•  
  • Top AV Button

  •  

    Blog

    Does Your Automobile / Motorcycle Insurance Provide You with “Full Coverage”? Almost Certainly Not…

    September 8, 2015


    Full coverage Punta Gorda motorcycle insurance Port Charlotte motorcycle Insurance

    I have handled countless automobile, motorcycle, and bicycle accidents in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, and Englewood in the last 20 years. At the beginning of every claim, I ask my prospective client “Do you know what levels of insurance coverage you have?” I’d venture to say that 80% of people respond with the same answer: “Oh, I have full coverage”. Of all the folks who believe they have “full coverage”, in my experience less than 1 in 10 actually does. Full coverage Punta Gorda motorcycle insurance Port Charlotte motorcycle Insurance dos not always fully cover you in the case of an accident!

    Most people believe they have “full coverage” because they purchased a policy which includes “coverage” under every category where insurance is offered, such as:

    1. Personal Injury Protection (pays for your medical bills)
    2. Property Damage (pays for damage to other vehicle if you cause accident)
    3. Comprehensive (pays for damages to your vehicle caused by another driver)
    4. Towing Expenses
    5. Vehicle Rental
    6. Bodily Injury (compensates another who you’ve negligently injured in an accident)
    7. Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist (compensates you for injury if driver who caused accident is uninsured or underinsured)

    People believe merely having all seven (7) of these coverages, regardless of the actual amount of coverage they’ve purchased, is “full coverage”, because Florida law (shamefully, I might add) only requires two (2) of these coverages, i.e. $10,000.00 in Property Damage coverage and $10,000.00 in Personal Injury Protection benefits. Let me show you with some simple examples why having merely purchased all of these coverages as part of your insurance policy, without focusing on the actual amounts of the coverages you’ve purchased, does not equate to having “full coverage”. I will focus on Property Damage coverage in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Englewood, Bodily Injury coverage in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Englewood, and Unsinured/Underinsured Motorist coverage in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Englewood. These are the three (3) coverages for Full coverage Punta Gorda motorcycle insurance Port Charlotte motorcycle insurance where most people fall woefully short, and don’t realize it until it’s too late.

    Property Damage Coverage in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Englewood:

    Florida law only requires us to carry $10,000.00 in Property Damage coverage, which pays for property damage you caused as a result of negligently operating your car or motorcycle. If you cause more than $10,000.00 in property damage, however, you are personally responsible for all damages above the $10,000.00 limit you purchased. If you accidentally go through a red light and broadside a newer model luxury car, do you feel $10,000.00 in Property Damage coverage is enough to cover that loss? Probably not. If you accidentally rear-end a vehicle stopped in line at a red light and that vehicles pushes forward into another vehicle, do you feel $10,000.00 in Property Damage coverage is enough to cover the property damage of two vehicles? Probably not. In these scenarios, other drivers and their insurance companies will be suing you personally for all of their property damage over and above your $10,000.00 Property damage insurance limit.

    Solution Regarding Property Damage Coverage in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Englewood:

    Purchase at least $50,000.00 in Property Damage coverage, but we recommend $100,000.00 in light of the increasing cost of automobiles and their repair.

    Bodily Injury Coverage in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Englewood:

    Bodily Injury coverage compensates someone you’ve negligently injured in an accident. Please recall that Florida law does not require you to purchase any Bodily Injury coverage. Nonetheless, you responsibly decide to purchase some level of Bodily Injury coverage. You can generally purchase this coverage for limits anywhere from a minimum of $10,000.00, all the way up through $1,000,000.00. So, how much should you purchase to make sure that you’re “fully covered”?

    Statistics seem to bear out that each of us, at least once in our lives, will cause an accident that involves serious injury to another, i.e. bone fractures, a surgical procedure performed, substantial scarring, etc. Serious injury claims usually involve voluntary settlements or jury verdicts which exceed $100,000.00. If you’ve purchased only $50,000.00 in Bodily Injury coverage, do you feel you’re fully covered if this scenario occurs? Clearly not. In this instance, you can be sued by the injured party, and any judgment entered in excess of your $50,000.00 Bodily Injury insurance limit will be entered against you personally. Obtaining the proper level of Bodily Injury coverage, and the financial protection it provides, is even more important for those who have reached a level of financial comfort and security in their lives. The more financial success you’ve enjoyed, the more you have to protect.

    Recommendations Regarding Bodily Injury Coverage in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Englewood:

    1. Unless financially impossible for you to afford, never carry less than $100,000.00 Bodily Injury coverage.
    2. The more assets you own and personal wealth you’ve accumulated, the more Bodily Injury coverage you need to purchase.
    3. When deciding on the proper level of Bodily Injury coverage to purchase, have an honest discussion with your local insurance agent or an attorney like myself regarding your assets and personal wealth. This conversation takes less than 30 minutes. Unfortunately, this incredibly important discussion almost never occurs when people purchase their automobile/motorcycle insurance coverage. The amount of Bodily Injury coverage you purchase should be directly related to the amount of assets you’ve accumulated. The more assets and wealth you have, the more Bodily Injury coverage you require.

