It is essential that you have the right auto insurance coverage to protect yourself in case of an accident. Whether or not an accident is your fault, you need the proper protection in Florida.
In order to figure out how much car insurance you have, you need to look at your policy document. When you take out new insurance, you will be given a policy. This could be on a PDF document attached to your email, or it might be mailed to you in the post. If you have lost it, then you should contact your provider and ask them for a copy.
Once you have your document, you will need to know what you are looking at. It can be difficult to know how much coverage you need. Therefore, here is a guide of what to look for in your policy to ensure that you have the right car insurance coverage.
If you are having problems with your car insurance following a car accident, then you should contact a law firm. At The Law Place, we work as a team of experienced personal injury lawyers. Having several eyes on one case ensures that you get the help that you deserve. Contact us now at (888) 490-5536.
Minimum Personal Injury Protection (PIP) required in Florida
Florida has a no-fault system, which means that if you are in an accident, the first point to think about is your own car insurance coverage and whether or not you were at fault. There is a minimum amount of coverage required under Florida Statute 627.736. Therefore, you should make sure you have at least:
- $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP).
- $10,000 in property damage liability.
Basic Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in Florida should cover:
- 80% of medical costs such as doctor bills, ambulance costs, surgery, x-rays, taxi’s to and from appointments, up to $10,000 for serious injuries, or $2,500 for minor injuries.
- 60% of lost wages if your injuries are preventing you from working.
- The cost of property damage up to $10,000.
- Replacement services for any household tasks you are unable to do due to the accident, such as gardening, cleaning, or walking the dog.
- $5,000 to the next of kin in case of death to pay towards funeral expenses.
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You will also have a deductible. This is an amount you have to pay before your coverage kicks in. Usually, the higher the deductible, the lower the cost of your car insurance. It could be nothing, or common amounts are $250, $500, or $1000.
Optional Coverage in Florida
Optional coverage for your auto insurance policy includes:
- Bodily injury liability (required for drivers who have been convicted of traffic offenses such as a DUI.
- Collision coverage.
- Comprehensive coverage.
- Uninsured motorist insurance.
What Is Extended PIP Coverage?
Basic Florida PIP pays up to $10,000 and extended PIP doesn’t pay out more than this limit, but it covers 100% of the medical costs up to $10,000, instead of 80%. It also pays 80% of lost income instead of 60%.
There is also the option to cover 100% of lost wages up to $10,000 but no coverage for lost wages. This still comes with death benefits and liability insurance.
If you choose extended PIP, then you cannot have a deductible.
While this gives some people a bit more peace of mind, with the average hospital visit costing $60,000, the $10,000 limit could still be a cause for concern.
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What Are Additional PIP Benefits?
If you need car insurance coverage that includes more then $10,000 in PIP coverage, then you could choose to have additional coverage. Here you can select an additional amount which could be $10,000, $30,000, $45,000 or more. However, not all car insurance companies will offer additional PIP benefits.
Liability Insurance in Florida
Now that we have made PIP a little clearer, the next thing to consider is liability insurance. Liability Insurance for property damage is legally required in Florida. It also pays for other people’s damage if you cause an accident.
Another option is to purchase bodily injury liability insurance in case you cause an accident, which causes severe injuries to another person.
Even though Florida is a no-fault state, if you did cause an accident, you can still be sued if their injuries are severe. Therefore, having liability coverage is essential.
The minimum limits of bodily injury liability coverage are:
- $10,000 for injuries per person.
- $20,000 for injuries per accident.
However, you can choose to have limits much higher than that. If you have a high income or valuable assets, then you could be a target for a lawsuit. Therefore, it is a good idea to have high upper limits, such as $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident or more.
What Else Should I Have?
A good car insurance policy in Florida starts with PIP, which is higher than the state minimums. State requirements are low and will do little to protect you in case of a severe crash. How much car insurance you need will depend on your individual needs, other coverage types you should consider are:
Uninsured motorist coverage – If an uninsured motorist causes a serious accident, and then you could struggle to sue them as they won’t have the right insurance for your claim.
If that happens, you can use your own uninsured motorist coverage. While your health insurance might pay for your injuries, this car insurance coverage can cover any lost wages as well as compensation for any pain and suffering caused.
Underinsured motorist coverage – This covers you if you are hit by someone who has car insurance, but the coverage is not sufficient to cover all of the bills that you have to cover following an accident.
Collision coverage – Collision coverage covers the cost of repairing your car in case of an accident. This could include if you hit another vehicle on the road, a curb, or a tree or a parked car.
Comprehensive coverage – Comprehensive coverage will help to pay for any damages to your vehicle that was not caused by a crash. This includes any vandal damages, you hit a tree, whether damage or theft.
Medical payments – This coverage will help with any medical bills as a result of an accident for you and your passengers.
Roadside assistance – If you break down on the road, then this coverage will ensure that someone can come out and assist you. How much they do depends on your car insurance policy. However, it usually includes flat tires, a dead battery, and towing.
Umbrella insurance – If you have a high income or valuable assets, then you should consider umbrella insurance. It covers your auto insurance and homeowners’ insurance and gives extra protection. If you come up against a big lawsuit, then it will help to protect your finances.
Why You Should Get More Than the Minimum Amount of Car Insurance Coverage in Florida
- If you have a house, savings, or other investments, then you should choose higher coverage limits as well as different types of coverage, such as uninsured motorist insurance.
- If you didn’t have sufficient coverage and caused an accident that resulted in a lot of damage, then you would be responsible for the bills. If you were unable to pay then, the other party could sue you, which could result in a loss of assets.
