In this article, personal injury lawyer, Jeffrey Meldon, discusses the basics about Bodily Injury Liability Insurance – what it is, why he recommends you purchase it and at what amounts, and gives some additional insurance tips.
What is Bodily Injury Liability Insurance?
Basically, Bodily Injury Liability Insurance (BI) protects the other person(s) if you are at fault in an accident that caused serious injury. In other words, when you are at fault in an automobile accident, your BI insurance is required to cover damages for the person(s) you injured in the accident due to your negligence. It will provide monetary compensation for injuries up to the amount of your policy.
Top 3 reasons why I recommend you have BI protection: (in addition to it just being the right thing to do)
1. If you are at fault for an accident, BI will protect your personal non-homestead assets by providing financial compensation for injuries sustained as a result of your negligence. Even if it is a friend of yours that was a passenger in your car and you caused a crash, it may apply. BI insurance will also cover people who live with you and are on your policy if they cause an accident in another person’s vehicle. It will also apply when others drive your car and cause an accident.
2. BI coverage will also pay for an attorney and any costs incurred if you are sued for financial compensation for injuries caused as a result of your negligence.
3. You need to have BI coverage in order to purchase Uninsured or Under-insured Motorist coverage (UM). Remember, UM insurance provides protection for you and your family injured by the negligence of someone else. See below for more information.
Is BI required in Florida? Unless you have been convicted of a DUI within 3 or more years, the answer is no, it is not legally required to get behind the wheel of a vehicle and drive. Here is a link to what is legally required. However, I highly recommend you read more on this topic in this frequently asked question, and find out about Florida’s Financial Responsibility Law.
How much BI do I recommend purchasing? Even though the Financial Responsibility Law has a requirement of $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident, this is extremely inadequate coverage! I recommend BI coverage at least in the amount of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident.
Important additional information/Tips: You can purchase UM insurance up to the amount of your BI policy. So the higher your BI policy, the more UM coverage you can purchase. Remember, for higher UM coverage, you can “stack it up”. Meaning, if you have 2 cars you can get stacked UM coverage and have twice the protection, 3 cars, three times the protection, etc. This allows you to purchase UM limits higher than the amount of your BI if your own more than one vehicle. This stacking of UM coverage I highly recommended.
For more Insurance Information and Recomendations please see, Auto Insurance Coverage: Laws, Recommendations, Factors and Tips for Florida Drivers.
We at Meldon Law strongly believe that public education is the first step in the prevention of an accident or in the recovery from one.
We are experienced personal injury attorneys, trial lawyers, negotiators, litigators, paralegals, and staff that have been proudly working to get accident victims the justice they deserve for over 40 years in Gainesville, Ocala, Lake City, Inverness, and the rest of North Central Florida and North Florida. Accidents involving a car crash, truck wreck, and motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accidents, dog bites, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and criminal defense are all included in our practice.
Based on Jeffrey Meldon’s, founder of Meldon Law, over 40 years of helping accident victims get justice and a fair shake from the insurance companies, he has written the consumer guide book, Seven Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Florida Accident Case. You can request your free, no obligation copy right now, or contact our office for your complimentary copy sent to you today.
Contact Meldon Law at (800) 373-8000 or (352) 373-8000 immediately if you have been involved in a serious auto, truck, or motorcycle accident. We are in your community, have the experience and resources required to work towards obtaining a fair settlement for you – we are here to help you.