Auto Insurance

A personal auto policy, or PAP, is an important form of insurance for many people living in Florida. Here, we’ll review what a PAP typically entails and the coverage that it provides as a contract between you and your insurance company.

Components of a Personal Automobile Policy in Florida

  • Declarations Page: The declarations page of a PAP provides information about the policy owner, the vehicles covered by the policy, and other features referenced in the policy.
  • Part A: Liability Coverage: After an automobile accident, liability coverage protects you against expenses for other people’s injuries and property. It’s important not to skimp on liability coverage because pain and suffering claims can seem boundless. Bodily injury coverage and property damage coverage are the two types of liability coverage outlined in a PAP.
  • Part B: Medical Payments Coverage: Medical expenses caused by an automobile accident are covered by medical payments coverage, or med pay. A set dollar limit applies to med pay, and it’s designed to pay for any urgent medical treatment needed by passengers of your car in an auto accident. Med pay ensures that passengers can receive covered treatment without having to wait to determine fault.
  • Part C: Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: You’re protected from losses due to uninsured or underinsured (insufficient insurance to cover the loss) under this part of a PAP.
  • Part D: Coverage for Damage to Your Automobile: There are two individual parts to this section of coverage. The first part, collision coverage, generally provides coverage for damage to your vehicle incurred in an accident. The second part, comprehensive coverage, generally provides coverage against physical damage to your car resulting from fire, theft, flood, and vandalism. You can choose to purchase one or both of these coverage types for each of your vehicles. Also, these coverage types can be written with a deductible or without a deductible, which would typically range from $100 to $1,000. When your deductible is higher, your premium will be lower, and vice versa.
  • Part E: Duties After an Accident or Loss: The exact process to follow for your insurer to cover your claim is detailed in Part E of your PAP. It consists of a list of both broad and specific duties that you have to follow conscientiously when filing a claim. Receiving an insurance payment in a timely manner depends on going through these steps exactly as they’re listed here.
  • Part F: Personal Auto Policy Provision: Provisions limiting and qualifying coverage detailed throughout your PAP are included in Part F. These provisions will typically be called disclaimers, and if they’re not adhered to, your insurer can refuse to provide coverage for your claim.

You may add optional coverage types to your PAP for an added price to increase your coverage beyond the basic parts listed above.

Exclusions and Limitations

Exclusions are events and situations detailed in your PAP that are excluded from coverage. For instance, an exclusion in your PAP may by property damage or personal injury caused intentionally. Normal wear and tear damage to your vehicle or mechanical breakdown are two other common exclusions.

Limitations are maximum dollar amounts applied to the coverage provided under your PAP. Liability, medical payments, uninsured motorists, collision, and comprehensive coverages typically all have individual limitations.

Always read your PAP carefully to fully understand exclusions and limitations to your automobile coverage.

Individuals Covered By a PAP

The following individuals are usually covered under a PAP in South Florida and beyond:

Named Insured: You’re specified as a named insured under a section of the declarations page. This means that you’re the primarily insured individual under the PAP. The named insured and his or her vehicles have the most thorough coverage under the PAP.

Spouses: The spouse of the named insured typically receives identical coverage under the PAP if they reside in the same home as the named insured. This is true even if the spouse isn’t specified as a named insured on the PAP’s declarations page.

Family Members: Family members that own, use, and maintain the vehicle covered under the PAP are insured under the policy and typically receive nearly the same amount of coverage as the named insured. The definition of a family member under your PAP is specified in the policy.

Others: In the case of an accident, other individuals may receive coverage from specific parts of your policy in these circumstances:

  • Liability coverage: The individual was using the insured automobile.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage and medical payments coverage: They were occupying the insured automobile.
  • Liability coverage: They’re legally responsible for the actions of someone insured under your policy.
  • Uninsured motorists coverage: They’re entitled to recover from injuries sustained by you, your resident spouse, family member, or any other individual covered under the PAP.

If an automobile not covered under the PAP, other individuals can receive coverage under your policy if:

  1. Liability coverage: They’re not the owner of the automobile and are legally responsible for the actions of another individual covered under your policy.
  2. Uninsured motorists coverage: They’re entitled to recover from injuries sustained by you, your resident spouse, family member, or any other individual covered under the PAP.

Additional Coverage Options

How Much Auto Insurance Do I Need?

Buying automobile insurance can be a daunting process, so be sure to ask as many questions as necessary to thoroughly understand all terminology. This will help to ensure that you purchase the appropriate amount of coverage for your needs. We’re always happy to help differentiate between terms and explain the specifics of various coverage types.

Multiple types of coverage are combined into a single policy with auto insurance. Generally, comprehensive, collision, medical, liability, and uninsured motorist coverage will be combined in some way to create your auto policy. The policy cost is determined based on the deductible amount, the value of the vehicle, and your personal information (such as your age). Your policy rate will go down if you lower the amount of coverage or raise the deductible amount.

When determining the coverage that you need, consider these factors:

Liability: Liability coverage covers damage to others that you’re responsible for in an auto accident. You also have protection in the event that you’re sued after an accident. If you have sizable assets, you’re at risk for significant loss. As such, individuals with considerate financial resources may need to purchase additional liability coverage from what’s provided in an auto insurance policy. We offer personal umbrella policies for additional liability coverage.

Collision: Collision coverage offers protection for your automobile in an accident. The value of your car should determine the amount of collision coverage that you purchase. Low-value cars may not be worth a sizable collision insurance payment, but high-value cars are. We’ll provide assistance in determining the right amount of collision insurance for your automobile.

Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage provides payment for your automobile in the case of theft, vandalism, or damage not related to a collision.

Medical: Medical coverage pays for medical expenses resulting from an accident for both you and the passengers of your car. In determining the amount of medical coverage to purchase, consider your driving habits. If you're a parent who frequently has young passengers in the car, this is an important protection to have. But, if you’re a young professional who mainly commutes alone, a lesser amount of medical coverage is likely sufficient.

Uninsured motorist: If you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver, this coverage protects you from financial loss and is absolutely essential.

Gap coverage: Gap coverage pays the difference between a leased automobile payoff and the amount paid under insurance coverage in the event of damage or theft in the term of a lease. Typically, the lessee must not be in default under the lease terms for gap coverage to apply.

Complete protection results when you understand your individual circumstances and use them to determine the right amount of coverage for you. Determine your unique needs before your Florida auto insurance consultation, and we’ll help you with the specific terminology. With an understanding of the language of automobile insurance, you can apply for the policy that’s ideal for you.