- If you live in an area susceptible to flood damage or thefts and vandalism, then you should make sure you have comprehensive coverage.
- If you paid a lot for your car or have it out on finance, then you should have collision coverage to ensure that the repairs of your vehicle are covered.
- Although you could save money in the short term by getting the state minimum, the financial risk might not be worth it.
- If you are unsure as to what car insurance coverage you have, then you should look at your policy. If anything isn’t there, that should be, or you are unsure whether you need more coverage, then speak to your car insurance provider.
How Many Uninsured Drivers Are There in Florida?
According to the Insurance Research Council, around 27 percent of drivers in Florida have no car insurance, the highest rate of any state.
This is why uninsured motorist cover is a good idea as it will protect you in case of a severe accident with an uninsured driver. For minor injuries, you would still use the PIP coverage on your own insurance.
Requirements for High-Risk Drivers in Florida
How much car insurance coverage you need might also depend on your past. Although bodily injury liability coverage is not always required for drivers in Florida, it is mandatory for drivers convicted of a DUI (Driving under the influence). If you have recently been involved in an accident while driving under the influence, then you should speak to a car accident attorney.
- A minimum of $10,00 in bodily injury liability coverage per person and $20,000 per accident is required if you were convicted on or before October 1st, 2007.
- If you were convicted after October 1st, 2007, then a minimum of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident is required.
If you are a high-risk driver in Florida, then you must have bodily injury coverage and at least $50,000 in property damage coverage for a minimum of three years after your driving privileges are reinstated.
Following a DUI conviction, you must file an FR-44 certificate with the Florida Department of Highway Saftey and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) before you can have your driving license reinstated. If you fail to do this, then you could be made to pay fees, or your license could be suspended.
If your license was suspended for a motor vehicle offense not related to drugs or alcohol, then you may need to file an SR-22 form with the FLHSMV. This will tell you what requirements you have to meet and will give you a proof of the correct insurance coverage.
How Do I Provide Evidence of My Insurance?
Florida law requires you to have proof of your car insurance. You can either carry documents in your car, or you can show evidence on your phone.
Average Cost of Car Insurance in Florida
According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2017, drivers in Florida paid an average of $1,356.90 per year for car insurance or $113 per month. That includes all levels of insurance. The standard for the most common coverage types are:
- Comprehensive coverage: $123.10.
- Collision coverage: $312.33.
- Liability: $903.30.
This may seem relatively high to you compared to other states. There are reasons why people in Florida tend to pay more for their car insurance coverage.
- Florida has a lot of high-risk drivers, such as senior citizens, young inexperienced drivers, and tourists.
- Florida experiences severe weather such as strong winds and heavy rain, which can create hazardous road conditions.
- Attorneys are involved in a lot of car accidents, which leads to higher costs for insurance companies.
- Florida has the highest number of uninsured drivers – around 27 percent.
Factors That Impact Insurance Rates
Car insurance companies use several factors to calculate the cost of your policy. These include:
- Past claims.
- Driving record.
- Vehicle model.
- Education and occupation.
- Marital status.
- ZIP code.
- Amount of coverage you need.
Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance Coverage in Florida
If you are discovered not to have the correct insurance coverage, then you could lose your driver’s license and car registration for up to three years. When you can have your license reinstated, you will also have to pay a fee of $150. Furthermore, the cost of your next car insurance policy will likely increase.
If you were caught not to have insurance for a second time, you would lose your license again, and the reinstatement fee would go up to $250 and $500 if you are caught a third time.
Furthermore, if you were at fault for the accident and didn’t have insurance, you could be left with a hefty bill to cover any extensive property damage or injuries. Both for yourself and for the other driver if they decide to sue.
It is also a misdemeanor to show false proof of insurance if you know that it is invalid.
Can Your Car Insurance Coverage Be Canceled?
Florida law states that car insurance could be canceled if:
- You failed to pay the premium.
- There was fraud or a material misrepresentation on the application.
- You or someone who drives your car regularly has had their car license revoked or suspended.
When Can a Vehicle Be Totaled?
Following a car accident, if your vehicle is severely damaged, then your insurance company could decide that it is totaled, which means that it will be scrapped. Under Florida state law, a vehicle can be declared totaled when the cost to repair it exceeds 80 percent of its value.
Collision and comprehensive insurance will pay for the value of the vehicle if it’s totaled by a crash, flood, fire, or other problems. However, you may still need to pay the deductible.
How Are Florida’s Auto Insurance Laws Different Than Other States
According to Florida Statute, 627.7407 Florida is a no-fault state. Other no-fault states include New York, North Dakota, and Utah. This means that all drivers must have (PIP) that will pay their medical expenses following an accident, regardless of whether they were at fault or not.
Most other states are at-fault states, which put the financial responsibility on the person who was found to have caused the car accident. This includes any property damage or medical bills.
Florida became an at-fault state in 2012. It was put in place to reduce the number of people unjustifiably suing after car accidents by exaggerating their injuries.
If you are just reading this article for information, then check your car insurance policy and decide if it is sufficient for your needs. If you think you need to add any coverage, then content your auto insurance provider. Or, if you are reading this following an accident, then get in touch with us.
Solving Car Insurance Problems
Navigating the Florida law system is complicated, and you shouldn’t do it alone. Having help from people with experience in dealing with car accidents in Florida can make a huge difference. If you are having any issue with your auto insurance following after an accident, then you should contact a personal injury lawyer. The Law Place is open 24 hours a day so that we can give you advice when you need it most. Call now on (888) 490-5536 for a free no-obligation consultation.