When we buy a car in Florida, we likely ask ourselves if we need bodily injury insurance in Florida. This type of insurance offers coverage for bodily injury caused by negligent acts, and the coverage only pays for the victim’s damages.
This means that if you drive with this type of insurance and cause an accident, the insurance will only pay for the injuries you cause to others, not for your injuries. A different kind of personal injury protection coverage must pay for your injuries.
Remember that Florida has one of the country’s most complicated insurance coverage systems because of its no-fault personal injury protection law.
What is bodily injury liability insurance in Florida?
Bodily injury liability coverage is part of a typical insurance policy that protects the body of the person who a negligent driver injured. This coverage is paid to another person and is not paid to the person who owns the policy.
With this type of injury, we will never have coverage for our injuries, but other parts of the policy may cover our injuries in Florida. No-fault or PIP coverage, Medpay coverage, or UM coverage will apply in these cases. If we have an accident, the policy will pay to represent us with an attorney for any damages we have caused.
Is bodily injury liability insurance mandatory in Florida?
Technically it is not mandatory to have this type of insurance in Florida, but in practice, it will be better to have at least $10,000 of bodily injury liability insurance. The cases in which this insurance is essential will be if we have had previous automobile accidents or have committed certain infractions.
Only personal injury protection and property damage liability insurance will be required to obtain a license and drive in Florida. However, by law, if a driver has been involved in an accident with at least $500 in property damage, they must be financially responsible, or the license and registration will be suspended.
With such a policy already, the process will be much easier, especially if coverage of at least $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident is offered. However, if we do not have the insurance, we may end up paying a $30,000 bond.
On the other hand, people who are guilty or have been charged with DUI will be required to carry insurance with bodily injury coverage of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. In these cases, this coverage must be carried out for up to 3 years before driving privileges are restored.
If we cause an automobile accident and cannot comply with the legal requirements, our license will be suspended for three years. The only way to get it back sooner is to cover the damages suffered by the injured person and the entire claim.
Reasons to have this type of coverage
There are two main reasons why it is a great idea to have coverage of this type in Florida. The first is that if we cause a car accident and injure another person, the coverage will pay them for the damages and protect our capital and property. In addition, the insurer will bear the attorney’s fees required against the claim.
On the other hand, one reason is that insurers will only sell uninsured motorist coverage if BI coverage is also included. This is because UM coverage does not provide adequate bodily injury coverage.
However, 26% of Florida drivers have no insurance, and of the remaining 74%, 25% only have the minimum required coverage. This does not include any bodily injury liability coverage.
Can a person who does not have BI insurance in Florida be sued?
Yes. Lawsuits of this type generally seek to have the parties tender their insurance coverage. These claims are governed by Florida common law, and the main aspect of these claims is to prove that the wrongdoer should have been careful and breached that duty by being negligent.
One aspect to consider is whether the defendant has no bodily injury liability insurance because we must see if it is worth it. Most people do not have liquid assets to pay a judgment, so we will generally only try to collect up to the policy limits.
Since Florida has a strong homestead law, people will be exempt from being garnished to pay a judgment. For this reason, should we sue a person who does not have insurance, we will likely never recover our money.
How much liability insurance is recommended?
Ideally, we should buy as much bodily injury insurance as we can afford because this will protect our assets in an accident. The Financial Responsibility Law requires a bodily injury liability of $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident.
Therefore, this would be the minimum amount we will have to contract our insurance policy. It is best to purchase BI coverage of at least $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident.
This will be a good level of coverage that will allow us to protect ourselves in case of an accident. In this way, we will protect ourselves if an underinsured motorist injures us because a serious auto accident can easily cost more than $100,000 in medical treatment.
For this reason, whenever we can, it is best to purchase the necessary coverages so that we can get the maximum possible protection we can have.