Auto / RV / Motorcycle InsuranceNeed to insure your vehicle? The Petrucci Agency is happy to offer a full line of auto insurance policies.
We are committed to providing the highest quality coverage for auto owner’s at the most competitive rates. It is important that your vehicles are properly covered. As your local, independent agent we can help you through the maze of the auto policy options so you can determine the coverage amounts that best suit your needs and your budget.
Who Must Have Auto Insurance?
Florida law requires that any motor vehicle registered in Florida and bearing a license plate carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) insurance coverage. This is regardless of how much the vehicle is used, and is still compulsory even if it is in storage as long as there is a Florida Tag on the vehicle. If the vehicle is tagged and registered in Florida, it must be insured to these minimum requirements. The Personal Auto Policy is designed for protecting the private family exposure. Eligible types of vehicles are private passenger auto and pickups or vans with Gross Vehicle Weight of less than 10,000 pounds. The vehicles may be owned by the insured or long-term leased for 6 months or longer. If you move to Florida from another state, you are required to re-insure your vehicle through a licensed Florida Insurance Company to the minimum requirements. Your insurance from your prior state will not carry over.
From the congested highways of our cities to the quiet rural country roadways, the Petrucci Agency will offer you peace of mind in all your auto travels with insurance through companies you can trust to be there if a claim occurs. Unfortunately accidents do happen. You can be assured you will get the service you deserve.
The Auto Policy Coverages - Understanding the Terms
Financial Responsibility Law
The purpose of the law is to show that it is a privilege to own or operate a motor vehicle on the public highways of Florida when the vehicles are used with due consideration for others and their property, and to promote safety and provide financial security requirements for such owners or operators. It states further that it is the responsibility of owners and operators to compensate others for injuries and damages to person and property caused by their vehicle operation. It is therefore required that the operators motor vehicles involved in accidents and if convicted of certain traffic offenses such as DUI, must respond for the damages and show proof of financial ability to respond for damages in future accidents as a requirement to his or her future exercise of driving privileges. The law details the limits required and penalties for failure to comply.
About a dozen states currently have “no-fault” laws and no two are identical.
The No-Fault laws attempt to remove certain claims from the tort liability system and put in place types of benefits payable by one’s own insurer. The No-Fault laws free up the court systems, speeds up payment to health providers, assures medical treatment to injured parties and attempt to contain rising costs of Auto Insurance Liability.
The law applies to “motor vehicles”, defined as self-propelled vehicles with 4 or more wheels required to be licensed for use on Florida Highway and trailers and semi-trailers designed for use with such vehicles.
PIP (Personal Injury Protection) responds with 4 types of benefits:
- Work Loss
- Replacement Services
***The total for all combined cannot exceed $10,000 per person/ per accident.
- PIP medical benefits pay for up to 80% of reasonable expenses for necessary medical, surgical, X-Ray, rehab, prostheses, ambulance, hospital, nursing dental and/or remedial treatment for persons who relies on faith healing alone.
- PIP will cover Work loss benefits for 60% of income lost or earning capacity.
- PIP covers 100% of the cost to have household services performed by others, which would normally have done by the injured party.
- PIP death benefit maximum is $5000. It will cover you and members of your immediate family in the event of an accident.
Your PIP insurance, required by law, covers you in the accident regardless of who is at fault, hence the nickname Florida “No Fault” Insurance. Passengers not related to you are covered under their own PIP coverage unless they have none, in which case your PIP covers them also. The same applies to you if you were uninsured are injured by someone else’s car within the State of Florida.
Your PIP will also cover you if you are hit by a motor vehicle in Florida while riding a bicycle, as a pedestrian and will also cover your children on the school bus.
It is important to note, however, that when you are a passenger in another vehicle outside the State of Florida, the rules change.
Part A - Liability Coverages
Liability coverages pay on behalf of the insured money damages for which the insured is legally liable to others for bodily injury or property damage including defense against such suits.
