Auto Insurance Coverage – Will my policy pay?

Listen I am an Insurance Agent, I do this for a living and sometimes don’t want to talk about it….but…When was the last time you reviewed your auto insurance coverage?

I know this seems like a ridiculous question and not something that you would actually talk about at dinner with friends.  “Hey Jeff, How about your Auto Insurance Coverage?” However, when was the last time you looked around at what everyone else is doing while they are driving? We all assume we are going to go about our daily routines and nothing is going to interrupt our world. To be frank with you, we can only control a part of what we encounter on a daily basis. We can control how prepared we are if something were to happen to us.

Auto Insurance Coverage is only one way of being prepared. Think about it,what would you do next week if you were in an accident to NO Fault of your own. On top of that, the other person did not have insurance? Now you do not have the use of your vehicle, you will be out of pocket expenses like medical and body shop repair bills. This could turn most people’s world upside down.

Distracted Driving

When was the last time you were driving somewhere and you were completely focused on driving and aware of the people around you? Recently, I have started listening to Podcasts while driving to and from work and longer drives.  I feel this is a better use of my time and allows me to occupy my mind. This also keeps the temptation of looking at my phone at bay. By doing this I have become so much more aware of the people around me.

Just listening, with my eyes on the road. If you listen to podcasts, go for it, it not just take a look around and make a mental note of what you see. Just in the last couple of days, I have seen:

A lady putting on makeup, not at a light, WHILE Driving!

An older gentleman with, Not 1 but 2 dogs on his lap.Will my auto insurance cover my pet in an accident

 

 

 

A lady reviewing some sort of notes or contract, again While Driving not at a light!Auto Insurance Coverage - Distracted Driving

 

 

 

 

A person eating a sandwich while driving.Distracted Driving- Eating while driving

 

 

 

And of course you will see people everywhere on their phones. Distracted Driving -Texting while driving

 

 

 

 

Real Life Situation

Listen, by no means am I the model of a perfect driver.  What I am attempting to point out to you is that being out of the road can be down right scary if you see what everyone around you is doing other than paying attention to the road. Once you become aware of it you will notice it much more often.

Imagine how much better traffic would move if you everyone was paying attention when the light turned green. Or how many less Rear-End accidents there would be.  This past Wednesday I was Rear-Ended by a person who was reading their phone.  How do I know? As the traffic next to us started to move, I was watching the person behind me looking down at their phone. With no where to go I a braced myself and sure enough…..crash! We pulled over to the side of the road, I grabbed my registration, and proof of insurance and walked back to meet the other driver.

The other driver was fumbling through piles of paper attempting to find the registration and proof of insurance. At this point,I started thinking…Does he even have Auto Insurance Coverage? If not, will my auto insurance coverage pay for my damages?

Below are the actual photos of our vehicles. As you can see driving a truck has its advantages!  Very little damage, as for his car……well you see, not so much.

 

What Should I have for Auto Insurance Coverage?

There are many different ways that a person can be covered depending on their unique situation. For example someone with an older vehicle with not much value may elect not to choose physical damage coverage. Physical damage coverage can implode comprehensive and collision coverage. In contrast somebody with a brand new vehicle would certainly want to have physical damage coverage on their vehicle. Also, people in different Financial situations may elect to choose different limits of liability coverage and or uninsured motorist coverage. In addition, different states are going to have different coverage’s and requirements. The items below will be specific to Florida auto insurance coverage.

I have “Full Coverage”.

We hear the statement above often when discussing auto insurance coverage. Again, full coverage can mean different coverage’s for different people. In a perfect world there is no such thing as full coverage. In the state of Florida, in order to get a tag you need very minimal Auto Insurance. You will need to have basic pip insurance and a minimum of $10,000 in property damage. Yes I know! It is scary how little coverage you actually need in Florida to be legal to drive. This is why it is imperative for you to understand the coverages that you are carrying on your own policy. You cannot assume that somebody else’s policy is going to pay for your damages or your injuries.

Bodily Injury Liability

This is the coverage that will pay for damages to another person. These limits can range from $10,000 per person $20,000 per accident and up. Some carriers will even offer million dollar limits for bodily injury and liability

Property Damage

This is the coverage that pays for another party’s property damage. This can be another vehicle or structure.

Personal Injury Protection

This coverage is for injuries and lost wages. PIP coverage will follow the driver. For example, if you are in an accident while a friend is driving and you have Auto Insurance, your damages will be covered under your own personal injury protection first. This is also what some people refer to in Florida as no fault insurance.

Uninsured or Under Insured Motorist Coverage

This coverage is a coverage that you carry on your own policy in the event that you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. This coverage is extremely valuable in Florida due to the low or limited liability limits that are required to obtain a registration tag.

Collision Coverage

This is the physical damage coverage for your vehicle.This coverage pays for damages to your car if you collide with another vehicle or something else such as a structure, tree or telephone pole.

Comprehensive Coverage

This coverage pays for damage to your car caused by something other than a collision. Disconnect glued Bap, fire, hurricanes, hitting an animal, even flooding in some cases.

Medical Payments

This coverage may help pay for your or your passengers medical expenses if you’re injured in an auto accident, regardless of who caused the accident. This is also sometimes called “med pay.” bodily injury and property damage pip uninsured motorist Collision

Rental Reimbursement

This can also be referred to as loss-of-use. This coverage provides rental reimbursement coverage usually up to a specific dollar amount per day for a specified number of days.

Towing

Best coverage can also be referred to as roadside assistance. This can be after an accident or if your car breaks down on the side of the road it will provide reimbursement for towing to the nearest service station.

What should I do now?

Above is a helicopter view of your auto insurance coverage. By no means is this an in-depth or comprehensive explanation of what your auto policy covers. In order for you to adequately assess your risk and proper coverage’s that you and your family need, schedule an appointment to talk to your local Independent Insurance agent. As mentioned earlier in the article there is no one-size-fits-all regarding Auto Insurance Coverage.

For more information regarding what your state requires you can check out these your department of insurance or your Department of Motor Vehicles. The links to the Florida sites are below;

Florida DMV

Florida Office of Insurance Regulation

Call Email Claims Payments
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