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What Does Full Coverage Car Insurance Mean in Tampa?
What Does Full Coverage Car Insurance Mean in Tampa?

What Does Full Coverage Car Insurance Mean in Tampa?

In Tampa, “full coverage” car insurance does not necessarily mean complete liability protection, but is often mistakenly understood to be so. What “full” coverage really means is that the policyholder is protected by the bar minimum protections mandated by Tampa laws in order to hold a valid driver’s license. So, “full coverage car insurance” doesn’t actually provide full coverage to the insured.

So if you get involved in a serious car accident and get catastrophic or severe bodily injuries, you’re gonna hope you purchased a few more protections with your policy – such as collision, bodily injury, and uninsured motorist benefits. These additional coverages provide substantially more protection to the insured person in varying scenarios of car accident cases.

Tampa’s Insurance Requirements

Florida follows no-fault insurance laws, which requires every driver to carry a minimum amount of insurance for PIP and PDL. The “no-fault” part means that your insurance covers initial damages up to a certain limit, regardless of who is at fault in the accident.

Personal Injury Protection Insurance (PIP) Minimum Requirements

If you are a Florida driver, you should have at least $10,000 of PIP (or personal injury protection) coverage to meet the legal minimum requirement. PIP will cover up to 80% of your medical expenses from a car accident and 60% of lost wages. PIP will additionally cover up to $5,000 in death benefits no matter who was at fault for the accident.

Family members are also eligible for coverage under no-fault insurance laws, so if you are the policy holder and your family member was injured, they can be covered under your policy or vice versa. You are also protected as a pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcyclist.

Property Damage Liability (PDL) Minimum Requirement

PDL , or property damage liability will provide coverage in the event that you damage someone else;s property. The minimum requirement for type of insurance in Tampa is $10,000. PD is meant to cover instances where you female another vehicle, or someone else’s property, like this mailbox, or gence. It could even be applicable for a road sign or if you crash into a building.

In addition to property damage, PDL covers benefits under the following categories:

If the insurance company deems your vehicle a total loss, PDL would also kick in for a portion of the replacement Cost. Only a licensed insurance company in Tampa can provide proof of PIP or PDL coverage.

Why Florida’s ”Minimum Requirement” Insurance Limits Don’t Really Provide Full Coverage

While insurance minimum requirements provide a guaranteed level of protection, there are also many limitations with minimum PIP and PDL. These limitations, or “gaps” in coverage. For instance, you might get into an accident where the damage amulet far exceeds the PIP and PDL limits you’ve purchased for your policy, which can leave you with debt and loss of personal assets.

Or, let’s say you cause an accident where the other driver is left with damages that are not sufficiently covered by PIP and PDL limits. Then, you could be facing a lawsuit from the other driver who you caused damages to. In such cases, you’ll need additional coverage to protect yourself. Here are some examples of situations when you need coverage beyond PIP and PDL limits:

Auto Theft or Vandalism Cases

In the event that your car gets stolen or vandalized, unless you have comprehensive insurance coverage, you won’t get insurance coverage with the state’s minimum insurance amounts.

Hit-and-Run Car Accidents Cases

If a driver hits your car and flees the scene of the accident (AKA hit and run), you can’t get their contact or insurance information. That means you’re stuck having to foot the bill for the damages without the option to file a claim for damages against the at-fault driver. This type of accident would be covered if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, but if you don’t have UM/UIM you’re out of luck.

Personal Car Repairs After a Crash

Legally required minimum insurance doesn’t cover personal car repairs after a crash. In some cases, they will provide limited coverage to damage to the other person’s car if you were at fault for the accident.

Natural Disasters

PIP and PDL limits do not cover natural disasters, freak accidents like an object falling from the sky, a fire, or animal damages.

Additional Types of Auto Insurance You Can Purchase in Tampa to Fill the Gaps

As you can see, the minimum requirements of Personal injury protection and Property Damage Liability aren’t nearly enough to cover the range of possible accidents and don’t really provide “full coverage” insurance. Complete and full coverage requires the policy holder to do some research, planning and additional purchasing.

You can select numerous different types of insurance to have a more comprehensive insurance plan and supplement yourPIP and PDL coverage. Here are some other types of insurance that are available for purchase to enact extra protections under your insurance coverage:

Collision Coverage

You can purchase collision coverage which will be priced based on the age and market value of your car. If the damage to your vehicle was caused by a collision with another object, this is when collision coverage would be applicable. Even if the collision is your fault you can use collision coverage to cover damage costs.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive insurance will cover damage to your vehicle that was not caused by a collision, and doesn’t necessarily need to be damaged from a crash. Mishaps that would be covered under comprehensive coverage include theft, vandalism, fires, animal damages, natural disasters, and more. Natural disasters are very common in Florida, with hurricanes, storms, lightning, and flooding occurring regularly, so many Florida drivers opt for comprehensive coverage when you can.

