Frequently Asked Questions
1. What type of law does Jeffrey B. Sexton practice?
Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice.
2. Florida is a "No-Fault" automobile insurance state. What does that mean to a Florida resident?
According to Florida law, if you own a motor vehicle with four or more wheels you must carry at least $10,000 of personal
injury protection insurance (PIP) and a minimum of $10,000 of property damage insurance.
If you fail to carry PIP and property damage coverage, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has the authority to
suspend your driver's license and vehicle registration. To get your license back, you will have to pay a minimum fine of $150 for the first offense.
3. What is PIP or Personal Injury Protection insurance coverage?
If you are in an accident, personal injury protection insurance covers you whether you cause the accident or not, up to the limits of your policy.
PIP pays: 80% of reasonable medical expenses. 60% of lost wages and replacement services such as child care, home or yard cleaning. $5,000 for death benefits.
4. What is a deductible?
A deductible is the amount of money a policy holder must pay per claim.
Usually, the higher the deductible in a policy, the lower the premium. The insurance company must offer you PIP deductibles in the
amounts of $250, $500, $1,000 and $2,000, but you are not required to accept a deductible on your PIP coverage. The deductible may
apply only to you and family members who live with you.
PIP deductibles are subtracted from the available benefit, which is the total amount you can collect.
For example: The medical benefit of PIP is 80%, after any deductible, for medical expenses. If you have a $1,000 deductible and incur
$7,500 in medical bills, you will be responsible for the first $1,000 and twenty (20) percent of the remaining $6,500. In other words,
you will pay $2,300 of your expenses and your insurance company will pay $5,200.
5. Who does PIP cover?
For accidents that happen in Florida, PIP covers you and relatives who live in your home, passengers who do not have PIP coverage and
certain licensed drivers who drive your car with your permission. If someone injured in your car has PIP, then that person's PIP will
cover him or her, but if the person does not own a car or have any other access to PIP, your PIP will cover him or her. If the injured
person owns a car but doesn't have PIP, your PIP will not cover him or her.
6. What if an accident happens outside of Florida?
For accidents that happen outside of Florida, but inside the United States or Canada, PIP covers only you and relatives who live in your
home. In this case, you must be driving or riding in your own vehicle.
7. What is Property Damage Liability coverage?
This coverage pays for damage you or members of your family cause -- and are legally liable for -- to other people's property while: the
car is parked, or if the car rolls or if the car is being driven. "Property" may include a fence, telephone pole or building, as well as another car.
8. What other insurance can I buy?
You are not required by law to buy any insurance except PIP and Property Damage liability, unless your car is financed or you are
convicted of certain traffic violations or you are in an accident and cannot pay for the damages.
If you lease a vehicle for more than one year, Florida law requires that you carry coverage of $500,000.00 combined bodily injury
and property damage liability.
9. What is Bodily Injury Liability coverage?
This coverage pays for serious and permanent injury or death to others when your car is involved in an accident for which you are at
fault. The insurance company will pay for injuries up to the limits of your policy. It also pays for legal defense if you are sued.
Bodily injury Liability pays for injuries caused by you and members of your family who live with you, even if they are driving someone
else's car. It may also cover others who drive your car with your permission.
10. What is Collision coverage?
This coverage pays for repair or replacement of your car if it collides with another vehicle, crashes into an object or turns over.
It pays regardless of who causes the accident.
11. What is Comprehensive coverage?
This coverage pays for losses from incidents other than a collision.
Examples would be fire, theft, windstorm, vandalism or flood. Damages caused by falling objects or from hitting an animal are also covered.
If you have Comprehensive coverage, windshield repair or replacement is the only claim for which you are not charged a deductible.
Florida law requires this waiver to encourage drivers to replace damaged windshields immediately.
12. What is Bodily Injury Insurance?
This coverage pays for serious and/or permanent injury or death to others when your car is involved in an accident in which you are
at fault. The insurance company will pay for injuries up to the limits of your policy.
