24 Mar Tampa Car Accidents: What does “Policy Limits” mean?
Often times in relation to Tampa car accidents, you may hear the phrase policy limits. “What are the policy limits?” “Did your attorney get you policy limits?” “I got policy limits!” But, what exactly does policy limits mean?
What Does Policy Limits Mean?
Each insurance policy, whether it be issued by Allstate, Progressive, State Farm, Geico or any other insurance company has a limit or maximum amount that the insurance company has to pay when an individual(s) is involved in a Tampa car accident. This is regardless of how severe the injuries are. This limit or maximum amount is commonly referred to as the “policy limits.”
What Are the Policy Limit Requirements in Tampa, Florida?
In Tampa, and throughout of Florida, you are not required to carry bodily injury or uninsured motorist coverage, so the policy limits may be zero. “So, you are saying the insurance company will not be required to pay anything?” Yes and no. Florida is a no-fault state meaning you will get up to $10,000.00 in no-fault benefits that will cover medical expenses and lost wages. However, those monies will only go to your medical providers, not to you personally. In some cases to you may recover under your no-fault benefits personally, but that is only if you have lost wages. Therefore, you have to protect yourself.
How Can I Increase My Policy Limits?
You have no control over bodily injury coverage policy limits. That is the other party’s insurance and you cannot not dictate what coverage they buy. However, you do have the option to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for as much as you would like which would increase the policy limits in which you can recover. This is highly recommended as the State of Florida does not require that a vehicle purchase bodily injury coverage meaning, as referenced above, that policy limits could be zero for your accident. Therefore, you must protect yourself and make sure that you have the proper policy limits for you.
Does The Insurance Company Have To Pay Policy Limits?
The insurance company only has to pay policy limits regarding your Tampa car accident if the damages warrant it. For example, if you have $1,500.00 in medical bills, you are very unlikely to recover $250,000.00 if that were to be the policy limits. However, if your claim is deemed to be worth the policy limits and the insurance company refuses to pay the policy limits, then you may be able to recover more than the policy limits in a bad faith claim. Bad faith claims are extremely complicated, and you should contact a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney to discuss that type of claim as it differs on a case by case basis.
How To Find Out What The Policy Limits Are?
Typically, you can attempt to ask the adjuster what the policy limits are, and they may or may not tell you. They have no obligation to tell you based on a verbal request, you are likely going to have to make the request in writing under Florida Statute 627. Once you make the request, the adjuster will forward you a declarations page usually with some additional policy documents. The declarations page will usually have two numbers if there is bodily injury coverage or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. For example, it may say “$10,000/$20,000.” But, what does that mean? The first number means $10,000 per person and the second number means $20,000 per accident.
So, if there is one person, the insurance company could have to pay up to $10,000. If there are two people, the insurance could have to pay $10,000 per person but only $20,000 for the whole accident. If there are three people, the insurance company could only have to pay up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 for the whole accident. The $20,000 may be split in different ways but never exceeding more than $10,000 to one person. It could be $10,000 to person one, $5,000 to person two and $5,000 to person three. It could also be $8,000 to person one, $7,000 to person two, and $5,000 to person three. It all depends on injuries and what each claim is valued at.
It is highly recommended that if there are if there are multiple people involved or multiple cars involved in your Tampa car accident that you contact a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney to assist you. Why? It is because if you and the other parties decide to go at it alone, the insurance company decides how injured you are and makes the determination on how the monies should be split which could leave you with getting less monies than you deserve. Retaining an attorney allows you to have someone on your side to handle the insurance company and fight for you so you get the compensation that you deserve.
Have Questions About Policy Limits in Tampa, FL?
I understand this is a lot of information that can get complicated quickly. If you are to have any questions, I am always available to assist. Feel free to contact me at any time as I want to make sure that you and your family have the coverage that you want so you are properly protected. Insurance is incredibly important, and it is something that you want to do right from the beginning, or it could cost you a lot in the end.
EXPERIENCED CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
I understand that the process after getting into a car accident can be difficult and stressful. You probably have a lot of questions and very few answers. Allow me to be there for you every step of the way. I offer a FREE no-obligation consultation and will review your accident claim with you personally at one of the office locations in Tampa, Zephyrhills, or Saint Pete. Cannot make it to me? I will come to wherever is convenient to you at NO charge. You deserve to be compensated and I want to get justice for you!
Contact Car Accident Attorney Kevin L. Sullivan II TODAY at (813) 598-4868 for a FREE no-obligation consultation. I look forward to assisting you with your claim!