The trauma of a car accident is rarely over quickly. Not only are you likely to deal with the lingering pain of injuries, the inconvenience of repairing or replacing your vehicle, and the disruption of your normal routine, you will also be handling the financial problems, including dealing with your insurance company.
Florida's auto insurance laws are currently in the process of a major overhaul. Because of the rampant fraud associated with the no-fault system currently in place, lawmakers are changing the requirements for minimum coverage. Understanding the implications of the changes will be crucial to every driver.
What is no-fault coverage?
A handful of states have no-fault insurance systems. The benefit of a no-fault system is that it supposedly keeps your rates lower by reducing the need for investigation into who is responsible for an accident. The elimination of the need for an investigation often shortens the time it takes to receive your benefits.
Your own insurance company covers your damages through the required $10,000 personal injury protection you carry on your policy. However, if you have been in an accident, you know that $10,000 may barely scratch the surface of your medical bills. Sometimes those bills can reach into the hundreds of thousands, and PIP must cover your passengers as well.
Changes on the horizon
The proposed new system will require you to purchase bodily injury coverage. Instead of your own policy paying for your injuries, investigators will have to determine which driver was at fault. The at-fault driver's insurance will cover the cost of your medical care. Some say BI coverage offers three times more coverage than PIP. You will have to seek medical care within two weeks of your accident, but the proposal is seeking approval for you to be able to see a chiropractor or dentist if your injuries require this.
While lawmakers hope to save you money on your care insurance premiums, this remains to be seen. What is clear is that the aftermath of an accident will now likely include an investigation to weigh the liability of each driver. If you are injured and recovering, you will probably not be able to manage much investigating on your own. Having an attorney on your side will prove to be to your benefit, especially if your attorney is well-versed in the rapidly changing insurance laws in Florida.