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Florida Auto Insurance Basics

Let's be honest. The world of automobile insurance can be overwhelming and even intimidating at times. Your chances of successfully finding an automobile insurance policy will increase tremendously if you obtain a quote on car insurance rates in Florida. There are many websites on the Internet who allow you to do this. After you have selected such a website, you will be asked to provide your zip code and answer a brief questionnaire concerning your vital statistics and insurance coverage needs. Then you will be able to view various quotes from different providers about the policies you are interested in. You should bear in mind that a quote is simply that, a quote. It is not a guarantee that an insurance company will extend coverage to you. However, after you have selected an insurance company with whom you would like to conduct business, you will be asked to fill out another questionnaire in greater detail about your personal characteristics. When obtaining a generalized quote, you will not be required to divulge any sensitive information. However, when you are dealing with a specific company, they will likely ask you for personal information, like your social security number, in order to verify your identity and determine the accuracy of the information you have provided about yourself.

As car insurance companies have evolved, they have developed complex equations to analyze a consumer in a risk analysis. An insurance company assigns a risk value to each of your characteristics. The sum of these values in then weighted against the national claims average of motorists who share similar traits. The result will then be what determines your car insurance rates. There are some consumers in Florida who feel that because car insurance is mandated by state and federal law, it is unfair for an insurance company to determine, unchecked, what you will pay in premiums. An insurance company is a for-profit business and must act in such a manner. They must charge you premiums high enough to cover any potential loss you may cause them, and in the end, they have to somehow make money. However, by obtaining a vehicle insurance quote, you will increase the chances you will have of finding a policy that meets your needs at an affordable rate.

Your first step in choosing a policy is to know exactly what your needs are. You should educate yourself about Florida's insurance requirements. Then you should take stock of your assets. The knowledge of what features and forms of coverage you desire will prevent you from experiencing confusion or dissatisfaction with your policy later on. Currently, forty seven states in the country require their motorists to carry liability insurance. Liability insurance is typically divided into two sections, which are bodily injury liability protection and physical damage liability protection. However, Florida differs slightly from the norm in this regard. In this state, a motorist is only required to maintain a physical damage liability policy in the amount of $10,000.

Because Florida operates under a no fault policy when dealing with automobile collisions, a motorist must also maintain $10,000 worth of personal injury protection insurance. However, there are many more forms of optional coverage available to motorists in this state. These include full liability, medical payment coverage, uninsured motorist protection, comprehensive insurance, and varying forms of personal injury protection. After you have made an informed decision about the types of coverage you wish to purchase, it is time to engage in comparison shopping techniques.

Insurance providers in Florida allow motorists to obtain their product in two different manners. First, a motorist can purchase their car insurance policy through a captive agent. A captive agent is an independent agent who is licensed to represent one specific company and no others. Independent agents comprise a large portion of the insurance market in Florida. You may also choose to work with franchises, which are larger, nationally known insurance companies. They are identified by their selling techniques of marketing directly to the consumer. When selecting a car insurance policy, you should make certain to compare prices on the policy through both of these methods. As mentioned above, a car insurance quote will allow you to do this. However, it cannot be emphasized enough that you should be leery of submitting personal information during a generalized quote. Unless you are dealing directly with an insurance company, do not do so. This can lead to the selling of your information tothird parties for spam mail and unwanted solicitations.

When you are selecting a company to purchase a policy from, the lowest price on a policy should not be the only factor you consider when deciding whether or not to purchase from a company. There is a plethora of insurance companies who all claim to have the lowest rates. However, an insurance company should be willing to stake its reputation on its customer service and claims procedures. There are many websites that allow consumers to air their complaints or praises of a company. It might behoove you to check several of these out. Finding an insurance agent that you can trust, whether captive or independent, is of the utmost importance. Who does not wish to have an advocate in their corner?

Besides a company's reputation, you should investigate their financial strength. In today's economy, more and more companies are susceptible to bankruptcy than ever before. An insurance company who is bonded in Florida will prove to be a wise investment. Should a bonded insurance company ever encounter financial difficulties, they will access to state funding in order to ensure that they can pay out their claims.

As previously discussed, an automobile insurance provider relies on the information you have provided about yourself to determine what the cost of your premiums will be. You should be careful to be as accurate as possible on your insurance application. Many insurance companies include a clause in the fine print of contracts that states if an applicant is found to have falsified information on their report, the insurance company has the right to terminate the policy and coverage at will. Accuracy is ultimately your responsibility alone. Also, never add your signature to a contract without first carefully reviewing its content. You will want to make sure that your insurance company has accurately included all the forms of coverage you requested in your contract. Review your contract before signing it.

After your insurance provider has issued you a copy of your contract, make certain to familiarize yourself with its content. Remember that an insurance policy is essentially a contract for services rendered and payable fees between yourself and the insurance provider. It is legally binding. The first page of your policy should be your declarations page. This page is important because it serves as your quick reference guide for the content of your policy. The content of your policy will be what is required to enforce the contract between you and your insurance company if you should ever need to. For example, let's say that your vehicle identification number was printed incorrectly on your policy. If you must file a claim in the future, this can lead to unnecessary hassle and frustration. An accident is traumatizing enough without the additional stress. By thoroughly reviewing your vehicle insurance policy, you will be able to perform necessary adjustments in order to avoid problems.


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