Auto Insurance Made Easy

Florida is a “no-fault” state. What that means is everybody who drives an automobile in Florida must carry $10,000 of PIP (Personal Injury Protection). This insurance is used to treat any injuries that you sustain in an accident whether you, or the other person is the ticketed party. The advantage of this system is that is allows the injured party to receive treatment rapidly, no matter who causes the accident. Many other states require every driver to carry BI (Bodily Injury) insurance and the person receiving the ticket to pay for the injured party’s care. The downside of this system is that fault must be established and thus care to the injured party is often delayed (as long as many months or even years if a lawsuit is required to establish who was the at-fault party).

Unfortunately, the $10,000 PIP minimum that everyone is required to carry may have been adequate many years ago when this amount was put into place, but is hardly adequate today. In fact, it is not at all uncommon for the entire $10,000 to be “used up” before one even leaves the emergency room. In additional to medical care, PIP also covers up to 60% of your lost wages as well as mileage to and from your medical appointments. As you can imagine, this $10,000, even if not exhausted in the emergency room, will be used up very rapidly by a combination of all of the above care and benefits. The only way that you can receive adequate care for your injuries is to carry Med Pay (Medical Payments) insurance, which we strongly recommend.

If the other party caused the accident, and they carry BI (Bodily Injury insurance), then that insurance will usually be made available to pay for additional medical expenses. If the person causing the accident does not carry this insurance (and it is not compulsory in the state of Florida) then it is in your best interest to make sure that you have adequate UM (Uninsured or Under-Insured motorist coverage), which would then pay for your care. The vast majority of the more than 5,000 patients that we have treated in automobile accidents over the last eight years have been grossly uninsured and not able to receive all the medical care that they need to get an optimal medical recovery.

In summary, never drive without the state-required $10,000 of minimum PIP. We strongly recommend that you buy Medical Payments and as much Uninsured/Under-Insured motorist coverage that your budget allows. Always presume that the other person who caused the accident will not have any insurance and that the only way you will receive adequate care is to make sure that you have insurance to cover your injuries.

As you can tell, this is a complicated field, and the majority of our patients find it necessary to consult with an attorney to make sure that they are receiving all of the benefits that their insurance, or the insurance of the person that caused the accident, allows.

A Better Way to Get Better,
Adrian Lewis
Adrian Lewis, MD