What Does “Full Coverage” Mean?
Whenever I sit down with a new auto accident client, I always ask what types and amounts of insurance they have. Many times, the client will tell me that they have “full coverage.” Unfortunately, my clients are often shocked to discover that full coverage means something very different than what they thought it did. Full coverage is actually the same as or equal to Florida’s minimum requirements. If you have full coverage, you only have the following:
Personal Injury Protection – Personal Injury Protection (PIP) covers $10,000 of your medical bills and lost income caused by an accident. This coverage may include a deductible. You can use your PIP coverage regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
Property Damage Liability – Property Damage Liability covers damage to another person’s vehicle if you caused the accident. In Florida, you are required to carry at least $10,000 in Property Damage Liability.
The following is a partial list of what you don’t have if you only have full coverage:
Bodily Injury Liability – Bodily injury liability (BI) covers you for injuries or death that you cause to someone else when an accident is your fault.
Uninsured Motorist – Uninsured Motorist (UM) covers your medical expenses that are caused by another driver that has inadequate insurance or no insurance at all.
Medical Payments – Medical Payments (Med Pay) covers all or portions of your medical bills that are not covered by PIP.
Collision – Collision covers your vehicle for damage caused in an accident. It doesn’t matter if you or the other driver is at fault.
Comprehensive – Comprehensive covers your vehicle for damage caused by a not-accident event.
As you can see, full coverage doesn’t really amount to much. Full coverage doesn’t provide you with any coverage if:
- your medical bills exceed $10,000;
- you injure someone else in an accident;
- the driver that caused your injuries doesn’t have insurance;
- your vehicle is damaged in an accident that is your fault; or
- your vehicle is damaged by a storm or theft.
The best way to determine what types of insurance coverage you have is to simply call your insurance agent and ask your agent for a copy of your declarations page. This document will outline each type and amount of coverage you have. If you don’t see any of the above coverages listed, add the most coverage you can afford.