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Florida drivers face unique challenges compared to residents of other states. Between the seasonal residents, vacationers, overcrowded roads, and young drivers drivers need to navigate not only the roads but also the choice car insurance with as much care and information as possible. We’ve taken the guess work out of car insurance with this handy guide to car insurance in the sunshine state.
Is the Key to Peace of Mind
Some things in life we have no control over. But some things we can control.
Car Insurance = Peace of Mind
There is a lot at stake when you get into your car: you financial, emotional and physical future may all be impacted when you are in an accident.
To Take Your Time
Being inadequately insured can be very expensive should something go wrong. It pays to take your time to gather the facts.
Study the Smart Guide to Car Insurance in Florida
We’ve put together the smart guide to Car Insurance in Florida. It will answer all your questions, provide in-depth information and help you think through all of your options.
Take a look at the infographic below for some facts and figures about car insurance in Florida today.
Questions and Answers
What is the Minimum Required Coverage in Florida?
To be a legal driver in Florida, you must carry a minimum amount of car insurance. This coverage is:
1. $10,000 per accident of no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) insurance that pays
- 80% of most medical expenses, regardless of fault
- $5,000 of death benefits
- 60% of your lost income if you are unable to work due to injuries sustained in the accident*
2. $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL) insurance
- Pays up to this amount to the other driver if you are found to be at fault in causing the accident
- The other driver will pay to repair your car, up to the amount of their coverage, if they are at fault.
*If you are retired and not earning an income, you can opt-out of the lost income portion of the PIP insurance.
Your family can be included in the PIP insurance for an additional cost, but if they have their own auto insurance they are automatically excluded from your coverage.
It is important to note that if you have caused a serious accident in the past or were convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be required to carry additional policies and/or higher coverage limits.
What Happens to an Uninsured Driver in Florida?
A legal driver in Florida, must carry this minimum amount of car insurance. Despite this law, approximately 24% of all Florida drivers are uninsured .
If you are in an accident and the other driver is uninsured, they may pay a fine and have their licensed suspended, but you are now solely responsible for the cost of repairing your vehicle.
What Are Florida’s “No Fault” Car Insurance Rules?
Florida is a “no fault” insurance state, which means that the insurance you purchase covers the cost of your medical expenses from the accident, regardless of who caused it. However, the driver who is found to be at fault in the accident is required to pay for the property damage the other driver experienced, so it is actually a mix of no-fault and at-fault requirements. Still, whether it is a simple fender-bender in a parking lot or a crash at an intersection, how well you and your family are protected is determined almost solely by the amount of coverage you carry.
Under the no-fault rules, you must exhaust your PIP limits before suing the other driver for medical and other economic losses you’ve incurred. Even then, you cannot sue for pain and suffering, or other non-economic losses.
There are four exceptions to the no-fault system, which allows you to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver, including pain and suffering, which are:
- When the injuries resulting from the accident are considered permanent;
- When significant and permanent scarring has occurred as a result of injuries sustained in the accident;
- When a significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function results from the accident; or
Under Florida’s no-fault rules, you should carry the amount of insurance you need to protect yourself from high medical bills as well as the physical damage done to the other driver’s vehicle if you are found to be at fault. For many people, this means purchasing coverage beyond the minimum requirements.
What Additional Coverage Options Are There for Car Insurance in Florida?
Florida drivers can purchase many types and levels of additional coverage, depending on their needs, risk comfort levels, budgets, and financial reserves. There are several insurance policies that are highly recommended for Florida drivers, and others that are available if desired. Recommended coverages include:
Bodily Injury Liability (BIL)
This coverage pays for the other party’s medical expenses from injuries they suffered from an accident you caused. Although the PIP coverage will pay for their medical bills, their insurance company may come after you for these costs. This coverage is also important if the injured person was a pedestrian with no insurance or if the person’s injuries were so severe as to be an exception to the no-fault rules. In these situations, you are responsible for paying these expenses unless you have BIL insurance.
Given the high percentage of uninsured drivers in Florida, this coverage is a smart choice. It will pay your bodily injury costs if you are hit by an uninsured motorist as well as loss of income. Most insurance companies require that you purchase BIL coverage before you can purchase the uninsured motorist protection, and both are well worth the cost.
This coverage protects you from paying out of pocket costs to repair or replace your vehicle if the damage is over $10,000, the driver is uninsured, or you caused the accident. It can save you a lot of money, especially if any of the cars in the accident were totaled.
