Florida is host to thousands of miles of roads, covering areas from coast to coast, from the Panhandle to the Keys. With over 14 million drivers traversing these roads yearly, there are thousands of accidents that occur which can cause severe injury and even death. In addition to being a commonsense precaution, having minimum car insurance coverage is also a legal requirement.
What are the minimum requirements for car insurance coverage in Florida?
There are minimum amounts of car insurance coverage that are required in the state of Florida, with penalties including fines or jail time for non-compliance. One important thing to know is that the state has a no-fault status, which ensures payment of claims regardless of the party responsible. One of the things drivers should be aware of under these circumstances is that they may not have conclusive rights to sue parties involved.
State minimums for drivers include the following:
- $10,000 in personal injury protection
- $10,000 in property damage liability
- $10,000 per person for each bodily injury
- $20,000 in bodily injury per accident for all persons
Additional coverage options like Collision and Comprehensive, as well as Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist, are not legally required. However, property owners or those with a lot of assets can benefit from supplementing to minimize their losses.
Failure to Show Penalties
Proof of car coverage must be in the vehicle at all times and presented to an officer when requested. Fines ranging from $100 to $500 may be levied for non-compliance, as well as a three-year driver’s license and registration suspension. In addition, being involved in an accident without coverage can carry full liability for the accident. Driving privileges could end up suspended until the payment of the damages is processed, posing a lot of problems for those employed outside the home.
Premiums for automotive coverage are set according to the state’s regulatory office. The prices, as well as any discounts, may depend on numerous factors including:
- Business use for the car
- The length of time you’ve been driving
- Your location, specifically your city or county
- Your driving record and how often you usually drive
- Prior policies you’ve had
- Your vehicle type, including the type of fuel used
- Credit score (depending on the company)
How to Save on the Policy Cost
It might be possible to lower your premium costs in the following ways:
- See if you qualify for low-cost, state-subsidized programs
- Get rid of any extra coverage that is not necessary
- Compare several quotes on our website
- Learn about discounts for hybrid or electric cars
- Learn about discounts for making payments online or by automatic bank draft
- Learn about discounts for bundling with renters or homeowners insurance
- Learn about discounts for using anti-theft devices
- Learn about discounts for using good driving habits
Why Cheaper Isn’t Always Better
It is understandable that consumers prefer their car insurance to be affordable. However, at the same time, the coverage needs to provide adequate protection. There are a few important reasons cheap insurance is not always better:
- Cheaper policies have higher repair costs – This invariably leads to higher out-of-pocket costs. Even though the monthly cost is low, you won’t get the support coverage you need for vandalism or collision-related damage when you submit a claim. You’d have to contend with any repair costs on your own.
- Minimal limits also offer minimal protection – Choosing low limits might save you money upfront. However, these limits are easy to reach and exceed very quickly. If you’re in an accident after your limit is reached, the difference will be yours to make up.
- Higher deductibles have more expenses upfront – Bear in mind that your deductible is the amount you’ll pay before your insurance takes effect. The premium will be lower with a high deductible. Make sure you find that balance between what’s affordable and what gives you protection.
What Are Some Ways to Save?
You don’t want to spend too much on your policy, but don’t want to sell yourself short, either. What are some easy ways you can enjoy savings?
Providing updated personal information to your insurance provider is always a good idea, for situations such as:
- Having your teen driver earn good grades
- Taking public transit regularly (helpful) in many Florida cities
- Installing safety or anti-theft devices
Many policy owners enjoy additional savings through measures like paying in a lump sum or bundling the auto policy with a homeowner’s or renter’s policy. Covering more than one vehicle can also offer savings, along with taking advantage of signup discounts.
Having Multiple Options is Always Better.
Although comparison shopping is always good for car insurance like for any other product, we also know what is at stake if you don’t get the right policy. You need to make sure the plan you choose fits your financial circumstances, but also provides appropriate coverage.
As we’ve demonstrated when buying a Florida policy, getting the coverage that you need never has to be complicated. Our goals are to provide you with the service that you need, at the right price for your every obligation. Think about the overall impact that an accident could have, and we’ll find the right solution for your needs.
The options that we offer include:
- Rental reimbursement to assist with transportation while your car is in the shop
- Gap coverage that fills in during times you need it
- Towing and labor that keep you from worrying about these out of pocket costs yourself
- Collision coverage to provide the best protection in the event of an accident
- Comprehensive coverage that keeps driving as worry-free as possible
Choosing the right policy for your needs doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but often seems as though it is. Talking to one of our experts helps ensure that you get the guidance you need when selecting a policy. Keeping your car properly covered will benefit you in the long run when you make sure you have the right amount.
*This content was not written by a licensed insurance agent.*