There are Exclusions to Part A – such as your intentional acts, damage to property you own or that you own and are transporting, injury to an employee in the course of employment (except for domestic employees not covered by workers comp), to an insured while employed or engaged in selling, repairing, servicing or parking vehicles, use of a vehicle without reasonable belief of permission, vehicles with less than 4 wheels, and vehicles competing in racing.
Property Damage Liability
Required by Florida Law – this protection pays others the amounts for which you become legally liable due to an auto accident. Property Damage means the other car or trucks, buses or signage, buildings, fences, bridges, and all types of property that could be struck and damaged by your vehicle. Also, included is loss of income to the damaged businesses. The coverage includes the cost of legal defense if you are sued.
Bodily Injury Liability
This protection pays others the amounts for which you have become legally liable due to an auto accident. The persons could be occupants of other vehicles or pedestrians. The damages are pain and suffering, loss of limb, deformity, and loss of income, loss of the enjoyment of life plus medical bills, settlement for permanent disability or death suffered by the other party.
Courts award damages in hundreds of thousands and millions. You don’t have to be a millionaire to be sued like one. Tragedies happen every day. Make sure you carry adequate coverage for liability.
Part B - Medical Payments
Med Pay is the auto insurance coverage that pays the expenses incurred for needed medical and funeral services to persons injured by accidents. Payments are without regard to fault or legal liability. The Medical Payments section of the auto policy pays for expenses incurred for treatment within three years from the accident date to the “insureds”. The Insureds are: named insured on policy and family members while occupants or as a pedestrian if struck by any motor vehicle designed for public road use or any type of trailer and Other Persons while occupants of your insured vehicle.
Medical Payments are reduced by amounts payable for the same expenses under liability, PIP or Uninsured Motorist Coverages. An insured’s Medical Payments coverage is primary, with respect to other available medical payments coverage, when occupying owned autos and excess when occupying non-owned autos. Med Pay limits apply per person. Common limits are $1000, $2000, and $5000.
Part C - Uninsured Motorist Coverage
While liability insurance protects an insured against claims of others, Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage is a form of coverage to pay damages for bodily injuries under your own policy, for amounts which would otherwise have been recovered from the liability insurance of another- the at fault driver. Uninsured Motorists will cover either a Hit and Run Driver, an Uninsured Motorist, an Underinsured Motorist (one who carries Liability Limits that are Lower than your Damages), or insolvent insurer.
Your injuries may include all medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of limb, deformity, disfigurement, loss of income, loss of enjoyment of life and death. UM is not intended to duplicate payments available otherwise. If you have recovered from Workers Compensation, Disability, Medical Payments or similar laws or coverage, those amounts are deducted from the damages to reduce the UM payment. UM coverage does not pay for punitive damages.
Limits of UM coverage are offered in same fashion as auto liability. Single limits or split limits (per person/ per accident) and coverage may be “stacked” or “non-stacked”.
Stacked limits provide that if two or more vehicles are insured the UM “stacked” option of coverage adds the UM limits together in determining the total limit of UM coverage available to the injured person in any one accident. The UM coverage may be selected at amount up to equal of the Bodily Injury Liability Limit selected on the insured’s policy. UM may also be rejected completely. When coverage is rejected or lower limits than the Bodily Injury Liability to others are selected, a form must be signed documenting that decision.
Part D - Damage For Your Auto
Coverage for direct and accidental loss to your covered auto or to any non-owned private passenger auto- not available for regular use- including their equipment is called physical damage coverage. The non-owned coverage is excess over other insurance.
Part D has two coverages: Other than Collision (Comprehensive) and Collision Coverage.
- Collision means upset or impact with another object. Collision coverage is not written without Comprehensive
- Other than Collision (Comprehensive) coverage includes: falling objects, fire, theft, larceny, explosion, earthquake, windstorm, hail, water, flood, vandalism, riot, civil commotion, contact with bird or animal, and/or glass breakage. Comprehensive may not be written without Collision coverage.
