What is Florida Personal Auto Insurance?

Florida personal automobile insurance protects you against financial loss from any automobile accident, either your fault or caused by another party.  Your financial loss may include payments to others for an accident you caused (liability), injuries to passengers in your automobile, and damage to your automobile or the automobile of others.  Vehicles such as cars, vans, station wagons, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles designed primarily for use on public roads can be covered by a Florida personal automobile policy.  You will often hear this type of policy referred to as a “PAP.”

What are some of the coverages provided by a Florida Personal Automobile policy?
Typical coverages that may be found in a Florida Personal Automobile policy are:

  • Liability that protects the Named Insured for claims or lawsuits for bodily injury caused by the operation of a covered automobile.
  • Property damage protects you for losses to the property of others. This may include damage to mail boxes, light posts, fences, and buildings.
  • Medical payments that are reasonable and necessary due to bodily injury caused by an automobile accident.
  • Uninsured (UM)/ Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage pays for damages caused by a motorist who does not have needed or required insurance. Examples include a driver who has no insurance, a driver who does not have adequate insurance, a person whose insurer cannot pay, and hit-and-run drivers.  Underinsured coverage is important in situations where the negligent party has insurance but the amount is not sufficient to pay total damages.
  • Damage to a covered automobile – Collision or Other Than Collision. Collision is the upset or impact of your covered automobile with another vehicle or object. Typical losses include one car colliding with another car and hitting an object such as a tree or building. Other Than Collision losses (sometimes referred to as comprehensive coverage) are losses that are direct and accidental and not due to collision.  Examples include exterior damage caused by splattered paint due to being parked next to a building being painted.  An interesting fact about Other Than Collision coverage is that it also covers colliding with a bird or animal.

What are some additional coverage options available in Florida?
There are many additional coverage options available and one of our insurance specialists can discuss these with you.  Some of the more popular additional options include:

  • Liability and Property Damage Limits: There are numerous options for the liability and property damage limits you can elect. You can determine an appropriate limit based on your financial situation and the amount of protection desired.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Coverage that pays benefits, regardless of fault, for certain medical expenses, income loss, and other benefits resulting from bodily injury to individuals occupying a covered automobile.
  • Towing and Labor: Pays for towing your car when the car was in an accident.
  • Rental Reimbursement: Coverage pays for a rental car when you rent a car due to your covered automobile being repaired due a covered accident.
  • Trailers Endorsement: Covers trailers or camper bodies.
  • Extended Non-owned: Provides coverage for automobiles that are furnished or made available for regular use by you.
  • Auto Loan/Lease: Amends physical damage coverage so that you may be paid the amount due on your lease or loan.
  • Excess Electronic Equipment: Increases the standard limit for electronic equipment and extends coverage for direct and accidental loss to tapes, records, disks, or other media you own.

Who is responsible for purchasing Personal Automobile insurance?
Many states have laws that require automobile operators to provide proof of financial responsibility after an accident or traffic violation.  The Personal Automobile Policy (PAP) can be used to provide proof of financial responsibility.  Required limits and coverage varies by state.  The state of Florida requires all automobile owners to carry Personal Injury Protection that includes property damage.

Does a Florida Personal Automobile policy have deductibles?
Collision and Other than Collision often have deductibles.  There are various options available for you to choose based on the level of coverage and price you are willing to pay for these coverages.  If you have an automobile loan, you will be required to carry Collision and Other Than Collision coverage.  Generally, the prices for both of these coverages is reduced as the amount of the deductible increases.  One factor to consider in purchasing a policy is your ability to pay the specified deductible amount. This is important since the deductible has to be paid in full before other loss amounts are paid.

Are there any discounts available?
There are possible discounts available for:

  • Air bag or anti-theft systems (manufacturer installed)
  • Multi-car (more than one car on the same policy)
  • Paying in full (paying total premium – no installments)
  • Good driver (no accidents for 3 or 5 years)
  • Good student (full time student with good grades)

This is a general description of a Personal Automobile Policy and should not be considered an interpretation of your specific coverage.  You must consult your specific policy for coverage, definitions, limits, conditions, and requirements.