This answer is written by AI. The information provided in this response is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Do not rely solely on the information provided in this response for any legal decisions. Consult with a qualified legal professional before making any decisions.

What to Do If Insurance Doesn’t Cover All Damages in Florida

Question from Hanna, What to Do If Insurance Doesn’t Cover All Damages in Florida

Answer from AI:

When you’re involved in a car accident in Florida, and the damages exceed your insurance policy limits, it can be a stressful situation, especially if you’re on a fixed income. Florida operates under a no-fault insurance system for car accidents, but there are still circumstances where you can be held liable for damages that exceed your policy limits. Here’s what you should know and some steps you might consider taking.

Understanding Florida’s No-Fault Insurance System

First, it’s important to understand that Florida requires drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage Liability (PDL) as part of its no-fault insurance system. PIP covers your medical expenses regardless of who is at fault, up to the limit of your policy, while PDL covers damage to another person’s property. The minimum required limits are $10,000 for both PIP and PDL. However, in accidents involving significant damage or injury, these minimums often fall short.

Steps to Take When Damages Exceed Your Insurance Limits

If you find yourself in a situation where the other party’s damages exceed your insurance coverage, consider the following steps:

  1. Communicate with Your Insurance Company: Inform your insurance company about the situation immediately. They may offer guidance or assistance in negotiating with the other party’s insurer.
  2. Review the Claim: Request a detailed breakdown of the damages claimed by the other party. Sometimes, there may be room to negotiate the costs down if certain damages seem inflated or unrelated to the accident.
  3. Consider Legal Advice: It might be wise to consult with a legal professional who specializes in auto accidents. They can provide advice specific to your situation, help negotiate with the other party’s insurer, or represent you if the matter escalates to court. Remember, initial consultations are often free or offered at a low cost.
  4. Payment Arrangements: If you’re unable to dispute the additional costs, you might negotiate a payment plan with the other party or their insurer. Many are willing to work out a plan to avoid the hassle and expense of legal action.
  5. Explore Additional Coverage: Check if you have any other insurance policies that might cover the excess damages, such as an umbrella policy.

Legal Considerations and Resources

It’s crucial to understand that if the matter cannot be resolved through negotiation or payment arrangements, the other party may decide to sue for the remaining damages. In Florida, if a judgment is made against you, the court can order various means to satisfy the judgment, including garnishing wages or placing liens on property.

For personalized legal advice, consulting with a legal professional is strongly recommended. The Florida Bar offers consumer pamphlets that may help you understand more about your rights and responsibilities in auto accidents.


Facing damages that exceed your insurance coverage can be daunting, especially on a fixed income. However, by understanding your options and taking proactive steps, you can navigate this challenging situation more effectively. Remember, communication with your insurance company and seeking legal advice are critical first steps. While this information aims to guide you, it’s important to consult with a legal professional for advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

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