Hit and Run Car Accident – Insurance? What to do?
Many times I have potential clients call and tell me a familiar story: “I was involved in a car accident and the car that hit me did not stay at the scene of the accident” or more common….”The car that hit me does not have any insurance…”
In Florida, the purchase of minimum insurance is REQUIRED. However, this minimum insurance does not include “bodily injury” coverage. Here are some of the basic Florida rules on auto insurance:
Florida’s minimum coverage is $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 property damage liability.
“Personal Injury Protection” (PIP) insurance is also called Florida No Fault Insurance. PIP Insurance covers you – regardless of fault (i.e. whether or not you cause the crash) – up to the limits of your policy. Your PIP will also cover your child, members of your household, and certain passengers who lack PIP Insurance as long as they do not own a vehicle. People riding in your vehicle who carry their own PIP will receive coverage under their own auto’s PIP for their injuries. PIP coverage protects you while in someone else’s vehicle, as a pedestrian, or bicyclist if you suffer an injury in a crash involving a motor vehicle.
Bodily Injury Liability coverage pays for serious and permanent injury or death to others when you cause a crash. Your insurance company will pay for injuries up to the limits of your policy and provide legal representation for you if you get sued. It may also cover others who drive your automobile with your permission.
Bodily Injury Liability coverage IS NOT REQUIRED in Florida. Therefore, a lot of people driving on the Florida roads do not have coverage for damages that they cause. Because of this, I strongly recommend that you obtain UNINSURED MOTORIST (UM) coverage. This coverage applies to you should you get into an accident with a car that does not have BI coverage. It can also apply if the car that causes the crash does not have enough BI coverage. It sounds confusing but it really is not.
Example 1: You get into accident and the other car that caused it has ZERO BI. Then if you have UM, your UM covers your personal injuries and damages.
Example 2: You get into accident and the other car has BI but the amount of BI that they have does not cover all of your personal injuries and damages. Then if you have UM, your UM covers your personal injuries and damages that are not covered by the other car’s insurance.
Because so many people driving in Florida do not have BI coverage, I strongly recommend that you inquire – when buying auto insurance or when renewing your auto insurance – whether you have UNINSURED MOTORIST coverage. If you are able to afford UM coverage you should get it as you never know when you may need it!!!
I would be happy to answer any questions you may have on insurance coverage. Feel free to call me at 561-266-9191.