In case of an accident, it’s very important your car insurance covers others AND you. There are four main types of car insurance: UM (uninsured motorist), BI (bodily injury), PIP (personal injury protection), and PDL (property damage liability). Do you have enough automobile insurance coverage?

Florida roadways are full of uninsured motorists. UM insurance protects you if you’re injured by an uninsured OR underinsured driver. I have had too many clients who were badly injured in an accident caused by an uninsured/underinsured driver. Without UM insurance, they were left without the ability to collect the full value of their injuries. I recommend you have no less than $100,000 in coverage, but get the most you can afford.

If possible, get your UM policy stacked. If you have more than one car insured under the same policy, you have the option to “stack” your UM insurance coverage. Stacking your policy multiplies the limit of your UM coverage by how many cars you have insured under the same policy. For example, say you have three cars under one policy, and each car has $100,000 in UM coverage. By stacking your UM, you are eligible to receive up to $300,000 for your injuries, rather than $100,000 in an unstacked policy. It’s important you speak to your insurance agent if you want your UM coverage stacked – insurance companies do not provide this to you automatically!

BI, or bodily injury, insurance pays for any serious injuries, permanent injuries or deaths that you, or any family member living with you, causes in an automobile accident (even if the car belongs to someone else). It may also cover other drivers driving your car as long as they had your permission. There is no minimum coverage required, but Florida law states that you can’t have more coverage for UM than BI. I recommend a minimum of $100,000.

PIP is personal injury protection insurance (also called “no fault insurance”). Florida’s minimum coverage is $10,000. Your PIP will pay for the first $10,000 of your medical bills, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Recently, there have been major changes in Florida PIP law. For more information on these changes, read the blog entry above.

The state of Florida requires all drivers to have a minimum of $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL) insurance. PDL protects you for any damage you cause to someone’s property in an automobile accident. Florida has a lot of expensive cars on the roadways. You don’t want to be underinsured for PDL if you crash into a Ferrari! I recommend you have $50,000 – $100,000 in PDL coverage.