Florida has specific automobile insurance requirements and laws that every Florida driver should understand. Here is a Florida auto insurance guide.
What are Florida auto insurance requirements?
Two Florida insurance laws affect drivers. The first is the Financial Responsibility Law, which makes drivers responsible for property damage and bodily injury caused to others. Although you are responsible for injuries if you are in a car that caused the accident, you are only required to carry bodily injury liability insurance when reinstating your driver’s license reinstated after a significant offense or if you own or operate a vehicle that caused a serious accident with injuries.
The second is the no fault law. It says residents must purchase car insurance when they register a vehicle. Specifically, the law requires:
- At least $10,000 of personal injury protection coverage. PIP coverage pays 80 percent of the medical expenses, 60 percent of lost wages, and death benefits for the driver and certain passengers in the car, regardless of who is at fault.
- At least $10,000 of property damage liability coverage for damage you or a family member cause to another’s property.
Insurance that includes PIP and property damage is called private passenger auto liability.
What affects insurance rates?
Several factors affect what your auto insurance company will charge for car insurance.
State-Related Factors Affecting Auto Insurance Rates
Florida has the fourth-highest insurance rate compared with other states. Reasons Floridians pay the highest rates to include:
- The number of vehicles on the state’s roads
- The PIP requirement, which is extra because Florida is a no fault state
- The high cost of health care relative to most states. State residents spend an annual average of 14 percent of their income on health care.
- A high number of uninsured drivers.
- The number of severe weather incidents in the state
Individual Factors Impacting Car Insurance Rates
Other factors also influence how much Florida drivers must pay for a car insurance policy. These are:
- The individual’s driving experience, including the number of points and accidents on their record and attendance at safe driving clinics.
- Safety features on the vehicle. Anti-lock brakes and airbags can lower costs.
- Credit scores. Companies believe the lower the score, the greater the risk.
- The deductible.
- Age and gender of the insured. Insurance costs are generally higher for male drivers under 25 because companies believe them to be a greater risk for accidents
- The vehicle’s age, make, and model.
What types of insurance can I choose?
In addition to PIP, bodily injury liability, and property damage liability, drivers can choose other types of car insurance in Florida. Although you aren’t legally required to have these coverages, you may decide to carry them.
- Collision coverage to cover vehicle damage
- Comprehensive insurance. Comprehensive coverage repairs vehicles in cases other than collision.
- Uninsured motorist
- Medical payments coverage to cover expenses beyond PIP.
- Rental reimbursement
- Roadside assistance
How Can I Find the Cheapest Car Insurance?
The most important aspect of insurance coverage is ensuring you have what you need. Once you’ve decided on the coverage you need, you can shop for the best rates. However, limit your shopping to carriers with good records of handling claims. Look for discounts. For example, some providers will offer discounts for military members, bundling car and other types of insurance, and driving fewer miles. A higher deductible will also lower your insurance premiums.
What should I do to ensure my insurance company will be fair if I have a claim?
Contact an attorney at the accident site or as soon as possible after the collision. 1-800Ask-Gary can refer you to an experienced lawyer who understands the accident insurance claims process.