Florida Auto Insurance 101

There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to Florida auto insurance. It is important to be cautious when you are shopping for auto insurance in Florida.

Did you know, since Florida is a No-Fault state, if you are injured in an auto accident you are required to pay the first $10,000 of your own medical bills before you can go after the other party? This is supposed to be paid for by your Personal Injury Protection or PIP, but as you will see not all of your medical bills are covered by this.

The state only requires you to carry Property Damage Liability (PD) and Personal Injury Protection (PIP or No-Fault) to legally register your vehicle. Property Damage Liability pays when you hit someone or something and cause damage to their property. It would pay out a minimum of $10,000 in Florida. PIP pays for your medical expenses if you are injured in an auto accident. Let’s take a closer look at this. PIP only pays 80% of your medical expenses and some companies make you pay a $1,000 deductible before it even starts to pay. So, when you ask for just the minimum coverage, make sure you are willing to take on the enormous amount of risk that would not be covered.

Bodily Injury Liability, while not required by law, is very important to carry. This pays in the event you are at fault for injuring someone with your auto. If you injure someone in an auto accident in Florida, you are held liable for paying their medical bills. If you cannot pay them right away your license could be suspended until you can pay back restitution. The Florida Responsibility Law actually requires you to have Bodily Injury Liability of $10,000/$20,000 in place at the time of the accident. Under the Florida Responsibility Law, if you do not have bodily injury at the time of the accident, you would also have to carry a state filing for 3 years. That means higher insurance rates for the next three years at least.

It has been estimated that 1 out of 3 driver’s do not carry Bodily Injury Liability insurance in Florida. If you are injured by one of these individuals you are pretty much on your own. That is why Uninsured Motorist coverage and Medical Payments are also an important coverage to carry on your auto insurance policy. If you are injured in an accident Medical Payments pays with no deductibles or copayments. The Uninsured Motorist coverage gives you additional medical coverage and pays you for lost wages if you have missed work due to the accident.

You will also need comprehensive and collision coverage to pay for damages to your auto. Comprehensive would cover damage outside of an accident, such as theft, vandalism, and windstorm. Collision would cover your auto for damage caused by an accident.

If your auto is damaged in an accident, towing and car rental coverage are quite helpful. The towing coverage would pay to tow your auto to the nearest place of repair. If your auto is damaged, either by a collision or comprehensive claim, car rental coverage would pay for a replacement auto while it’s being repaired.

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