The required PIP caps your benefits at $10,000 per accident, but you still have deductibles. This policy will pay the 20% of your medical expenses and an extra 25% of the loss of income benefits, as long as the total cost of the personal injury protection benefits remains within the $10,000 limit.
Some insurance policies can protect your assets or simply make life easier in the event of an accident. These are:
Extended Personal Injury Protection
This coverage also addresses medical expenses for treatments such as surgeries or dental care that is required to address your injuries. It has a separate limit from the PIP, and automatically covers any relatives that live with you. Some people find this level of coverage redundant since they have health insurance, so it is a good idea to evaluate your needs before you decide.
Towing and Labor
If the accident makes your car un-drivable, this coverage pays for the cost of getting the car from the site of the collision to the nearest insurance-authorized auto repair shop for evaluation and service.
Car Rental Coverage
Whether your car is working or not, you need to get to work, school, the grocery store, etc., and without this coverage, you will be paying the rental fees yourself. You need to decide if the extra cost is worth the value you will receive.
Florida minimum coverage requirements are just that – the minimum. It doesn’t afford you the protection you need against uninsured motorists and often doesn’t cover the full cost of an accident. Purchase the level of insurance that truly addresses your known risks and protects your assets.
How Can You Reduce the Cost of Car Insurance?
Car insurance is expensive, but necessary, and you do get what you pay for. That doesn’t mean you have to pay top dollar for a great policy. Follow these tips to reduce your rates:
- Maintain a good credit score. Insurance companies will evaluate how risky you are to insure, and people with a good credit score are generally a better risk. Review your score, correct any mistakes, and make it easy for the insurer to give you a lower rate.
- Consider raising your deductibles. Higher deductibles do mean higher out of pocket expenses if you have an accident, but they can significantly lower your monthly insurance bill, so you need to find a balance that you can live with.
- Choose the right car. Some cars are inherently more expensive to repair after an accident, which will raise your premiums. Most car dealers have this information, and it is also available through the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
- Take advantage of discounts. Low mileage, anti-theft devices, driver training courses, driving record and more can result in significant discounts.
- Bundle your insurance. If you have more than one vehicle, insure them together to get a lower rate. Many companies also give a discount if insure both your home and cars with them.
You need car insurance, but you can be smart about how much you pay. When comparing companies, ask about available discounts. You might be surprised by how much you can save.
What About Car Insurance for Teenage Drivers in Florida?
Your teenager may be ready to drive, but it’s going to cost you. On average, adding a teen to a car insurance policy can nearly double your costs, but it can be as much as $2,000 less expensive than getting them their own policy. The reason for this higher cost is simple: they are the riskiest drivers on the road. Although teens make up only 6% of the driving population of Florida, they are involved in 14% of the fatal crashes, which is the number one cause of death for teens between the ages of 16 and 19.
Before you hide the car keys, remember that several discounts may be available to reduce the cost of car insurance for your teen, depending on the company you choose. These can include:
- Good Student Discount for those with a B average and usually only for students under the age of 25. The average discount is 12%
- Defensive Driving Discount is a 10% to 15% reduction in rates if the student takes a defensive driving course in addition to any state-mandated drivers’ education and training class.
- Student “Away” Discount is for students living at college or away from home during high school and can be between 5% up to 30%.
Students who delay getting their license are also less expensive to insure, since rates drop each year until they are 20. Also, don’t purchase the expensive, flashy car for your teen to drive since this alone will raise your rates, and having a teen driver behind that wheel will raise it even more.
How Do You Select the Best Car Insurance Policy?
Many people struggle to find the best policy for the lowest price that meets their needs. The following steps will help you select the right policy for you:
- Check rates annually. Many companies offer discounts if you stay with them for several years and have few or no claims. This is great, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t something better. Take a few hours each year to check out other options and compare prices, coverage and services. Even if you don’t change your insurance company or policy, you will at least know you are happy with what you have.
- Review your coverage. While you are looking at things with fresh eyes, take a moment to review your policy. Do you need to raise or lower the coverage levels or make other changes to accurately reflect your current situation? Now is the time to make that change.
- Pick a top-rated insurer. Most rated insurers offer good pricing, but top rated ones back this up with quality customer service for managing claims, payments, and other problems.
- Check online reviews. Take a few minutes to check the reputation of the insurance company and specific agents, so you know are working with someone you can trust.
This can be a time consuming process, but it is worth it to save you money and hassle down the road. Remember, the policy you select will protect you, your family, and your assets, so it is worth making the effort to get it right.
