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Insurantly offers Florida Car Insurance Tips

Insurantly helps drivers in Florida understand auto insurance coverage requirements. If you are thinking about buying a new policy its important to understand the coverage levels you are actually required to carry. Some coverage may not be appropriate depending on various factors.

I just moved to Florida can I keep my current car insurance policy?

No. This must be reissued through a Florida auto insurance agent who is licensed to sell in Florida. Request that your agent transfer your current car insurance to Florida after you registered your car to Florida.

What if I do not keep insurance on my car?

Your driver’s license will get suspended. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is authorized to suspend any driving privileges, which includes license plates, and registration until you prove you have Florida car insurance coverage.

Minimum Florida Liability Car Insurance Coverage

Liability Car Insurance Requirements

  • Property Damage Liability: $10,000 Limit
  • Personal Injury Protection: $10,000 Limit

Florida’s minimum coverage is $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 property damage liability as long as you have a valid Florida license plate.

Learn more about Liability insurance

Learn more about PIP – personal injury protection coverage

Average Cost of car Insurance in Florida

$1723

Common City Average premiums

Jacksonville Car Insurance $1421
Miami Car Insurance $2383

Uninsured or underinsured Motorist

Florida does not require drivers to carry Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury coverage which protects you in case you get hit or injured from either a driver who is not insured, or from a driver who is under insured.

This insurance is worth the thought considering the high percentage of uninsured motorists.

Who is at Fault for an Accident?

Florida has a no fault system. This mean regardless your insurance company will pay on your personal injury claims whether it was your fault or not. But this only goes to a certain point. Under this system you may lose some rights to sue another driver who may have been at fault.

Personal injury protection will pay for what are deemed reasonable and or necessary expenses resulting from the auto accident. To get car insurance you must carry personal injury protection of at least $10,000.

Licensing Requirement for Florida Drivers

If you live in Florida and plan on operating a car, truck, motorcycle or any vehicle you need to be licensed by the state of Florida.

If you are a young driver under 16 preparing to get your drivers license for the first time you can get a driver’s permit.

You need to:

  • Pass the traffic and substance abuse course,
  • Have your parents sign the consent form,
  • Pass the written vision and hearing tests,
  • Only drive when it is light during your first 3 months with your driver’s permit. The next three months you may drive until 10pm. Make sure someone at least 21 years old is with you while you still have a permit.

The Vision Screening Test

You should meet the following:

  1. Visual acuity of 20/40 with or without corrective lenses.
  2. Visual acuity of 20/50 or worse with or without corrective lenses will be referred to a specialist for improvement.
  3. Visual acuity of 20/70 may pass if the worse eye is 20/200 or better. Verification is required by a specialist.
  4. If blind in one eye, the other eye must have a visual acuity of at least 20/40.

Written Test

Get a copy of the Florida driver’s manual before you take the written test and study it. These laws are important to not only know as a Florida resident but there will be related questions on the exam. Note: make sure you understand the various traffic signs specific to Florida law.

Road Test

This is where the rubber meets the road. Upon successful completion of the previous tests you will then be tested on your driving skills.  The vehicle you bring to the Florida driver test mush be fully insured and registered.

Here are some of the common areas you will be tested when taking the driving test:

  1. Three point turn
  2. Crossing road
  3. Knowing right of way
  4. Parking straight in
  5. Quick stop
  6. Backing up
  7. Traffic signs and signals obedience
  8. Signal and turn
  9. Passing another vehicle
  10. Managing your lane
  11. Proper following distance
13 Common Florida Car Insurance FAQs

What is required to have on my Florida car insurance policy?

Florida law states that any vehicle with 4 wheels will need Florida car insurance coverage. The minimum coverage is $10,000 for personal injury (PIP) and another $10,000 for damage liability. Bodily Injury is required if you have a history of driving offenses even if it’s just one violation.

The minimum limit would be 10/20 or $10,000 coverage with maximum pay-out of $20,000. You will need to show a current insurance policy every time you register your vehicle.

