Out of every Florida auto insurance coverage, the one most questioned seems to be Florida No Fault. In fact, just a few years ago the Florida Legislature even considered eliminating Florida No Fault coverage. Why? Because of its unique association with insurance fraud. In fact, from insurance investigations to grand jury reports, Florida No Fault seems to be a lightning rod for corrupt medical clinics, faked injuries, and bogus accidents.
Yet despite all of the attention directed at Florida No Fault, it is arguably the most misunderstood auto insurance coverage of all. Why is that? Simple. No one seems to understand it!
For the sake of the Florida driving public, we’re going to take a stab at clarifying the most common misconceptions that surround Florida No Fault.
It’s amazing how all those self-described “answer sites” invariably characterize Florida No Fault as “no fault for everything”. Because I’ve seen so many of these flagrantly incorrect comments, I feel compelled to clarify.
1. Florida No Fault – also known as Personal Injury Protection or PIP – is exclusively dedicated to compensation for accident related medical care. The “no fault” comes in only because PIP pays for medical treatment regardless of fault in an accident.
Simply put, even if you crash into the rear end of another vehicle, causing untold damage to your car and the one you hit, your Florida No Fault pays for treatment of your injuries. PIP also pays for injuries to involved members of your family, and for passengers if they have no auto insurance coverage of their own.
Florida No Fault, like all other insurance coverages, pays only to the limits of your policy. By Florida Law, PIP pays only to the limit of $10,000 at a rate of 80%. However, as an addendum to Florida No Fault, you have the option of selecting Med Pay which pays the 20% difference. And, you are also free to select from several deductible options.
2. You cannot receive compensation for “pain and suffering” under Florida No Fault. PIP is to be used exclusively for the payment of medical treatment or for a percentage of lost wages. It should not be confused with Bodily Injury Liability coverage which is intended to compensate for the pain and suffering that you could cause to others – or that others cause you – in an at fault accident.
3. We leave for last, the most common misperception of all with regard to Florida No Fault. Pay attention here – Florida No Fault does not apply to property damages or bodily injury damages.
What does this mean? Quite simply, if you are involved in an accident in Florida you are still held accountable for liability. How many times have you heard the part time “experts” preach that you should just call your own insurance company to take care of your damages because “Florida is no fault”.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
At fault damages are covered under the umbrella of liability insurance. Property damage liability covers property damage caused by an at fault driver. Bodily injury liability covers injury damages caused by an at fault driver. Property Damage liability is required in Florida. Bodily Injury is not.