Liability past insurance limits in Florida.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Oct 28, 2011

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Insurance Question from Kissimmee, FL

Asked on 10/28/2011

Liability past insurance limits in Florida. I'm a young 1st time car owner and confused by what I feel was a rushed job on selling me an insurance product. Say for example I have the bare minimum insurance in FL, 10k, and I hit a Rolls Royce causing $300k in damage. I have no assets, either hard or cash. Does my insurance company just pay out the 10k and that's that, or am I on the hook for somehow coming up with remainder $290k either right away or over the course of a lifetime from docked wages or something, or since I have no current cash or assets, that's where it ends and I'm not perpetually liable to pay it down/off?

Answer given on October 28, 2011

The amount of liability insurance that you purchase is a choice made by you, with advice from your insurance company or agent. While you may feel you only need the minimum limits since you have no assets, you need to be aware that your liability or responsibility does not end with the payment by the insurance company. The other party or their insurance company has the right to go after you for the remaining outstanding damages or money. Increasing your liability limits, or even just property damages, is not an expensive proposition. You should get quotes from your agent for higher limits. You may find it is not a hardship on you to purchase the higher limits and if you are involved in an accident you will be better protected, and able to help the other party be better compensated. Remember, when you are buying liability and property damage insurance you are doing so to protect the party you have injured or whose property was damaged and you should feel a responsibility to do your best to compensate them.

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