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Florida Car Insurance Coverage

If you are a motorist in the state of Florida who is looking for car insurance, you will undoubtedly have many options for insurance companies to select from. Florida plays host to a plethora of insurance companies, including nationwide, statewide, and local carriers. By engaging in comparison shopping techniques, you will be able to select the insurance company that will suit your needs from the multitude of business seeking to ensure your business. There are numerous websites on the Internet that allow a consumer to obtain a car insurance quote. By doing so, you can review side by side the rates from various providers on the policy you wish to purchase. The good deal you thought you obtained last year may not be the lowest rates you can achieve this year.

The costs of automobile insurance premiums for motorists the state of Florida have averaged roughly $1,700 for the year 2009. The national average for car insurance has recently fallen to $1,794 from a high of $1,807. You might be surprised at the number of motorists and consumers who believe that a car insurance company predetermines their rates for motorists. However, this is not necessarily the case. Car insurance premiums are figured differently for each motorist by an insurance company in accordance with the motorist's characteristics. The year of 2009, so far, has shown a startling increase in the cost of car insurance policies in Florida when compared to recent years. The average price that a consumer in Florida pays for car insurance is 7% higher in 2009 than it was in 2008. The rates for the year 2008 were 2% higher than the year of 2007. The month of May revealed the highest increase in rates in Florida for 2009 with the average cost of a policy being $1,772. Even though the month of September showed a sharp decrease in the cost of rates, this simply proves how unstable the car insurance market in Florida is. An educated understanding of Florida's car insurance requirements, combined with your own personal coverage needs, will be an important asset in the ongoing fight of costly insurance premiums.

The state law in Florida mandates that a motorist must maintain a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability and a minimum of $10,000 worth of personal injury protection insurance. There are forty seven states in the United States that require a motorist to maintain a minimum of liability coverage. However, Florida varies slightly from the norm here. Liability insurance is generally divided into two segments: bodily injury liability and property damage liability. Florida only requires its motorists to maintain the secondary portion of liability insurance. This is unusual because even other states who operate under a no fault policy as Florida does require their motorists to have full liability coverage.

As stated, when it comes to dealing with automobile accidents, Florida operates under the guidelines of a no fault policy. Under the specifications of this system, no one driver in a collision is deemed at fault. Each driver shares an equal amount of blame. Each party and their insurance company is responsible only for the medical expenses and property damage repair costs of their own. The details of a no fault policy vary from state to state. Therefore, you should not assume that the rules that apply in Florida will necessarily apply to another state.
There are two forms of coverage that a driver must maintain in Florida. If you should choose to only purchase the minimum amount of coverage and this limit is not sufficient in meeting the expenses of an accident, you are legally responsible to pay for the remainder of the costs. You can be at risk to endure years of financially draining court room battles as other motorists involved in the accident seek to be reimbursed for their financial and physical losses. The tenements of a no fault system are designed to discourage parties involved in an accident from suing one another in court. However, there are special provisions under the law that allow for such a scenario if the financial loss is exceedingly great. It is highly unlikely that you will have the financial means to make such restitution at your disposal. However, a court system can force you to liquidate property and financial assets in order to meet the debt owed.

Being educated about the manners in which property damage liability insurance operates will allow you to determine what your personal insurance needs are in conjunction with Florida's mandated insurance requirements. Property damage liability insurance, under its definition by state law, will assist you in paying for the physical damage your vehicle may receive in the event of a collision. However, the definition of property damage is not strictly limited to your vehicle. It can include another party's home, fence, mailbox, or any other personal property that you may strike in an accident. This form of coverage will also assist you in paying for your legal defense if another party in the accident, or their insurance company, decides to sue you. The monetary amounts that an insurance company will put towards any of these expenses are defined by the maximum amounts listed in your policy. If you chose the minimum amounts of coverage in Florida, this amount would be $10,000.

There is a second form of insurance that is required by law. This form of coverage is called personal injury protection insurance. Personal injury protection insurance (or PIP) will assist you and your passengers in paying for any emergency medical treatment either of you may incur in an accident. Despite who was considered at fault in the accident, your must first submit your claim for medical bills to your own insurance company. This is why PIP insurance is a perfect fit for a state who operates under the no fault policy. The state law in Florida requires that PIP insurance must reimburse you for 80% of your medical bills and possibly up to 60% of wages lost due to injuries sustained in the accident. Additionally, this form of coverage may assist you in paying for necessary housekeeping duties you are rendered unable to perform because of the collision. Depending on the details of your PIP coverage, you may also be reimbursed for the cost of travel that is associated with your medical care.

It is important to remember that personal injury protection insurance will only pay 80% of your medical bills. There is a supplemental form of insurance available that is known as Medical Payments Coverage. Again, it is not required, but is strongly recommended by Florida's Department of Insurance. Med Pay will pay the remaining 20% of your medical bills not covered under your PIP insurance. It is advisable to investigate purchasing this form of coverage when you are looking to purchase a new insurance policy.

Research and education about your state's minimum insurance requirements and your own needs will assist you in determining what coverage you should purchase from an insurance provider. The only way to save on your car insurance premiums is to make informed choices. Act wisely, and your potential savings can have a positive impact on your future finances.


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