There are optional coverage you can add to your insurance like uninsured, comprehensive, and collision. If you commit a certain number of traffic violations and driving offenses, the Florida DMV will most likely demand that you buy more auto insurance coverage, Bodily Injury in particular.

The coverage should cover your 80% of medical costs for injuries sustained in an accident under the PIP and in many cases include about 60% of lost wages, funeral expenses, and lost services.

How do I lower my car insurance rate in Florida?

There are several ways available for lowering your car insurance rate. You could move to a better part of town if your current residence has a bad reputation among insurance companies.

You could also increase your deductible or maintain a clean driving record. If you keep your car and renew another year with the insurance company, there is a drop in value for your unit and this will be reflected in a lower rate.

Other ways to lower insurance rates are:
•    Buy a high safety rating car instead of a high risk car. You can look up your choices in the Blue Book
•    Start commuting and inform your insurance carrier that you are driving the car less often
•    Shop for another insurance company. You can change provider once you’re up for renewal and use your good history to negotiate for a lower rate
•    Keep your credit score clean because this is also one of the determining factors for setting your insurance rate
•    Get liability-only insurance plan but make sure it is compliant with state laws

Is car insurance cheaper in Florida than New Jersey?

The average rate for car insurance in Florida is higher than a few years ago. But make no mistake; it is still lower compared to other states, including New Jersey. The national average is about $1,561. In Florida, there are certain groups that pay over $1,400 and then there are those who get charged a little over $1,000.

In New Jersey, the average insurance rate is very high at $1,217 a year according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). In fact, New Jersey is consistently in the top highest rates in the country. Florida moved from 29th spot to 25th spot also according to a comprehensive survey done by NAIC.

One of the reasons for the increase in insurance rates is the increasing number of uninsured cars on the road as compared to pre-recession period. The weather, which has been erratic, is also to blame as well as the legal system which is heavily burdened by insurance claims and other related issues.

Latest PIP laws in Florida. Did all car insurance carrier’s PIP coverage go up in Florida?

Starting last January 2013, the new PIP laws in Florida take effect. It adds more burden to litigate cases between insurance providers and medical care companies. For the individual vehicle owner, there are changes in the coverage but not all are related to auto insurance. Many of these changes are connected to medical insurance like claims on chiropractic treatments and the use of a new form called the Examination Under oath or EUO that could result in the denial of your claim.

Florida drivers do not get to save money under the new law because there is no guaranteed reduction in PIP coverage. It’s just an option that can be dismissed with reasonable explanation by the insurance company.

The new law creates 2 levels for PIP: emergency medical condition and non-emergency treatment. Only the first level can qualify for the $10,000 insurance claim while the non-emergency level has a limit of $2,500. Any amount over these will have to come out-of-pocket.

Will my current Florida auto insurance policy cover me if I buy a new car?

An auto insurance policy covers a specific car or cars and has a specific period of validity. If you are planning to buy a new car, there are a few options you can take:

  • One, you will have to get a new policy for the car if it is under any kind of loan. This is because the lending company will insist on full coverage until most of the loan is paid off.
    • Two, write a letter to your current insurance provider requesting for the new car to be included in your policy. You will have be given a grace period of about 30 days or less by the insurance company for coverage but it is very limited and you might encounter a lot of problems should you have to file a claim.
    • One option your insurance company may also offer is to re-assess your insurance policy and come up with a new rate, maybe even under a new time frame. This takes out the need to shop around or negotiate with other companies so it is convenient.

In Florida, is uninsured motorist required to get coverage?

No, although a recent study shows that 1 in 4 drivers do not have coverage. This is one of the reasons why insurance rates have gone up. In Florida the number of accidents involving uninsured motorists has increased by 23%.  This should give you some encouragement to consider getting coverage because of these reasons:

•    Uninsured motorist coverage can pay for your medical expenses in the event of a vehicular accident
•    You will also be able to claim for 60% of lost wages after PIP coverage has been used up
•    You can even use the insurance money to give you enough time to recover properly for an accident

The State of Florid does require insurance companies to inform all applicants and clients that they can get uninsured coverage and the benefits thereof. In fact, the information should be contained in the insurance application form which every client must sign. If this information is not relayed to the client, it obligates the insurance company to provide uninsured coverage.

