Trying to figure out how much to spend on auto insurance?
Need to know how much coverage you need with your auto insurance policy?
Are you overwhelmed by all of the options and need an easy-to-understand guide?
This blog post was written just for you.
We’ve covered the basic state minimum requirements for auto insurance in Florida, as well as some different types of coverage you are likely to encounter when shopping for auto insurance.
The coverage you need will depend on your financial situation, but with this guide, you can figure out the most important aspects of auto insurance for you and your family.
Florida Auto Insurance: State Minimum Requirements
State minimum auto insurance requirements are in place to protect both the person who caused and the person who was injured in an accident.
Two types of coverage are required for auto insurance in Florida:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): $10,000 minimum
- Property Damage Liability (PDL): $10,000 minimum
Each of these covers different things but is part of a package designed to provide bare minimum coverage in the event of an accident.
A couple of notes:
Because of Florida’s No-Fault Law, everyone that drives a vehicle (with four wheels) has to have PIP coverage. Regardless of who is at fault for an accident, medical injuries will be covered up to the limits in your policy, then you are responsible for the rest out of pocket. This helps keeps premiums lower than the national average.
Driving without insurance carries fines starting at $150 and going up to $500 for subsequent violations. It can also result in the suspension of your license and registration for up to 3 years. You can get this fixed by providing proof of insurance.
Keep in mind that if your vehicle is financed, your financing company may have different minimum auto insurance requirements. We’ll cover some of those potential types of insurance next.
6 Types of Auto Insurance Coverage in Florida
Before figuring out how much coverage you need, it’s a good idea to get an idea of what coverage is available to you in Florida.
1. Personal Injury Protection
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is required in the state of Florida. The minimums are relatively low at $10,000, but you can get additional coverage if you don’t want to cover out of pocket costs. This will cover your children, household members, and certain passengers who don’t own a vehicle and don’t have their own PIP.
PIP coverage also pays for injuries to your child in the event of a school bus accident, it covers you if you are injured in someone else’s car and if you are injured as a pedestrian or bicyclist.
2. Property Damage Liability
One of the required types of coverage in Florida, Property Damage Liability, or PDL coverage, covers any damages you are liable for in the event of an accident in a covered vehicle. Keep in mind that the state minimums are $10,000, which won’t cover a lot of property. Think about how much the average car costs and adjust your coverage accordingly.
3. Bodily Injury Liability
Though not required in the state of Florida, this one may be required by your financing company. Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) coverage will pay for “serious and permanent injury or death” in an accident involving your vehicle. Not only will it pay for injuries to the other party, but it will also pay for legal representation if you get sued. This coverage is extended to members of your family who live with you, and it covers them if they are driving someone else’s vehicles.
4. Collision Coverage
If you are in a collision with another vehicle, an object (think tree or telephone pole), or if you flip your vehicle, collision coverage will pay for damages (up to your limits) and you will pay a deductible. If you are at fault for the accident, you just pay your deductible and maybe your rates will go up later. If you are not at fault for the accident, however, your insurance company may recover that deductible from the other insurance company. You’ll get reimbursed if that’s the case.
5. Comprehensive Coverage
Sold with a separate deductible from the collision coverage and any other insurance deductibles, comprehensive coverage will pay for things like theft or collision damage caused by something other than an object or car (think wildlife.) It also pays for other events like falling objects, explosions, earthquakes objects, fire, missiles, hail, flood, riot, and vandalism.
Comprehensive coverage may also pay for repairing your windshield if it’s shattered or cracked, and they may even do that without requiring a deductible. Check your policy for details.
6. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Optional coverage in most cases, this coverage will reimburse you if you are in an accident with someone who is underinsured or who doesn’t have insurance at all. It also covers you if you or a covered driver is the victim of a hit-and-run, and it covers you if, while walking as a pedestrian, you are struck by an underinsured or uninsured driver.
How Much Auto Insurance Coverage Do You Need?
This is a great question and one you should consider carefully. There are a few things to consider when figuring out how much auto insurance coverage you need.
The first thing you want to consider is the cost of your vehicle. Think about how much your vehicle cost you upfront, how much you’ve put into it already, and how much value it has on the market. There may be other factors to consider like your attachment to the vehicle, as well. How much do you think your car is worth in the event that it is totaled in an accident?
The next thing you want to consider when purchasing auto insurance is how much coverage you can afford. Sit down and budget how much you think you want to pay, then keep in mind how much disposable income you have. Once you get a quote for basic coverage, think about these other factors and how they can ultimately save you money if you are in an accident.
These are some common things to think about when buying auto insurance:
- Deductibles: A deductible is what you pay out of pocket when you are in a covered accident. As a rule of thumb, the higher the deductible, the lower the premium.
- Premiums: Your monthly premiums are a combination of the different costs of your insurance policy. There should be a breakout of what you’re paying for each coverage type.
- Discounts: Most Florida auto insurance companies offer discounts. Discounts can range from things like good driver discounts to discounts for working for certain affiliated companies.
- Coverage Limits: Your limits will determine how much you have to pay out of pocket in the event of an accident. The higher the coverage, the more you’ll pay for premiums, so think about this carefully.
Most national insurance companies are transparent and allow you to play around with their tools to get the coverage that works best for you. Compare policies that are similar or talk to an agent at an insurance agency for the best help.
What Else You Need to Know About Auto Insurance in Florida
Buying auto insurance coverage in Florida is relatively straightforward. You do need to have coverage if you have anything with four wheels that is registered in the state. Even if you don’t drive it, if it’s registered, it needs to be covered.
If you see limits listed like “20/40” or “50/100”, those are usually indicators of how much your auto insurance policy will cover for a single person’s injuries and the maximum it will pay for everyone’s injuries in the car.
Buying insurance can be a little overwhelming, but this handy guide can help you figure out how much coverage you really need.
Still not sure where to start? Contact Fiorella Insurance Agency today and let us help you select the coverage that is best for you and your family.