What Does Florida’s “No-Fault” Auto Insurance Mean?
States are either an “at-fault” or a “no-fault” state when it comes to auto insurance. Although most states at this point have subscribed to the “at-fault” type, Florida remains a “no-fault” state. What does this mean for drivers that are involved in a wreck in Florida?
The term “no-fault” refers to a mandatory coverage on all Florida residents’ auto policy called personal injury protection (“PIP”). This coverage affords drivers and their passengers $10,000 to pay for medical bills, wage loss, out of pocket, and a select amount of other economic issues that may arise in an auto collision.
This coverage pays various percentages of bills or lost wages without any regard for who is responsible for the wreck. For instance, if you or your medical provider present medical bills that result from a wreck to your auto insurance carrier, the carrier will pay 80% of the bill. This continues until the $10,000 policy is used up. The “no-fault” aspect of your policy ends once the $10,000 is exhausted.
You may be wondering, who is responsible for the 20% that wasn’t paid by PIP, or who is responsible for the bills/wage loss above the $10,000? The answer depends on whether you are responsible for the wreck or not. If you’re responsible for the wreck, or “at-fault”, you will be responsible for your own bills after the PIP exhausts. If you’re not responsible for the wreck, you will need to attempt to collect additional damages from either the liability policy from the at-fault driver’s policy and/or your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage if you elected to carry this coverage.
You may think the term “no-fault” is a little misleading after learning the only portion of the auto claim that isn’t dictated by responsibility is the PIP. You would be correct, as any other coverage you can utilize requires a determination of fault. However, “at-fault” states do not have PIP policies at all. In these states, unless you have an optional “medical payment” coverage, any reimbursement surrounding your injuries would require you to not be at fault.
The Florida legislature recently attempted to abolish PIP coverage, thus switching Florida to an at-fault state. This attempt was rejected by the governor by way of a veto. There may be more attempts in the future, and should the law change, you will need to reconsider your coverage and make sure you are adequately covered.
We will certainly post about any new obligations and how that may affect you if any changes occur.
If you’ve been involved in a wreck and want to learn more about your circumstances specifically, we always provide a free consultation. Call us or message us on our website/social media to schedule your consultation today.