Commercial Auto / Fleet Coverage
While the Personal Auto Policy is used to insure the auto exposures of individuals and families, the Business Auto Policy insures the auto exposures of businesses.
The Business Auto policy uses Covered Auto Symbols:
- Symbol 1- Any Auto (owned, hired or non-owned vehicles)
- Symbol 2 – Owned Autos Only
- Symbol 3- Owned private passenger autos only (does not include trucks, buses etc)
- Symbol 4 – Owned Autos other than private passenger autos only
- Symbol 5 – Owned Autos subject to No-Fault
- Symbol 6 – Owned Autos subject to compulsory uninsured motorist law
- Symbol 7 – Specifically Described Autos (autos listed on declarations)
- Symbol 8 – Hired Autos Only
- Symbol 9 – Non-Owned Autos Only
- Symbol 10-Mobile Equipment subject to Financial Responsibility Law
Liability protection pays others the amounts for which your business becomes legally liable due to an auto accident. This may include other vehicle drivers, passengers or pedestrians. Liability also covers payments of amounts for which your business is found liable for damage to another’s property as a result of an auto accident. This also pays for legal defense costs if your business is sued. There are several exclusions to the liability coverage such as: liability assumed under any contract except as defined in the policy, Employee injuries, employer liability or responsibilities under a worker compensation law, Damage to property owned or transported by or in the care, custody and control of the insured, Liability for pollution unless arising from the normal operating fluids of the vehicle., Liability arising out of operation of mobile equipment ( such as cherry pickers, pumps, generators, or air compressors), expected or intended injury, see policy for others.
Medical Payments protection pays reasonable medical expenses for you and your company employees for expenses not covered by workers compensation. This protection is extended to others who are injured while occupying your vehicle.
Uninsured Motorist Protection provides bodily injury coverage for accidents caused by a hit-and-run driver or uninsured or under-insured driver which occurs when you or your company drivers are driving a covered auto, or while you are a pedestrian.
Personal Injury Protection provides coverage for injury, death, loss of services, and loss for income suffered by you or your company drivers and employees.
Physical damage has three principal coverages:
- Comprehensive – covers un-excluded loss other than collision or overturn
- Specified Causes of Loss – Alternative to Comprehensive, insures for specified perils of fire, lightning, explosion, theft, windstorm, hail, earthquake, flood, mischief vandalism, or sinking, burning, collision or derailment of a conveying transport
- Collision- covers collision with another object or vehicle or overturn
Drive Other Car Coverage – This endorsement covers persons named therein (including their spouses) for use of automobiles that are not covered under the plan or they do not own. Without this endorsement, there would be no BAP coverage provided for an employee’s personal use of a rental car while on vacation.
RATING – Trucks and trailer equipment are rated based on territory where they are garaged, the radius of operation, the size or type, and the business use. For Physical Damage coverages, the original cost new and the vehicle age are also considered.
Trucks that operate within a radius of 50 miles are called local and take the lowest rates. Over 50 to 200 miles is called “intermediate” and over 200 miles is “long distance”.
Business use is divided up into 3 categories – Retail, Service, and Commercial. Retail use is for vehicles used to deliver goods and merchandise to individual homes. Service use is for vehicles that go from job site to job site. An example of Service use would be electricians, painters, plumbers and artesian contractors. Vehicles used for purposes other than those qualifying as Retail or Service are classified Commercial.
Rates increase for size and weight of trucks. The categories of light, medium, heavy and extra heavy exist. Truck-tractors, dumping types and different trailer types also have their own classes. Trucks in some use classes are differentiated in rating including some that deliver food, or have specialized time constraints, waste disposal, farming, dumping and concrete-mixing and those who haul for others are all various types.
