The unfortunate reality is that you usually can’t make an insurance company pay beyond its policy limit. But there are options available for you to recover the full amount of your accident claim. This article will guide you on what you can do when your claim exceeds your insurance coverage after a car accident in Florida.
The first step in understanding how you can recover for your losses in an accident is to know how the no-fault insurance laws work in Florida. The second step is knowing what was damaged and who is responsible for the accident to determine where you can collect damages beyond your policy limits.
Step 1. Understanding Florida’s No-Fault Policy
Florida has a “No fault” policy, which means each insurance covers their insured driver, regardless of who is at fault. The insurance company pays for the car repairs and medical bills up to the policy limits and you don’t have to prove liability to receive payments.
How much you can recover for your car repairs
Florida has a minimum liability limit of 10,000 dollars; and your auto damage adjuster may call to inform you that the damage exceeded the $10,000 policy limit so your car will not be fixed anymore.
The obvious disadvantage is that since Florida laws only require its drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 personal injury protection and property damage coverage, you have to pay for your medical bills or repairs exceeding this amount. If the cost of repair is higher than the guaranteed value in an insurance, then the insurer will write off the vehicle as totaled and pay the owner the guaranteed value.
To make it simple- if your car is damaged your policy shall pay for the cost of the repair but only up to the maximum guaranteed coverage.
Maximum liability for Personal injury
Your own insurer pays for the medical bills and other costs for your rehabilitation, but only up to the policy limits. If there’s a claim, the insurer pays out the maximum and move on. So, even if you are not at-fault and you sustain personal injury, you may have to take the extra cash out of your own pocket to pay the balance.
Step 2. Knowing Who is At-Fault and How Much the Damage Costs
The minimum amount of coverage for property damage liability is $10,000.
What happens if the accident was not your fault, and the repair costs of the vehicle exceed the required policy coverage? You can recover the damages from the following options, depending on the circumstances of the accident.
- Under or uninsured motorist coverage
This type of motorists’ coverage usually pays for your medical bills and lost wages, and damage to your car if the at-fault driver does not carry enough liability insurance to cover them or has no insurance at all.
- If aside from your required auto insurance, you also have an under or uninsured motorist coverage, this additional insurance shall pay for the damages exceeding your policy limits.
- The At-fault Driver’s Insurer
The auto liability coverage of the person at fault would be used to help pay for injury, the other driver’s car repair and property damage claims.
Step 3. Third Parties
There are situations when a third party, like government entities, can be held responsible for damages in an accident because of lack of road signs and poor road conditions.
If your insurance is not enough to pay for your accident damages, or you are overwhelmed with the legal steps to recover your losses, talk to us!