Sinclair Law

Understanding Car Insurance: Are You Really Protected


Melbourne, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/06/2012 -- Personal injury attorneys frequently hear from individuals who seek representation because they did not know that their car, truck, or motorcycle was inadequately insured. For example, many insurance companies charge an extra premium on motorcycle insurance for what is called “Guest Passenger Liability.” What this means is that the company requires an extra premium to cover any passengers you have with you on your motorcycle. Without this coverage, you are left completely uninsured for your passenger’s lost wages, hospital bills, and injuries in the event that you are involved in an accident. Surely, you would expect insurance companies to be transparent about this fact. However, there are many insurance companies which do not point out this hole in your insurance. This is why you need to learn how to decipher insurance jargon and determine the full extent of your insurance coverage. It could save you thousands in the event of an accident. We have compiled some explanations of common insurance terms below.

PIP Insurance

PIP, or Personal Injury Protection, is also known as Florida No Fault Insurance. This type of insurance covers you, whether or not you caused the crash, up to the limits of your policy. Your PIP will also cover your child, members of your household, and/or passengers who lack PIP Insurance who are not vehicle owners. People riding with you who carry PIP will receive coverage under their own PIP for their injuries.

PIP coverage also protects you while you are in someone else's vehicle, as a pedestrian, or bicyclist, if you suffer an injury in a crash involving a motor vehicle, and also covers your child while he or she is riding on a school bus. Within the state of Florida, vehicle owners are required by law to carry a minimum of $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL). However, this applies only to vehicles with four wheels, as PIP is not available for motorcycles. An important note for motorcyclists to understand is this: PIP coverage on another vehicle with four wheels will not cover you in the event of a motorcycle accident.

Liability Coverage

Liability coverage insurance policies will help cover liability and expenses when you’re at fault in an accident. The insurance money will go to the people you hit, but it won’t cover the passengers in your vehicle. To cover passengers in your vehicle, PIP insurance is necessary.

Property Damage Liability

This type of policy pays for the damage done to the other car if you are at fault in an accident.

Bodily Injury Liability (BIL)

This type of policy will pay for the medical expenses of people injured in a crash if you are found to be at fault. Sometimes you will see BIL policies described as, for example, a 20/50 policy or a 100/300 policy. These numbers describe the maximum dollar amount the policy will pay for a single person’s injuries (the top number), and the maximum amount for all the injuries sustained by all the occupants of the other vehicle (the bottom number). For example, a 20/50 policy will pay a maximum of $20,000 for a single person’s injuries and up to $50,000 total for the injuries of everyone in the other vehicle with which you collided.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage will cover the costs if you are involved in an accident and the person at fault is uninsured, or carries only minimum insurance.


A collision policy will cover repairs to your vehicle after an accident if you were faulted for the accident. This type of policy typically supplements liability insurance in order to cover vehicle repairs regardless of the situation surrounding the accident. However, many people opt to only purchase a liability policy to save money. Cautious drivers can benefit from this arrangement, but should be aware that if they are faulted for an accident, they will receive no insurance benefit for any damage to their vehicle caused by the accident.


This type of policy applies to damages other than those caused in an accident. If your car is stolen or damaged by something other than a wreck, it will be covered by a Comprehensive policy. This is especially helpful in situations where your vehicle is at high risk of being vandalized, but can benefit all drivers in order to cover those “strange things” that can happen to your vehicle while it is parked.

Unfortunately, many people do not realize their discount vehicle insurance policy is inadequate until it is too late. If you have been injured in a car or motorcycle accident, and are facing hospital bills and additional costs that are not covered by an insurance policy, please contact Sinclair Law.