Should I cancel my Florida car insurance if I do not plan on driving my car for an extended period of time?

Every car that is registered needs car insurance, so the question is thrown back to you. Are you going to keep your car registered? If so, then you will need to get minimum insurance if you live in Florida.

If you allow the car registration to laps, you must surrender the tag and license plate when you inform the DMV of your decision. Keep in mind also that unregistered vehicles cannot be left parked on public property. You cannot park it on streets. It has to be on your property. If you fail to inform the DMV about your plans not to register the car and they find out, your driver’s license will get suspended.

For cars that will be used very seldom, there is another option which is to inform the DMV that you want to register it under a non-operation plan, or limited use. This is what collectors do when they register their classic cars. When the time comes and you plan to use the car, get short-term car insurance.

Is Nationwide Insurance Company a good auto insurance company to go with in Florida?

The BBB has a special note on the listing of Nationwide Insurance Company. It states that the company is currently being investigated on the misuse of database and client information. The supposed attack (or hack) happened last October 2012 and when notified, Nationwide Insurance immediately took steps to conduct their own internal investigation.

The company hired 3rd party independent analysts to check their computer network and data base. They also informed the authorities and it was not the authorities that approached them. This mean the company is working with the authorities in trying to find out what exactly happened and the extent of the breach, if any, occurred.

Previous to this incident, Nationwide enjoyed excellent ratings with the BBB since 1955. The company has even voluntarily began to notify those who may have been affected offering them free credit identity theft protection and credit monitoring for the period of 1 year.

If I get into an accident and need to replace auto parts, how does my Florida auto insurance work?

Car repairs from an accident or theft is covered by car insurance if it is stated in the policy. In other words, you need to cover yourself for this possibility if you want the insurance company to pay for parts and labor car repair.

If your car has custom parts which are not available in most auto supply stores, you should insure these parts specifically in your policy. This is known as a “custom parts endorsement;” and without it the insurance company will only cover for the maximum allowable repair or replacement of regular parts.

Many car insurance companies also have designated and accredited shops where the car should be brought for the repairs or replacement of parts. They will not just hand over the parts to you. The process of replacing auto parts can sometimes take time especially if the car shop has a backlog of work or if the car part is not easily available.

In Florida what insurance do I need to carry after a DUI?

Once you are convicted with a DUI, the Florida courts will demand that you get FR44 insurance. FR44 insurance has higher coverage and rates not to protect just the insured driver but also the public. The specifics of the FR44 are for Bodily Injuries coverage and the offender has no way of escaping the penalty because the court order is electronically sent out to concerned offices.

The FR44 insurance has no specific time frame. This will depend on the judge’s discretion of your DUI case. However, the offender can decide which insurance company he or she would like to use. This liberty is given to the offender because the FR44 insurance coverage is a lot more expensive than the minimum required insurance coverage.

If you have been told to get FR44, shop around because there are several Florida insurance companies, many of them are on the Internet that offer this type of insurance at competitive rates.

What is the law in Florida to report a car accident?

According to the DMV rules, when an accident occurs in Florida, the parties concerned should first stop and assess the safety of each person involved. It is mandatory that help be given to the injured above all else. Once this has been taken care of, each of the vehicle drivers must exchange information such as their names, addresses and vehicle registration with each other. Not providing your personal information will lead to the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.

Insurance companies will require an office police report to process claims with corresponding picture or drawings. Thus, it is important to not leave the scene until all these have been taken care of. There may not always be a cop around to assist and so the parties involve have to wait.

The basic rule in reporting is that damages $500 worth or higher need to be reported. Minor damages may be agreed upon by the parties involved as to who will take responsibility for covering the repair costs, if any.