Have you seen advertisements for auto insurance with no down payment and want to know if it’s too good to be true?
It can be tempting to look into auto insurance policies that don’t require a down payment.
Let’s face it – no one wants to pay for something if they don’t have to.
However, an auto insurance policy with no down payment may not be the right choice for you if you want to be fully covered in an accident. So, when searching for auto insurance, does a down payment really matter?
Is an Auto Insurance Down Payment Required in Florida?
There are two parts to this answer. On the one hand, the state of Florida itself does not require auto insurance companies to collect a down payment. On the other hand, most auto insurance companies do require one.
Here’s what is required in the state of Florida:
- If you have a registered vehicle, it must have insurance. It doesn’t matter if you drive the vehicle often – or ever. You must have auto insurance if you have a registered vehicle in Florida.
- You must carry a “no-fault” liability policy. This policy must have at least $10,000 in personal injury protection and property damage liability coverages. This will not cover damages to your vehicle.
- Your finance company may require more coverage. While not a state law, your vehicle finance company may want you to carry full coverage insurance. This protects their investment.
In Florida, you are required to have auto insurance to drive a vehicle. So, there’s a good chance you’re going to get quotes from several companies that require a down payment. However, before you balk at the idea of paying an auto insurance down payment, there is good reason as to why you should.
A Fiorella Insurance Agent can help you choose insurance that’s right for you.
What Does an Auto Insurance Down Payment Cover?
The term “down payment” has negative connotations. Many people associate it with paying money upfront for “nothing” or receiving little value in return for the payment. However, an auto insurance down payment covers a lot more than most people know.
1. First Premium Payment
The most important thing to note about an auto insurance down payment is that, in most cases, your down payment is actually your first premium payment. While everyone has the option of paying for their policy premium all at once, most people choose to break it up into installments.
If you choose to break your insurance premium into installments, your down payment includes your first premium installment. It will also include any service fees that are charged for paying your premium in installments rather than all at once.
2. Full Coverage Policy Activation
For people who have financed vehicles – or for those with brand new vehicles – a full coverage policy is almost a requirement. Your auto insurance down payment is what activates your insurance policy. And if you are driving a new or financed vehicle, you want that policy activated immediately.
If you want to take advantage of your full coverage auto insurance policy – which might include things like comprehensive coverage and collision repair – you will need to make a down payment. Keep in mind that this doesn’t include any deductibles you may be required to pay.
3. No-Fault Car Insurance
As a bare minimum in Florida, you must carry a basic liability policy that covers up to $10,000 in medical expenses you may incur in an accident, plus up to $10,000 in property damage that you may cause. If you want to be covered immediately, you need to make an auto insurance down payment.
The reality is that insurance companies are taking a risk by insuring you. You make a down payment to help offset the initial risks of taking on a new client. Your down payment isn’t money that you’re sinking into a new policy – it’s part of your premium payment that’s being reduced with each installment.
Tips for Choosing the Right Auto Insurance Down Payment Option
Even though it’s very likely you’ll have to pay an auto insurance down payment; it doesn’t mean you have to choose the first option you come across. Every auto insurance company is different, and many offer a variety of installment options.
There are a few things that impact the cost of your insurance policy, which in turn impacts the cost of your auto insurance down payment.
Here’s what you need to consider when choosing the right auto insurance down payment option:
- Coverage limits impact your premiums. The higher the coverage limits you choose, the higher your premiums, which in turn, results in a higher down payment.
- Deductibles impact your premiums. Typically, a higher deductible will result in a lower premium and vice versa. This means that a higher deductible can lead to a lower down payment.
- Discounts impact your premiums. One of the easiest ways to reduce the amount you need to pay upfront is to take advantage of auto insurance discounts. Talk to your insurance company and see what they can offer.
Most auto insurance companies offer installment options that range from two to six premium payments. You might pay a marginal surcharge to use this option, but that can almost always be offset with an autopay discount.
How an Insurance Agent Can Help You Choose the Right Auto Insurance Down Payment
Figuring out which auto insurance policy is right for you can be a challenge. It takes a lot of time to pull multiple quotes, and it can take even more time to sift through the paperwork to compare your costs.
That’s where a Fiorella Insurance agent or broker can help you. Not only do they know the ins and outs of auto insurance coverage in Florida, but they know how to get the best auto insurance down payment option for your needs.