc. are not covered even if they stored in the vehicle and damaged during an accident. These types of belongings are to be filed under personal property insurance under your homeowner’s or renter’s policy.
Car Color affects the price of your insurance
The color of your car does not affect the price of your policy. When shopping for car insurance. They will ask you the year, make, model, the size of the motor (number of cylinders), how old you are, and if you have had any accidents recently. They never ask you the color of the car.
New cars are stolen most often
Not true, most often older cars are the ones that are stolen. Here is a list of the most stolen vehicles according to the Florida time’s union.
In Florida, the top 10 most stolen vehicles in the 2015:
- Ford Pick-Up (Full Size) 2006 (2,070)
- Honda Civic 2000 (1,127)
- Nissan Altima 2015 (1,098)
- Toyota Camry 2014 (1,089)
- Honda Accord 1997 (1,025)
- Toyota Corolla 2014 (914)
- Chevrolet Pick-Up (Full Size) 2015 (786)
- Chevrolet Impala 2015 (542)
- Dodge Pick-Up (Full Size) 2005 (534)
- Nissan Maxima 2014 (479)
If you file an insurance claim your insurance rate will go up.
The truth is if you get into an accident with another driver, that driver may file a claim for damages or injuries. If they do, it will only be a short time until the injured party’s insurance company files a claim against you and your insurance company. Once this happens, your premiums may increase.
Additionally, if you were issued a ticket as a result of the crash, it can appear on your driving record and trigger a premium increase.
However, if you are injured and you only file a Medical Claim (also known as a No-Fault claim or PIP claim) your car insurance will not go up. It’s actually enumerated in Florida law.
If you have Full coverage your insurance will cover the cost of replacing your care.
Not true the insurance company will pay you fair market value for your car that may be less than what you owe on it. Leaving you on the line for the rest of the money. You can purchase Gap insurance that will cover the difference in what you owe and the amount the insurance company pays you. If your car was paid in full the same thing happens. You will not get a brand new car to replace the car that you lost. They will give you fair market value. Car insurance companies do not sentimental value into consideration when determining the price.
Moving will not affect my Insurance rate.
This is a false statement. Moving even in the same city may cause your premiums to go up. Insurance is based on statistic. Things that can affect the policy are going from rural less populated are to and urban area that is more densely populated. Also the statistic such as number of car accidents and car theft.
Smaller cars cost less to insure.
This is not true. The amount of damage may be far worse in a smaller car, than what may have happened to a larger car in the same accident. It also depends on the type of coverage that one carries. Just like before it depends on the statistic of accident damage of that type of car.
Your Credit Rating does not affect your insurance rate.
This is a false statement. In fact, your credit has a huge effect on your insurance rate. Why is that? Your credit score reflects your financial affairs and insurance companies take this into consideration when you want to purchase your auto insurance plan.
Tampa Attorney Martin J. Hernandez
Attorney Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez, LLC in Tampa provides legal representation for families in auto accident injury and wrongful death cases. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys welcome the opportunity to interview with you and your loved ones. We invite you to review our recent results from settlements to trial verdicts. Our qualifications and background are available to you as well. Our Tampa Attorneys Martin Hernandez and Martin Hernandez PA are bilingual as well. Just call us at 813.755.9500 for your free consultation.
The Tampa personal injury lawyers of Fernandez & Hernandez, serve Florida communities including Tampa, Brandon, Carrollwood, Westchase, Riverview, Temple Terrace, Pasco, Pinellas, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Lakeland, Plant City, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Dover, Valrico, Lutz, Lakeland and many other neighborhoods in Tampa Bay area. Contact an Experienced Tampa Auto Accident Attorney from Fernandez & Hernandez Law.
If you have been involved in an Auto Accident in the Tampa Bay area, call Tampa personal injury lawyer Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez for a free consultation now. We recommend also reading his reviews on Google Reviews, Avvo and Yelp.
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