Will My Auto Insurance Cover My Kids While on a School Bus?
You may have insurance for your vehicle, but do you understand what it covers? Probably not. Insurance is a complicated thing. It may not cover what you expect it to cover or it could do the opposite and actually cover more than you expected, leaving you pleasantly surprised.
For example, did you know that your auto insurance does more than cover the driver and passengers in your vehicle? The insurance transfers to all members in your household and their modes of transportation. You are covered if you are injured as a pedestrian or while riding a bicycle.
If you have the right coverage, your insurance will also pay for damages incurred to your children while they are riding the bus to school. This is helpful to know, as 4,000 school bus passengers were injured in crashes in 2018. School buses are actually one of the safest forms of transportation, so this should give you peace of mind as a parent. Buses are durable, strong and not prone to rollovers. However, accidents do happen from time to time. It could be that the bus driver is distracted. Perhaps a student on the bus is causing trouble. Maybe it’s another driver on the road who is distracted, drunk or driving recklessly.
In Florida, motorists are required to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. This is also known as no fault insurance and covers you even if you are liable for the accident. You are required to carry at least $10,000 of PIP and $10,000 of property damage liability, but you can certainly carry more. If you have $10,000 in PIP benefits, what this means is that once you pay your deductible, your insurer will pay for up to $10,000 in damages. Anything beyond that, and you’re on your own.
You should not have to pay out of pocket for medical treatment if you have sufficient PIP insurance. However, insurance companies will try to lowball clients and deny claims. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to contact a bus accident attorney to understand your legal rights. If your child suffered a serious injury due to a school bus crash, they may even be entitled to additional compensation. In any case, do not accept any settlements from an insurance company before talking to a lawyer first. You and your child do have rights.
Do keep in mind, though, that PIP insurance coverage applies to school buses only. City buses are considered mass transit and are therefore not considered motor vehicles under Florida law.
Get Legal Help for Your Florida Bus Accident Case
While school bus accidents do not happen regularly, they can injure your children when they do occur. Make sure you understand your insurance coverage in such an event so you don’t overpay for your damages.
The Tampa insurance liability attorneys at The Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group can help you understand your auto insurance coverage and how it applies to accidents that happen to family members in other vehicles. Schedule a consultation with our office today. Call (813) 803-6519 or fill out the online form.