Picking an insurance plan can be confusing and overwhelming. Many people trust the agents to do the footwork in comparing rates and coverages. Depending on your lifestyle and needs, it is usually a good idea for you to ensure the coverage is in your best interest or to prepare a list of necessities for the agent to utilize.
Many people that come to a personal injury law firm believe they have full coverage only to discover that they carried the bare minimum: Personal Injury Protection (PIP). The PIP plan simply covers medical bills and treatment up to $10,000. The PIP plan does not cover collision, uninsured motorist coverage, or rental coverage-these are all factors that may raise your insurance rate but are also a huge benefit in the event of an accident. It is very important to determine the right coverage for yourself.
Here are some important questions to ask your agent or to review as you compare coverages:
- Who will my policy cover?
If you plan on sharing a vehicle with a family member then it is in your best interest to have that person covered on your insurance. This could affect the cost of your insurance but in the long run it is the safest way to ensure coverage for your family.
- What type of coverage should I get?
Each state has different requirements for insured drivers. The state of Florida only requires Personal Injury Protection which covers up to $10,000 of the insured party’s medical expenses. There is also Bodily Injury coverage which means that the insurance company will cover the medical costs of another party’s injuries if the accident is your fault. There are specific amounts of coverage available for you to choose from. Lastly there is Uninsured Motorist coverage which is insurance that covers the YOUR medical expenses in the event that the third party does not carry insurance or only has PIP. This is EXTREMELY important to have – especially in the State of Florida because there are many, many people driving around with no insurance at all or just basic coverage.
- What about Property Damage?
Property damage coverage covers the monetary value of damage the insured party caused to another vehicle or object (fence, sign, etc. or damage to your vehicle if you are the victim of an accident). Collision Coverage ensures the damage caused to your vehicle in an accident where either you are at fault or someone else is at fault, but they do not carry insurance, will be fixed under the policy agreement. With collision there is usually a deductible in place that you will be required to pay. People often mix these two different coverages up thinking that if they carry Property Damage then their vehicle will be covered if an event occurs that damages it-however it is actually Collision Coverage that protects your property.
- Do I need rental car coverage?
Rental car coverage can cost an additional fee in your plan, some people may or may not need it. Firstly, many people have rental car coverage included in their AAA tow packages. A good way to check is by calling and speaking with a representative. You can also get a quote to compare your insurance rental coverage against. As always, it is better to be safe than sorry especially if you have a family that relies only on one vehicle.’
If you are working with an agent or your spouse to find the best rates with the best coverage then these questions can help you sort your needs. Don’t forget to buckle up!