December 12, 2010
Progressive is launching a program to monitor its customers’ driving habits with a tiny computer device, in exchange for possible premium discounts. Progressive will provide the customer with a device that plugs into the diagnostic port of a vehicle which will collect data about the driving habits of the customer for 30 days. The device will capture information about how often the person drives, the time of day they drive, and information about driving habits like braking. If the customer passes the “test”, they may be eligible for discounts on their auto insurance (what happens if you get into a car crash while you’re being monitored?). What do you think about your insurance company monitoring your driving habits? How would you do? Please share your comments below.
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October 22, 2009
At the law firm of Earle & Smith, we talk to clients all over Central Florida who have questions after being in an automobile accident. Questions often arise such as, “Who is responsible for my damages”, “What are my rights?”, and “Do I have a case?”. For specific answers to these questions we recommend that you consult with an experienced attorney. Generally, whether or not you have a claim depends on who was at fault for the accident and if you were injured as a result of the accident. Damages typically include the amount of your past medical bills, the amount of future medical bills, past lost wages, loss of earning capacity in the future, and pain and suffering if your injury is permanent.
At our Orlando law firm, we sometimes talk to clients who didn’t seek an attorney right away because they didn’t think they actually needed a lawyer to help them. They assumed the insurance company would do the right thing and pay them the proper amount for their claim. Some insurance companies are easier to deal with than others, but some companies take an aggressive position and fight valid claims or dispute the amount of a claim to avoid paying full value. Just recently I requested settlement for a client who was injured in a car accident and has several thousand dollars in medical bills. The insurance company’s response to my settlement request – $150. That doesn’t even cover the cost of one doctor visit, much less the cost of several months of treatment that my client needed. If all insurance companies worked just as hard to settle claims as some do to deny claims, we would have far less litigation, but that’s just not the way things are done anymore. Too often, big insurance companies are putting profits ahead of people. So even if you don’t think you need a lawyer, it may be a good idea to talk to one anyway. Consultations for accident cases are free at our firm, so email or give us a call if we can answer any questions you may have about your Florida accident case.
July 22, 2009
Florida law only requires that an owner of a motor vehicle purchase Personal Injury Protection and Property Damage liability coverage. The law doesn’t require that a motor vehicle owner purchase liability insurance for bodily injuries. So, if you are in an automobile accident and the person that caused the crash doesn’t have bodily injury (BI) liability coverage, you will not be able to recover insurance benefits for your injuries from the uninsured at-fault party. In another common example, the person causing the automobile accident has BI coverage, but for a small amount such as $10,000. If your injuries are significant, that may not be enough to cover your claim. Most states require motorists to carry a minimum level of BI coverage. Georgia and South Carolina require $25,000 in BI coverage. This puts Florida in the embarrassing position of protecting property before its people.
What this really means for you is that you must protect yourself and your family by ensuring that you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage. In order to get UM coverage, you must carry BI liability coverage. You cannot carry more UM coverage than your BI limits, but you may choose lower limits (although that may not be a good idea). UM coverage is relatively less expensive compared to BI liability coverage and may be the most important coverage you can have on your automobile policy.
There are two types of UM coverage available – “stacked” and “non-stacked.” Stacked coverage is slightly more expensive but the benefit it provides over non-stacked is enormous. For example, assume you own two vehicles with non-stacked UM benefits of 100/300 and you are in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. In that situation, you will only have available a maximum of $100,000 per person or $300,000 per accident. However, if you had stacked coverage, you would have twice as much coverage available because the policies “stack” on top of each vehicle for a total of $200,000 per person or $600,000 per accident. Therefore, you may want to talk to your insurance agent about electing “stacked” UM coverage in the highest amount you can afford. If you’ve been in an accident and you’re unsure about what coverage you have, contact your insurance agent or contact a personal injury law firm that specializes in automobile accident cases, like Earle & Smith in Orlando, to see what type of auto insurance you have available for your claim.