These are two questions that attorneys frequently hear from clients after they’ve been in an accident. Their goal is to educate you on insurance and insurance companies so you can have the right coverage when you need it. As personal injury attorneys, Lyons Snyder can tell you, with certainty, that not all auto insurance carriers are the same. Some carriers may be better than others depending on the amount of coverage, age of drivers, number of claims, etc. You should discuss your options each renewal period with an experienced insurance agent as rates change all the time. If not, you might get crushed with rate increases.Understand Insurance Terms
- Bodily Injury Insurance (BI) covers you by paying for injuries to others
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) protects you if you’re in an accident with an at-fault driver that doesn’t carry or has inadequate BI insurance.
- 100k/300k: The minimum amount of BI insurance you must carry if you LEASE a vehicle. There is NO requirement for you to purchase BI insurance in Florida if you OWN a vehicle.
- In Florida, your UM coverage cannot exceed your BI coverage. Your UM coverage can be the same amount or a lower amount than your BI coverage.
- Stacked insurance increases your UM coverage in relation to how many cars you insure. If you have 2 cars, each with $25k in coverage, you will have 50k in available coverage.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is no-fault insurance coverage in Florida. This means that no matter who caused the accident, your car insurance will pay for 80% of the first $10,000 of medical treatment.
- Collision insurance is optional coverage that will help to repair or replace your vehicle if you cause an accident.
- Comprehensive insurance is optional coverage that will help repair or replace your vehicle in the event it is stolen or damaged (not in a collision).
Rules of Thumb When Getting Insurance
- You should max out your UM coverage to match your BI coverage. If you can’t afford the higher premium, consider reducing your BI coverage. Stacking your UM insurance may or may not be the best option / price depending on the carrier. Ask your insurance agent.
- Do not assume your current carrier has the best rates. Price shop insurance companies. This year, one of our personal injury attorneys switched from Travelers to MetLife due to more competitive rates.
What to Consider When Buying Car Insurance
- If someone files a claim against ME – bodily injury claim (BI) – will they act fairly towards that insured person so I don’t get sued?
- If I file a claim – uninsured motorist claim (UM) – will they act fairly towards ME so I don’t have to sue to get compensated for my injuries?
Clearly you should consider price when making a decision as to which car insurance to purchase and the amount of coverage. Price is the most important consideration, but should NOT be only consideration. Paying $110.00 a month for a top-rated insurance policy is a MUCH better cost-benefit then spending $100.00 a month for a cut-rate insurance policy.In our opinion as personal injury attorneys, [assuming every carrier quoted the same price] here are the tiers of auto insurance carriers in Florida. We are basing this list on how many cases we have settle with each carrier (without the need to file a lawsuit) and for the highest amount.The more the carrier fights/low-balls offers/denies coverage/exposes their insured to excess verdicts/etc, the lower they are on our list. This list does not include every car insurance company in Florida, but it does cover some of the most commonly used carriers. Additionally, many commercial carriers offer excellent coverage if you are eligible.