Bodily injury liability pays for injuries caused by you and members of your family who live with you, even if they are driving someone else's car. It
may also cover others who drive your car with your permission. This coverage also pays for legal representation to defend you if you are sued.
13.Why is bodily injury insurance coverage so important?
Bodily injury insurance coverage protects your assets against seizure and forfeiture if a claim or lawsuit is successfully
brought against you. Even if you own nothing more than an automobile and your home, while the court would usually not require
you to sell those to satisfy a judgment against you, a lien could be placed against your home, for example, that would have to
be satisfied when you eventually do sell the house. A judgment lien may remain in effect for as many as 20 (twenty) years.
14. What is Uninsured Motorists Coverage?
UM or Uninsured Motorist coverage pays only if you, your passengers or family members are hit by someone who is at fault and does not
have insurance, or if that person's insurance coverage is insufficient to pay for your loss. UM applies whether you are riding in your
car or someone else's, or are struck by a vehicle while walking or riding a bike.
15. What does UM cover?
UM pays for medical expenses and lost wages (beyond your PIP coverage) that you and your passengers suffer. Uninsured motorist coverage
also includes payment for pain and suffering.
16. Do I first have to use up (exhaust) all of my PIP coverage before I can make a UM claim?
No, Uninsured motorist coverage does not require that you exhaust your PIP limits before being able to recover under UM.
17. UM coverage comes in "stackable" and "Non-stackable" coverage. What does that mean?
Stackable uninsured motorist coverage means that the coverage limits for each car insured under your policy can be added together,
for example, if you insure 3 (three) cars and have stackable uninsured motorist coverage with limits of $10,000 per person and $20,000
per accident for each car (known as "10/20 limits"), you could be covered for a total of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident.
"Non-stackable" uninsured motorist coverage may be available at a reduced cost and only pays up to the limits for one insured car.
In the previous example, you would be covered for a limit of $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident. However, insurance companies
are not required to offer non-stackable coverage.
18. Can I purchase Uninsured Motorists insurance coverage without buying Bodily Injury Liability coverage?
No. You must purchase Bodily Injury insurance coverage in order to purchase UM coverage. In fact, when you purchase Bodily Injury
insurance, you must also be offered UM coverage. You do not have to buy UM coverage, but if you don't, you must specifically sign a
form rejecting the coverage. If your insurance agent neglects to have you sign the specific rejection, you will be presumed to have UM
coverage even though you may not have paid for it in advance.
19. Florida Law does not require that a person have Bodily Injury Insurance coverage, does it?
No, not initially. However, both property damage and bodily injury liability insurance are or can be required for drivers who have been
convicted of certain traffic violations or who have been in an accident and cannot pay for damages.
If you lease a vehicle for more than one year, Florida law requires that you carry coverage of $500,000 combined bodily injury and property damage liability.
20. What factors might affect the cost of insurance premiums?
To set their rates, insurance companies use a variety of factors to determine the likelihood of a policy holder being involved in an
accident or suffering a loss. The cost of auto insurance is not the same for every driver because the level of risk for the insurance
company is not the same for every driver.
Not all insurance companies use the same factors, and some companies attach more significance to some factors than to others. Some of the
factors that affect your premiums include:
Driving History (Accidents/Violations)
Type of Vehicle (Model/Year/Valve)
Territory where car is kept and driven
The gender of the person insured
21. What do I do if I am in an accident?
Always report the accident to the police, regardless of how minor you think the accident is. What looks like a little dent could be
much more expensive than you think to repair.
Make sure the police officer gives you a copy of the driver exchange information form.
Write down names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses in case you need them later.
Call your insurance agent and your insurance company immediately for further instructions on what to do. If you do not report the
accident, the insurance company may deny payment of any claim. The insurance company is responsible for the proper, timely and
reasonable investigation of claims.
Your insurance company must notify you within 30 (thirty) days of receiving proper notice of the claim whether they will pay or deny
your claim or that they are investigating the claim.
If you are in doubt as to your rights or confused by any explanation of them, contact an attorney who will spend time with you until you
do understand your rights. Not only your rights, but your responsibilities.