Car insurance: special case of Miami and Florida
Florida is a very special state for auto insurance. Indeed, the “Sunshine State” is one of the few states in America with a system based on the system of “no fault of liability” for car insurance, like the French system. This no-fault liability system allows victims to be compensated regardless of the driver’s fault, and thus to obtain (in theory), as in France, more easily compensation for the damage that was caused during the accident. circulation. If you have a car accident, it’s your own car insurance that covers your claims for lost wages and medical expenses, up to $ 10,000 (applicable deductibles). So even if someone else caused the accident, your own insurance pays first
Another aspect that makes auto insurance unique in Florida is that it is one of the only states in the United States in which compulsory auto insurance consists of no-fault bodily injury and property damage coverage limited to $ 10,000 only for all owners. vehicle. The scope of compulsory insurance is therefore very limited, even minimal, and in this it diverges this time from the French system. If you find this surprising or bizarre, you are not the only one. $ 10,000 personal injury coverage, and $ 10,000 property damage coverage is all it takes to legally drive a car in Florida (with your driver’s license).
Additionally, drivers in Florida are not required to have purchased coverage:
– ‘bodily injury coverage’ , to cover compensation claims that may be brought against you if you are responsible for the accident;
– ‘ medical payments coverage’ or ‘ Med Pay’ , coverage which provides for the reimbursement of your medical bills exceeding the threshold of $ 10,000;
– ‘uninsured or underinsured driver’ (in English ‘ Uninsured Motorist’ or ‘ Underinsured Motorist t’ or ‘ UM ‘), which covers you in the event that the driver who caused the accident has not – or not enough – insurance.
One could argue whether or not Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) -based auto insurance scheme was adopted, given that it was enacted in 1971, when medical bills and car repair costs were much less; the minimum guarantees have never been revised and therefore never been increased since. In addition, the system is arguably unconstitutional now that the Affordable Care Act (‘Obamacare ‘ or ‘ Affordable Care Act’) ) requires that anyone is ensured. But that is not our subject.
So to summarize, since there is no mandatory ‘civil liability policy in Florida, unlike what is required if you are unfortunately the victim of a car accident, caused by another driver, and that you have significant medical expenses, a loss of wages, and/or a premium of pain (that is to say of the pain and the suffering), it is hoped that the other driver is covered for bodily injury and/or that you have taken out UM cover.
On the other hand, in a state like Florida where millions of people drive without a license and/or insurance, or with only the minimum insurance required, or with very little personal injury coverage, there is better to have UM coverage. Again, UM coverage protects you when the driver at fault has no insurance or not enough insurance to compensate you. At the same time, you must also have taken out a sufficient ‘bodily injury to third parties’ policy to protect your assets in the event that you cause an accident. And keep in mind that if your automobile insurance contract does not include ‘bodily injury to third parties’ coverage along with UM coverage, you do not have ‘full coverage.
If the driver at fault has taken out cover for bodily injury caused to others and/or if you have UM cover, you can take action against the driver at fault and/or your UM insurer, and therefore be compensated under the four main heads of damages (i.e. for bodily injury, material damage, loss of wages and by means of a claim based on the argument of ‘negligent driving’ (i.e. negligent use of the vehicle by the driver, in English ‘ negligence ‘).
First, you can claim reimbursement for your medical expenses, including medical expenses that resulted from the accident, such as a hospital visit, rehabilitation, and/or surgery. You can also be compensated for future medical expenses if the injury you sustained in the accident is not consolidated and requires additional and additional care in the long term.
Second, you can be compensated for your loss of income generated by the accident if you provide proof that you were unable to work, and justify the number of wages that you lost.
Third, you can claim compensation for pain and suffering including mental anguish – resulting from the accident, if you provide proof that the injury resulting from a said accident is permed.
Finally, you can get reimbursement for the repair of your own vehicle, or the market value of your vehicle if the vehicle is considered a wreck.
Also remember that if the action is brought against you, or if you make a claim for compensation against another driver, the insurance will only pay up to the amount corresponding to the limit contracted under each of the different policies taken out in the car insurance contract. For example, if your contract has a limit of $ 50,000 for bodily injury coverage, you are declared responsible for the accident, and the person you injured suffers more than $ 50,000, you will be personally liable. damages exceeding that sum of $ 50,000.
Auto insurance is something most of us pay for, hoping we never have to use it! But, if you do take out this insurance, be vigilant: make sure you have sufficient coverage to protect yourself and your family, hoping the ‘at fault’ driver has done the same!