The no-fault car insurance system is intended to lower the cost of insurance by taking small claims out of the courts. Each insurance company compensates its own policyholders for the cost of minor injuries regardless of who was at fault in the accident. These "first-party" benefits are mandatory in states with no-fault insurance systems and details of how it works vary according to state laws. Our state page has the details of Florida car insurance laws.
The term "no-fault" can be confusing because it is often used to denote any auto insurance system in which each driver's own insurance company pays for certain losses, regardless of fault. However, the term "no-fault" actually applies only to states where insurance companies pay "first-party" benefits and where there are restrictions on the right to sue.
Drivers in Florida may sue for severe injuries if the case meets certain conditions. These conditions are known as the tort liability threshold, and may be expressed in verbal terms such as death or significant disfigurement (verbal threshold) or in dollar amounts of medical bills (monetary threshold).
Benefits of uninsured motorist coverage with Florida PIP insurance
Florida PIP insurance has very low coverage limits. Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist coverage covers bodily injuries to you and your passengers when the other driver is at fault and has no insurance or not enough insurance to cover all damages. Given the large number of uninsured motorists, this is very important coverage to have, even in states with no-fault insurance. In Florida, your Personal Injury Protection (PIP), or no-fault, benefits carry a $10,000 limit. So there may be instances when your no-fault benefits will not cover a loss in full.
In Florida, Bodily Injury Liability isn't required, so UM will also help in these situations. PIP would pay first, but UM will give much better protection. In order to purchase UM, you must purchase equal or higher limits of Bodily Injury liability.
If you buy Medical Payment or Medical Expense coverage along with Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM), you will be covered for 100 percent of your medical bills, wage loss and pain and suffering up to whatever limits of coverage you buy.
What is current status of Florida PIP insurance?
As of Jan. 1, 2008 PIP is required in Florida, along with Property Damage Liability. It is recommended that all drivers purchase Bodily Injury Liability and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage too.
These are the items to note with the law passed in 2008:
- Provides additional time for PIP insurers to respond to a demand letter for payment before a suit may be filed.
- Requires that all PIP claims related to a single provider for the same injured person be joined in a single lawsuit.
- PIP will still have 80 percent medical bill coverage or the 20 percent co-pay.
- New restrictions on the types of clinics that can bill PIP (this will help prevent fraud).
- A new fee schedule capping what most health care providers can charge to 200 percent of the Medicare reimbursement rates (this will help prevent fraud).
- A new provision allocates $5,000 for doctors who administer emergency and hospital care. This requires insurers to reserve $5,000 of benefits for 30 days for physicians providing emergency services or care or inpatient hospital care.
- New uniform PIP claim documentation requirements for PIP claims (this will help prevent fraud). Mandates the consolidation of perfected claims from one health care provider relating to the same patient and the same insurance company.
- New authority for the Florida Attorney General's office to sanction insurance companies that wrongfully deny claims. This will protect consumers. Makes it an unfair trade practice for an insurer to refuse to pay valid claims as a general business practice, and allows the attorney general to investigate and initiate actions, in addition to the Office of Insurance Regulation.
I live in Florida and I have a cracked front windshield. The insurance coverage I have is only basic Florida PIP insurance. Will my windshield be covered by my insurance company?
If you only have the state minimum required insurance for Florida, which is PIP (personal injury protection) and property damage liability (PD) then your windshield would not be covered.
Glass breakage as well as repair or replacement of a windshield is usually covered by comprehensive insurance coverage which is a type of physical damage coverage. In Florida when you have this type of policy (or collision) the deductible is waived when the front windshield is being replaced due to damage, such as it being cracked.