Car insurance concept, hands holding toy car

Florida drivers know that the auto insurance industry can be hard to understand. What coverage do you need? Whose coverage do you go after when you’ve been in a crash? What does a “no-fault state” even mean? Our attorneys Steve Brooks and Beach Brooks III give their advice on car insurance for Florida drivers below. Listen to the podcast episode here:

What Car Insurance Coverage Do I Need on My Policy?

We’ve been working with car crash victims for nearly 30 years now, and our attorneys always hear about the “Myth of Full Coverage.” In Florida, “full coverage” can be just $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 for property damage. That PIP money will usually go directly to your doctors for medical expenses. That may not provide compensation for pain and suffering, or for future medical treatment you may need.

What coverage does Steve suggest? He says, “The coverage I wish every client had is uninsured motorist coverage.” If you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage you can rest assured that there’s a pool of money to compensate you for your injuries.

Why Should I Have Uninsured Motorist Car Insurance Coverage?

Florida is one of only a few states that do not require Bodily Injury (BI) coverage to drive. Many are severely injured in crashes, but due to the lack of BI coverage, there’s nothing to cover their expenses. If you have UM coverage, you know you will have some level of protection. According to Beach III, “You can’t always rely on the person that is negligent and caused the crash to make sure that they have the proper coverage to compensate you.”

Some also wonder if you can just sue someone who has injured you, regardless of their insurance coverage. Technically, you could, but Florida law would make it difficult to ever collect. It’s best to just have UM insurance.

Uninsured motorist coverage can be confusing, but here’s an example of how UM works. Imagine that someone runs a red light and hits your car, but they don’t have insurance. If you have UM, it’s kind of like your coverage is now insuring that other driver. Now you can pursue compensation from your own insurance provider regardless of the at fault driver’s coverage—or lack thereof. “It’s protecting you to make sure that basically every driver in the state of Florida is insured as it relates to you,” Steve says.

What Does a “No-Fault State” Mean?

We talk a lot about Florida being a “no-fault state,” but what does that mean for you after an accident? Basically, regardless of who is at fault, your own car insurance is going to cover your expenses first. Even if you’ve done nothing wrong, your insurance pays for 80% of your first $10,000 in medical expenses.

Then you can look to the other party’s coverage. If they have BI coverage, you’ll look to that for compensation. If they have enough coverage to compensate you for your injuries and damages, that’s the end of the case. You’ll want to make sure you have that UM coverage to help with the rest in case they do not.

Florida lawmakers voted to end the no-fault system, but Governor DeSantis vetoed the bill. The change would have many benefits. It would reduce premiums and ensure that other drivers could compensate you if they are at fault. Steve encourages everyone to reach out to their state representatives in support of the change.

Contact Our Florida Car Accident Attorneys

If you are injured in a car accident, contact the expert attorneys of Brooks Law Group today to learn your options. Steve and Beach III encourage you to reach out with any questions about insurance coverage as well. They’ll be happy to explain what coverage you need. Call us at 1-800-LAW-3030 or email [email protected] or [email protected] to learn more.

Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.