    Unisnured /Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Englewood:

    Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverages compensates you if you’re injured by another driver who either doesn’t have insurance, or has Bodily Injury coverage in an amount that’s less than the value of your injury claim. Please recall that Florida law (shamefully) does not require vehicle owners to carry any Bodily Injury coverage at all. As a result, if a negligent driver either without insurance or who has purchased an amount of Bodily Injury coverage that is far less than the value of your injury claim causes you serious injury, there may be no coverage (or very little coverage) to compensate you for your loss. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage protects you from this all-too-common scenario in Florida. You can generally purchase this coverage for limits anywhere from a minimum of $10,000.00, all the way up through $1,000,000.00. So, how much should you purchase to make sure that you’re “fully covered”?

    Statistics coincidentally seem to bear out that not only will each of us, at least once in our lives, cause an accident that involves serious injury to another, they also indicate that each of us will be seriously injured by another in an accident at least once in our lives. Knowing these statistics, obtaining a proper level of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist benefits is crucial in Florida, a state in which other drivers are not required to carry any Bodily Injury coverage whatsoever.

    Once again, serious injury claims usually involve voluntary settlements or jury verdicts which exceed $100,000.00. If you’ve purchased only $25,000.00 in Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage, do you feel you’re fully covered if this common scenario occurs? Clearly not. In this instance, for example, you could suffer a $500,000.00 injury and collect only $25,000.00 because of a lack of insurance coverage limits between the other driver’s Bodily Injury and your Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverages. This sad scenario happens each and every day in Florida.

    Purchasing Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage in substantial amounts is particularly important for motorcyclists. There are very few motorcycle accidents which involve only “minor” injuries, because motorcyclists have little protection. Whereas the occupant of an automobile is protected by seat-belts, air-bags, and the carriage of the vehicle, the motorcyclist has no such protections. Motorcyclists often contact the roadway at substantial force, which almost always brings about serious injuries such as fractures, internal injuries, paralysis, or death.

    Recommendations Regarding Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Englewood:

    1. Florida law does not allow you to carry more Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist benefits (which protects you from the negligence of others) than what you carry for Bodily Injury coverage (which protects others from your negligence). As a result, you can never protect yourself from the negligence of others more than you are willing to protect others from your negligence. So if you want to fully protect you and your family, you will need to protect the public fully from you!
    2. Unless financially impossible for you to afford, never carry less than $100,000.00 Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist benefits. If you ride a motorcycle and can afford the coverage, never carry less than $250,000.00 in Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist benefits. Simple accident statistics show that you will almost certainly need this coverage at some point in your life.
    3. Always “stack” your Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage. “Stacking”, the cost of which is fairly minimal, multiplies your level of coverage by the number of automobiles you have on your policy. Thus, if you choose to purchase $100,000.00 in Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist benefits and you have three (3) vehicles on your insurance policy, you in fact have $300,000.00 in Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage.
    4. When deciding on the proper level of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist benefits to purchase, have an honest discussion with your local insurance agent or an attorney like myself regarding your assets, personal wealth, and family situation. This conversation takes less than 30 minutes. Unfortunately, this incredibly important discussion almost never occurs when people purchase their automobile/motorcycle insurance coverage.

    Conclusion

    Please take out your automobile or motorcycle insurance policy in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Englewood. Take a look at what coverages you purchased, and more importantly, pay special attention to the amount of coverage you purchased, especially for Bodily Injury coverage and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist benefits. Ask yourself these simple questions:

    1. “If I caused an accident this week, and the driver I injured suffered a non-surgical wrist fracture, a rotator cuff tear which required surgery, and a serious ankle fracture which required surgery to insert a plate and screws to stabilize the fracture, do I have an appropriate level of Bodily Injury coverage which fairly compensates the injured driver, and in so doing protects me from getting sued?”
    2. “If I were in an accident this week caused by an uninsured or seriously underinsured driver, and I suffered a non-surgical wrist fracture, a rotator cuff tear which required surgery, and a serious ankle fracture which required surgery to insert a plate and screws to stabilize the fracture, do I have an appropriate level of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist benefits to fairly compensate me and my family for my injuries, lost wages, unpaid medical expenses?”

    If your answer to either question is “no”, you, like most others, do not have the “full coverage” you believed you had. If you have additional questions regarding the topic of this blog post, or would like to review your automobile/motorcycle insurance policy in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Englewood with me, I would be happy to speak with you.

  • Jason B. Goldman

    Overall Peer Rating:
    5.0 ratings_bar_small_5_0
    Overall Client Rating:
    5.0 ratings_bar_small_5_0


    Additional Information

    Contact

    T: 941.625.6666
    F: 941.625.0660
    jgoldman@gtslawfirm.com
    Download V-Card
    Download PDF

    Assistant

    Karen Simmons
    ksimmons@gtslawfirm.com

    Practice Areas

    Education

    Loyola Law School, New Orleans (J.D. 1995)
    Florida State University, Tallahassee (B.S., Political Science; B.S. Criminology, 1992)

  • GTS Blog

  • Header Text

    The Martindale-Hubbell Rating system is the quintessential benchmark for reviewing & rating lawyers. All of our lawyers hold the HIGHEST AV rating qualification possible. LEARN MORE about how our ratings benefit you when it comes time in choosing legal representation.