Going for the minimum amount may not provide the security blanket you need should you be in an accident involving injuries to the other driver. It’s the law in Florida that you carry liability insurance on your vehicle, and in fact, must prove that you have such a policy to register a vehicle. But is liability insurance alone enough?
Consider this. Liability-only car insurance is what you’re legally required to cover injuries to other drivers or damage in an accident that you’re found at fault for. This, unfortunately, provides zero protection for your vehicle repairs, your medical bills, lost wages, or any other physical or financial repercussions from an accident.
Liability insurance includes two forms; bodily injury liability and property damage liability. Bodily injury liability helps pay medical expenses for any driver or passenger in the other vehicle who is injured. If those affected file a lawsuit, it can also help pay for your legal defense and any settlements as a result of the claim. Property damage liability, on the other hand, will help pay for the other driver’s vehicle or property resulting from the accident.
You typically see coverage listed in a 100/300/50 limit amount, meaning $100,000 for the one person’s bodily image, $300,000 for all other passenger’s injuries in the car, and $50,000 to cover property damage. In Florida, the minimum is 10/20/10, meaning $10,000 per person for injuries, $20,000 for other injured passengers in the car, and $10,000 in property damage. In most car accidents involving injuries, that is simply not enough.
Here are two reasons people carry liability-only car insurance. First, if you are driving an old car that isn’t worth the cost of repair or might not be able to repaired after an accident, it’s typically not worth spending more on extra coverage. For some, having a teen driver means that they, too, might be driving “a beater” since it’s so expensive to insure them in a newer vehicle that is worth more.
But remember, liability insurance only covers the other driver and damages in an accident—not you. You might want to consider an umbrella policy that can provide coverage above and beyond your liability-only coverage. Umbrella policies that boost your coverage to an additional $1 million or more can be purchase for a few hundred dollar a year, and could save you from financial ruin if you’re at fault in catastrophic accident.
Keep in mind that liability-only car insurance won’t cover you for lost wages, medical treatment or physical therapy for your own injuries, or repairing or replacing your vehicle. With that said, the legal requirement for liability insurance protects you from prosecution in an accident, which can lead to driver’s license suspension until you prove you’ve acquired insurance. So, without it, you’ll be right back where you started—only this time without a license and with a record of being at fault in an accident, which will follow you each time you apply for a car insurance policy moving forward.
If you’re involved in an accident with a driver that only carries liability insurance that doesn’t cover your injuries or property damage, seek the guidance of a personal injury lawyer like the experienced, proven, trial-tested personal injury attorneys at Fernandez & Hernandez Attorneys At Law. You can reach them for advice 24/7 by calling 813.755.9500. Hablan español. To learn more, visit www.InjuryLawyersOfTampa.com.