If you’re a new driver, you’re probably asking yourself, “what do I need to get auto insurance coverage?” Whether you’re newly licensed or you just moved to the state, there are some basic things you need to know about buying auto insurance in Florida.
This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about getting auto insurance in Florida, what you need to do to get coverage, plus tips for choosing the best policy.
Auto Insurance Coverage in Florida
Florida is one of the few states with no-fault car insurance laws. These laws ensure you are able to receive medical care quickly and avoid lawsuits if possible. No-fault auto insurance requires every registered vehicle in the state to have at least these minimum auto insurance coverage types:
- Personal injury protection (PIP): In the event that you need to receive medical care after an accident, PIP coverage will pay for up to 80% of reasonable medical expenses regardless of who is at fault. However, you need to carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage.
- Property damage liability (PDL): If an accident results in damage to someone else’s property (like their vehicle), PDL coverage will take care of that. Every vehicle must have at least $10,000 in PDL coverage.
While this will offer some financial protection in most accidents, it won’t fully protect you in a serious crash. If you want to have more financial protection, you need to carry these types of coverage:
- Bodily injury liability: Where PIP covers your medical expenses, bodily injury liability covers injuries you cause to another person in an accident.
- Collision: PDL doesn’t cover damages to your property if you’re in an accident that you cause, so collision coverage is a good choice if you want to have some protection for your vehicle.
- Comprehensive: If your vehicle is stolen or is damaged from something other than another car or qualified object, comprehensive coverage will cover those damages.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist: For accidents caused by someone without sufficient insurance, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will reimburse you for your costs.
Though none of these are required by the state, if you have a vehicle that is financed or leased, your finance company may require you to carry one or more of these types of coverage.
Auto Insurance: What Do I Need to Get Coverage?
Fortunately, getting auto insurance coverage isn’t especially hard. It does take some time, and you’ll need some information, but it can all be done online in many cases.
1. Personal Information
When you start filling out information to get quotes, the first thing most insurance companies are going to ask for is your personal information. They need this so they can provide an accurate quote. The most commonly requested personal details include:
- Full name
- Mailing and physical address
- Contact information (phone and email)
- Driver’s license information
- Driving history
- Date of birth
- Social Security Number
- Previous insurance information, if applicable
You’ll also have to provide driving history and license information for anyone else in the household that will be driving the vehicle.
2. Vehicle Information
Insurance premiums vary based on the type of vehicle being insured. Most insurance companies will ask for:
- Year, make, and model of vehicle
- License plate number
- Vehicle Identification Number
- Information about safety features
- Information about modifications
- Finance company information, if applicable
If you want to speed up the process, try to have this information ready before you request auto insurance quotes.
3. Coverage Information
Now that the insurance company has a complete picture of who you are and what you’re driving, you can choose an insurance coverage based on your needs. A lot of insurance companies will make recommendations, but here are some basic things to consider about insurance coverage:
- Minimum insurance needs
- Monthly budget for premiums
- Budget for deductibles
- Available insurance discounts
- Additional features and services
Higher deductibles usually result in lower premiums, so keep that in mind when budgeting for both. Additional features include things like roadside assistance and rental car coverage.
Auto Insurance: Tips for Choosing the Best Policy
After the question, “what do I need to get auto insurance?”, the next thing you likely want to know is, “how do I choose the best policy?” While the best policy varies from person to person, there are a few factors that can help you choose the right one.
Here’s what you need to know about choosing the best auto insurance policy for your needs:
- Protect your financial interests: The cheapest policy isn’t always the best policy. You want to choose a policy that protects you financially in case you are in a serious accident.
- Compare multiple quotes: Choosing the best auto insurance policy relies on having as much information as possible. Get multiple quotes with the same coverage types and compare them.
- Ask about insurance discounts: Every insurance company offers discounts. Ask about ways you can save money on your policy.
The best policy is one that will cover any damages to your vehicle when you cause an accident. It will also take care of medical expenses for you and the other party, as well as offer security in the case of property damage.
Auto Insurance: What Do I Need to Work with an Insurance Agent?
Working with an insurance agent or broker is one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting the right insurance policy. An agent or broker can help you choose the appropriate level of coverage, get multiple quotes from leading insurance companies, and review your quotes to help you choose the best policy.
Need help figuring out how much auto insurance coverage you need? Contact Fiorella Insurance Agency to get started on your quotes today.