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage (BIL)

While Tampa drivers are not required to carry bodily injury liability coverage (BIL), it can provide protections in accidents when people get injured or killed due to negligence. Even though Florida is a no-fault insurance state (meaning your own insurance provides initial coverage regardless of fault), you could still get sued by the other party if your PIP insurance is insufficient to cover their injuries. In such a case, Bodily Injury Liability Injury coverage would kick in to cover the discrepancy.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM)

Uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage are used when you or your family members get into an accident caused by a driver who either has no insurance or not enough insurance. Your UM or UIM coverage would be applicable to cover the lack of insurance on the at0-fault driver’s part.

UM/UIM coverage will not cover your car but will cover medical bills, lost wages, and other out of pocket expenses such as pain and suffering.

MedPay or Medical Payment Coverage

Many Tampa insurance providers offer additional provisions called MedPay or Medical Payment Coverage to cover medical bills. There is a limit with MedPay, but it can be helpful when you’ve suffered extensive medical bills after an accident. Determining the cost of your coverage will involve consideration of your budget and personal circumstances.

How to Limit Your Costs on Tampa Auto Insurance

Tampa only requires minimum amounts for PIP and PDL; for most people purchasing any additional coverage is unaffordable or hard to realistically manage with their finances. This is the case in many states, not just florida. Here are some tips to get full coverage car insurance at an affordable rate in Tampa:

  • Take the time to shop around and compare prices from different insurance providers
  • Look for any discounts available and take advantage of them
  • Consider a higher deductible for a lower premium payment

Remember, like most other products and services in life, you get what you pay for when it comes to automobile insurance. So cheap car insurance might save you money upfront, but later be a bigger financial burden for you to face. In the event of an accident, you’ll have to find a way to pay for your medical expenses and lost wages that insurance would have covered had you opted for full coverage.

Can I Take Legal Action After a Tampa Car Accident?

Yes, if you suffered damages and losses due to another driver’s negligence in Tampa, you have legal recourse. Since Florida is a no-fault state, you can only sue the other driver if your damages exceed your PIP coverage limit or if you suffered a permanent injury or disability.

What Damages Can I Recover After a Tampa Car Accident Claim?

There are two basic categories of damage compensation you can recover after a Tampa car accident: economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages include any financial losses with calculable costs and traceable receipts. Examples of economic damages include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other damages that have a “receipt”. When you sue for economic damages, you have to show those receipts and prove the other party is at fault for the accident in order to recover those damages.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are non-financial damages like pain and suffering. Emotional turmoil, mental distress, and decreased quality of life are also examples of non-economic damages – the ones you can’t really calculate or put a price on.

When it comes to non-economic damages, you don’t need to prove financial losses to recover damages, but you do need to show that the other party is at fault for causing the accident and your suffering. You also need a Tampa personal injury lawyer to help you determine the value for these damages, since they don’t inherently have a cost.

The Role of Neginece in Your Tampa Personal Injury Claim

The first step in recovering compensation after a Tampa car accident is to hire an attorney. They will help you build a strong case in your favor and show how the other party was negligent, which is a crucial step in creating a successful personal injury claim.

Proving the other party’s negligence involves showing that they had a duty of care to avoid harming you, yet breached that duty of care. In Tampa, all drivers on the road have a duty of care to avoid harming others and have a legal responsibility to drive in a safe manner to keep others out of hharm;s way. By failing to drive safely and responsibly, the other driver has acted negligently and breached their duty of care.

Your attorney will also help show that the negligent driver who breached their duty of care is responsible for your damages. In other words, by failing to follow traffic laws or drive in a prudent and careful manner, they directly caused your harm and suffering. Thus, they would be legally responsible for any damage and losses you suffered.

The negligent driver would be responsible for covering any medical bills their PIP or PDL limits don’t cover. Again, an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer can help you successfully prove all of these things, which are necessary for a strong personal injury claim.

Contact a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer

To better understand full coverage car insurance and what protections you have, contact our Tampa personal injury lawyers. We have decades of experience and have successfully handled hundreds of car accident cases just like yours.

Our passion is not only educating Tampa drivers about the limitations and stipulations of their insurance policies, but also to help them get the most out of their insurance coverage. We can help learn how to get the most protection against liability and find ways to get affordable full coverage car insurance.

Call us today for a free consultation.

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