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Florida Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates

While there are certainly many factors that affect a motorist's car insurance rates, one of the most influential factors is the forms and monetary amounts of coverage you select when you purchase your insurance policy. Florida is a state that operates under the guidelines of a no fault policy when it comes to dealing with automobile collisions. Under the tenements of this system, a motorist in Florida is required to have two types of coverage: property damage liability and personal injury protection insurance. Uninsured motorist insurance is an optional form of coverage. However, it is highly recommended by Florida's Department of Insurance. A thorough understanding of these forms of coverage will assist you in choosing the amounts of coverage you need in order to adequately protect yourself and your assets. This will then allow your rates to be more affordable since you will not be purchasing unnecessary forms of coverage.

Personal injury protection insurance (or PIP) will provide for the monetary expenses that you or your passengers may incur in a collision. It does not matter who is considered at fault in the accident. When seeking reimbursement for medical bills and lost wages, the claim must first be submitted to your own insurance provider. This is why PIP is considered to be a mainstay of no fault states. Your car insurance company will then pay 80% of your medical bills and up to 60% of your lost wages. These percentages are guaranteed under Florida law. Personal injury protection insurance also will assist you in paying for everyday necessities, such as housecleaning, that you may be rendered unable to do yourself due to the accident. Reimbursement for the cost of travel associated with your medical care may also be included.

It is common knowledge that the higher of a deductible you choose, the lower your insurance premiums will be. However, you must be wary of deductibles when purchasing your PIP coverage policy. The standard PIP policy in Florida provides around $10,000 in coverage. You can purchase it in higher amounts. However, because most Florida motorists are covered by comprehensive health insurance policies, often they do not elect to purchase more than the minimum amounts. This can also be influential in lowering your car insurance rates.

In regards to your deductible, the standard PIP deductible in Florida is around $2,000. It is possible to find them in higher or lower amounts. Under PIP coverage, you are only reimbursed for 80% of your medical expenses. Until you have paid your deductible, you will not receive any benefits from PIP. Your deductible can cost you more than the stated amount on your policy. Until your medical expenses and other costs exceed $2,000, you will not receive any benefits. This is due to the simple equation: 80% x $2,500 = $2,000. Essentially, your insurance company will only pay $500.

Along a similar vein, your deductible can be very frustrating. By law, you are legally responsible for the deductible amount you choose on your insurance policy. Due to the specifications of a no fault policy, you cannot sue another driver in an accident to recoup financial loss incurred because of an accident. This means that if you are injured by another driver, you cannot sue said driver for the cost of your deductible. The manner in which deductibles operate in Florida can be tricky. You should consider selecting the lowest deductible possible on your policy. While you may have to pay slightly higher premiums because of your deductible, it can save you money in the long run.

There are, however, benefits to maintaining personal injury protection coverage. If you are unable to work due to injuries sustained in an accident, PIP will provide you with 60% of your lost wages. You will be required to submit proof to your insurance company from your doctor that you are unable to work, and your employer will be required to submit verification of your salary to your insurance company. Within thirty days, you will begin to receive your benefits. Usually, you will receive a check every two weeks. This benefit is not contingent upon who caused the accident. The party who is responsible for the accident will be required to pay the other 40% of your wages. You will not be able to receive this payment until your case has been closed in court.

The other form of coverage you must maintain according to Florida law is property damage liability insurance. Typically, even no fault states require a motorist to maintain full liability coverage. This is made up by two sections: bodily injury liability and property damage liability. However, Florida differs in that it requires a motorist to only maintain property damage liability. The minimum amount you must have in Florida is $10,000. This amount may or may not suffice to cover all of the repair expenses you may incur in an accident. There are other supplemental forms of coverage, such as collision insurance, available to you.

Uninsured motorist protection is one of these forms of supplemental coverage. Essentially, this form of insurance protects the insured from personal and property damage injuries suffered because of another motorist. It will only activate if the motorist is uninsured or underinsured. Because Florida law does not require the bodily injury liability portion of liability insurance, if you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you will be unable to recoup any expenses for the repair of your vehicle. You will also be unable to recoup any additional financial loss you suffer due to injury beyond medical expenses and lost wages. This limitation remains in effect despite how severe your injuries may be. It is estimated by Florida's Department of Insurance that nearly 1/3 of all drivers in Florida do not have bodily injury liability.

Uninsured motorist injury protection extends to you and your passengers, and it can provide peace of mind in the event of an accident. However, you should be aware that UMI does come with a deductible, as most other forms of insurance do. While the specifics of what scenarios your coverage will insure are detailed in your policy, there are two main purposes to UMI coverage. The first one is to protect you from a motorist who may not have bodily injury liability protection. The second purpose is to protect you in the event that you are struck by vehicle in which neither the vehicle nor the driver can be identified (i.e. hit and run).

Among the various factors that affect your insurance premiums, your vehicle will be the next primary factor. An expensive higher end luxury car will cost more to insure simply because it will be more expensive to repair in the event of an accident. The safety features you car possesses will be highly scrutinized as well. Certain features, such as air bags or antilock brakes, can result in a discounted rate from your insurance provider. An anti theft device, such as a car alarm, can also be instrumental in reducing your insurance rates. Despite the type of vehicle you drive, you will need a thorough understanding of the insurance coverage requirements in Florida in order to understand how your coverage affects the price you pay for a policy.


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