Buses are rated by passenger capacity. If non-owned autos are included, the premium is based on a rate per employee. A policy that includes coverage for hired autos, charges a premium per $100 cost of hire.
Garage Insurance is a combination of coverages specifically for those in the business of selling, servicing, repairing or parking autos. While a form of auto insurance, it also includes the coverage for general liability hazards of these business risks.
The Garage Insurance policy includes Liability, Physical Damage and Garagekeepers Insurance. PIP, UM and Medical Payments are offered by endorsement.
Garagekeepers Insurance applies for damage for which the insured is liable to customers’ cars which the insured has in its care custody and control. It removes the exclusion of care custody and control that would otherwise apply in a business auto policy.
Causes of Loss that may apply are fire, explosion, theft, mischief or vandalism and Collision. Standard deductibles of $100 per car up to $500 per occurrence apply to losses from theft, mischief or vandalism, with higher deductibles available. For Collision coverage the business may select from $100 up to $500 deductibles.
The Garagekeepers exclusions include sound reproducing and receiving equipment – tapes and records. Coverage would not apply also to:
- Liability resulting from an agreement by which the insured accepts responsibility
- Theft by the insured or employees
- Defective parts or faulty work performed by or on behalf of the insured
The limit of coverage is a dollar amount for each location as stated in the Declarations.
Physical Damage Coverage
When coverage is applied to specific autos, the Garage Policy covers the same way as the Business Auto Form. When issued to dealer risks, coverage is usually issued on a blanket basis to cover all owned autos. And if desired, financed autos and those on consignment are also covered. Coverage can be on a reporting or non-reporting basis.
PIP, UM and Medical Payments coverage are not built into the basic Garage Policy, These must be added by endorsement. Med Pay can be offered on autos as well as to include coverage for medical reimbursement to customers and others who are injured at the garage premises. Other endorsements are: Broad Form Products Liability, Dealers Drive-Away Collision, and False Pretense- which adds Physical Damage coverage for dealers to insure against loss from voluntarily parting with a covered auto by trick or from acquiring an auto from someone who does not have legal title.
Excess Liability / Umbrellas
When the basic liability limits provided by a policy are not adequate for the needs of an insured, two types of coverage are widely used to provide the additional amounts needed:
Umbrella Policies and Excess Liability Policies.
Either of these policies add their limits to those provided by the underlying coverage.
There are two types of excess liability policies: the stand-alone and the follow form.
There must be underlying policies for both of these to be in effect and neither one will provide any coverage that is not proved by an underlying policy.
For example, if there is no auto policy, there is no coverage from the Excess Policy.
If there is an underlying policy in effect the follow form and the stand alone forms perform differently:
The Follow Form policy provides the same coverages and provisions and exclusions.
The true follow form is simple to understand.
The Stand Alone Form provides the same coverages as the underlying policies, but each form does this on its own terms. The stand alone forms can have their own exclusions and limitations. There is no guarantee that if the underlying policy covers, the stand alone excess will too. The claims adjuster will have a more difficult time determining if coverage applies. The adjuster must review the forms provisions in detail.
The Petrucci Agency is experienced in all lines of auto policies. We welcome the opportunity to discuss the coverages with you and custom fit a policy to your needs.
If the client purchases a Million Dollar Umbrella to be excess over an home and auto policy, with limits of $300,000, the total limit of liability available would be $1,300,000.
The Umbrella Liability is standardized in the industry while there are several variations.
The Umbrella form is a stand alone policy. It may include additional coverages not included in the underlying policies. These additional coverages of the umbrella may be non-owned auto or watercraft, property in the care, custody and control of the insured, personal injury, and limited pollution to name a few.
When a claim involves an underlying policy, the Umbrella responds just as if it were a stand alone excess policy. If a claim involves a coverage provided by the umbrella but not by any underlying policy, the umbrella becomes the primary liability policy.
Any claim for which the umbrella is primary is subject to a deductible known as the self-insured retention (SIR).