The new year is a time for resolutions, make one of your resolutions to review your insurance policies to see what coverages you really have. Remember back to when you bought your insurance policies, you weren’t provided with a copy of the actual policy to review the coverages provided by that policy. You got it in the mail later and most probably tossed it in a drawer without much thought.
The insurance companies in the recent years have gained much influence in the legislature and with the Florida Department of Insurance and therefore have been able obtain favorable legislation and rulings that have had the effect of lessening your coverages.
Your automobile insurance is a good place to start with your review. This review must begin the understanding that Florida Law does not require that a driver or owner of a motor vehicle carry bodily injury coverage. Many drivers do not carry this coverage and if you are injured as the result of one of these uninsured motorist negligence, you may not be able to recover for your injury and damages. Many individuals are told by their agents that they have “full coverage” which is agent speak for “you have the absolute minimum coverage allowed by law”.
You should have at the very least the following coverages:
1. $10,000.00 Personal Injury Protection (PIP) with no deductible
This pays your medical bills at 80% after an accident
2. $2,000.00 Medical Payments (Med Pay)
This fills in the 20% gap not paid by PIP
3. $25,000.00 Uninsured/Underinsured coverage (the very least, but more is better)
This pays for your injuries when the at fault driver has no bodily injury insurance.
If you don’t have these coverages now, get them, don’t wait until you’ve been injured and it’s too late.
The review of your homeowners insurance should look at the deductibles and exclusions that may have been inserted into the policy.
Basic deductible – This is the deductible that you will on any covered claim. $500.00 to $1,000.00 is normal but recently insurance companies have been inserting percentages which can be very costly in the event of a loss.
Hurricane deductible – should be a few percent of the policy limits.
Water damage limits – A broken pipe or roof leak can cause massive damage to your home, especially now that water pipes are now run in attics as opposed to underground in many houses. Insurance companies know this and have been adding separate limits as low as $10,000.00 per claim. This can leave you with a large bill for repairs that you are paying for out of your own pocket.
Mold exclusion or limits – Water intrusion or a leaking pipe can also cause massive damage to your home. Insurance companies have been inserting mold exclusions or separate limits as low as $10,000.00 per claim. This can once again leave you with a large bill for repairs that you are paying for out of your own pocket.
Dog exclusion – Many policies now exclude any coverage for injuries caused by dogs. If you have a dog, make sure you’re covered.
A simple review now, may save you a lot of heartache and money later.