Alliance Can Help
At Alliance, we take the hassle out of purchasing car insurance. We are a BBB A+ rated company that represents the best car, home, and health insurance companies in Florida, including Travelers, Progressive, Florida Blue and more. Tell us your budget and your needs, and we will find you the best policy that meets your requirements. Let us do the research, and you will receive a selection of policies for a side-by-side comparison. Have questions? Just call (866)771-4715 to speak with one of our experienced agents.
1. Visit an Insurance Company or Check The Company Website
Whether you are busy or not, it really pays to have a slice of your time to spend in search for an auto insurance Florida. Shopping for an insurance company is like shopping for your clothes or household items – you only want what’s the best. If you prefer online shopping, no worries. Visit an auto insurance comparison website and fill out the forms there. In no time, you will have a list of top rated auto insurance companies to choose from.
2. Keep the Insurance Cost at its Lowest
After comparing multiple auto insurance companies in Florida, keep the costs down by sticking on these tips:
- Decide on the coverage cost that you want to choose. You can do this by checking the website of the Florida Department of Insurance for the minimum requirements.
- For cars five years old and up, try to drop your comprehensive and collision coverage. If you want to keep it, be sure to pay as much as possible. The higher deductible you pay, the lower you pay for your premium.
- If you want to get qualified for a discount, your car should have at least one of the following: anti-theft device, safety devices, like seatbelts and airbags, multiple policy insurance.
Getting a car insurance can be costly but you can trim the cost of keeping it with the steps that we have for you. Following these tips will not only save you money but will also get your vehicle insured for accidents.
In Florida, car insurance needs are: $10,000 for the personal injury protection, as well known as the PIP, or $10,000 for the property damage liability as well known as the PDL. And Floridians aren’t alone while it comes about having the state imposed auto insurance requirements. All the states in America need the minimum car insurance need. Whereas some of the people select to satisfy the car insurance needs by buying the policy through the insurance company, and other people select to get “self-insured,” and to put down the bond that can cover amount of car insurance needs. How you select to show proof, which you have met the state’s car insurance needs are up to state.
At times drivers are needed to buy the bodily injury protection; the cases generally fall in hands of the drivers that have been in the accident and drivers who are convicted of the offense like driving under influence driving while intoxicated. Prior to you start the search for the policy that meets the Florida’s insurance requirements, ensure that you are qualified to have this minimum coverage – and not all the drivers are. In case, you have borrowed some money to buy the new car, then your lender may undoubtedly need you to buy more than the minimum needs until debt is paid. In order, to get quotes free & learn about the insurance visit recommended sites.
Tips On How To Get Cheap car insurance quotes Florida Rates
Right now, you may feel overwhelmed with all of the available car insurance information to sift through. The task may be daunting to you, or you may not be sure where you can obtain the best information about auto insurance. Fortunately, you will find below, the best auto insurance tips available.
When purchasing car insurance for your teen, remember that there are a number of ways you can get a discount. If your teen: has taken Driver’s Ed, maintains good grades, drives a car that is older, a four-door sedan or a station wagon, and/or any color but red, you could save a lot of money!
To save money on your car insurance shop for it before shopping for a new vehicle. Besides your driving record and location, the biggest factor in your price is the car they are insuring. Different companies will set different rates that are also based on their experiences paying claims for that type of car.
People looking to save money on auto insurance should remember that the fewer miles they drive, the more insurance agents like it, because your risk goes down. So if you work from home, make sure to let your agent know. There is a good chance you will see the impact on your rate in the next billing cycle.
To save money on auto insurance, be sure to take your children off of your policy once they’ve moved out on their own. If they are still at college, you may be able to get a discount through a distant student credit. These can apply when your child is attending school a certain distance from home.
There are a number of added protections available to you that are that are beyond the legally required minimum. Your premium will be higher with these options, but some are worth the added expense. Uninsured motorist coverage will protect you in the event that you are in an accident that involves either a hit-and-run or someone who is not carrying insurance.
If available in your state, request a copy of your driving history before shopping for car insurance. Information can be inaccurate on it which may be causing your quotes to be higher. Make sure you know what is on your report and if you find discrepancies have them corrected as soon as possible.
You can now feel more knowledgeable, and confident, about your understanding of auto insurance. Feel free to access all information available to you. The more you know, the better your experience will be with regard to auto insurance. You will have the most success when you keep these tips in mind.