The Meaning of "Full Coverage" in a Florida Auto Policy

A client called after an accident. During our conversation I asked if they knew whether they had uninsured motorist insurance on their policy. They thought they did because they had purchased “full coverage.”

This term is very confusing to people when talking to their car insurance company. Full coverage in Florida can mean as little as the bare minimum which is property damage (PD) to repair the other person’s car if you were at fault and PIP/No Fault which pays your medical.

It can also mean the required PD and PIP/No Fault plus bodily injury liability (BI) insurance (paying someone’s injury claim if you are at fault), collision (pays for your car even if you were at fault). It may also include uninsured motorist insurance (UM) which pays you for your injuries if the driver who caused the crash had no BI insurance or too little. In many cases full coverage does not include UM. That may be because the agent never quoted UM or they suggested you did not need it and had you sign a “UM waiver” which is required in Florida if you don’t add UM to your policy.

The caller I was talking to who thought they had “full coverage” had actually waived UM insurance. That means if the driver who put them in the hospital had no BI or not enough BI to pay the full claim the caller would be out of luck. Remember 40% of cars on the road have no BI at all.

Moral of the story: don’t assume the agent really sold you “full coverage” and NEVER waive UM.

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