In Florida, the law requires every owner of a motor vehicle to purchase car insurance. There are many different types of coverage available to consumers, but only two are mandatory. The two you must have are: (1) personal injury protection coverage, otherwise known as PIP; and (2) property damage coverage, otherwise known as PD.
In this blog, we will be explaining an optional coverage that we strongly suggest you purchase. The coverage is called collision. This coverage generally covers damages to the insured’s vehicle resulting from an accident or collision with any object. What does collision not cover? Ordinarily, it will not cover a personal injury or damage to other property.
When someone is involved in a car accident one of their main concerns is fixing their motor vehicle. The reasons for wanting to have your car fixed are obvious and range from crucial (people need to get to and from work and to and from the doctor despite an inoperable vehicle) to remedial (a damage was done to your car and it needs to be fixed even if it is just a fender bender). Purchasing collision is one way—probably the most affordable way—of ensuring that your car will be fixed after an accident.
To emphasize our point, let’s consider an example. Say you are involved in a car accident involving three cars. You were stopped at a red light and your vehicle was impacted from the rear. When you step out of your vehicle you notice that the car that impacted your car was also impacted from the rear by another car. You are insured with Friendly Insurance Company, LLC. Suzy Smith, the driver of the car directly behind you has Wonderful Insurance Company. The third car, driven by Bill Baddriver, is insured with Amazing Insurance, Inc. At first you are relieved that the other two participants are insured, and you are comforted by the fact that the insurance companies are well known entities.
All proper steps are taken, and all claims are reported to the respective insurance companies. Smith says that her car was pushed into yours by the momentum from Billy Baddriver’s impact. Baddriver disagrees completely and says that he crashed into Smith after she crashed into you, and that the crash between Smith’s car and yours is what caused his crash. You do not remember the facts clearly because you hurt your head. However, you do need your automobile fixed immediately.
Wonderful Insurance Company is refusing to pay for the repairs for your vehicle because Suzy says she was not responsible. Similarly, Amazing Insurance, Inc. is willing to pay for only half of the damage to your vehicle due to Billy Baddriver’s version of the event. Your vehicle is inoperable, the damage to your vehicle is $10,000, and the two insurance companies combined are only willing to cover $5,000. Therefore—to promptly repair your vehicle—you will have to pay the remaining $5,000 balance.
This type of thing happens every day. In our hypothetical situation your insurance would step in and cover 100% of the damage to the vehicle except your deductible, if any. Often times, your insurance company will make a claim for subrogation or reimbursement anyway. Assuming your insurance company is successful in getting their money back, your deductible should be returned to you as well. Florida law considers collision coverage optional; we consider it necessary because it may help you avoid a financial catastrophe.
Buying Insurance in Florida
The two mandatory auto insurance coverages in Florida are PIP or Personal Injury Protection and the PD or property damage coverage. Now we’ve created other sections that go more into detail on each particular coverage available to consumers in Florida but let me just say that the mandatory PIP and PD required by Florida law will not get you very far in terms of what losses will actually be covered in the event of an accident. Now I know that insurance coverage is probably one of the most boring topics consumers have to deal with and more often than not we are just looking to purchase the most economical coverage we can find. But beware!!
Often you’ll see an ad for really low insurance premiums like $20.00 or $30.00 dollars a month but the truth is your not really buying insurance coverage for a lower price, your just buying less insurance coverage. If you really analyze these policies, you will find that often times you are actually paying more money for the type of coverage your buying but the reason the total premium is lower is because your just buyinglimited coverage.
In other words, If you want to be covered for almost every type of loss that can occur in an auto accident, you would probably have to buy about six different types of coverages. Personal injury protection coverage and Property Damage coverage which are the two mandatory coverages in Florida but you would also have to purchase, Bodily Injury coverage, Uninsured Motorist coverage, Comprehensive coverage and collision coverage. So when you pay less money for your insurance policy you may just be buying two types of coverage instead of all six.
So the problem is that a lot of consumers in Florida are just looking to pay less money for auto insurance without realizing that they won’t be covered for certain losses that they think they are actually covered for. It’s not until they actually get into an accident that they realize how little coverage they actually have.
The best advice I can offer you when it comes to buying auto insurance is try to buy insurance from a local insurance agent that is reputable and willing to explain the different options available to you. You should probably stay away from a lot of these online sites where you can buy insurance through your computer unless you truly understand the type of coverage that is proper for you and your family. You can also call me and I’ll be happy to assist you in choosing the right coverage for you.
Now, not only can you purchase multiple types of auto insurance coverage but you can also choose the maximum amount of money each type of coverage will actually pay. For example you can choose a property damage coverage limit of $10,000.00 or $50,000.00. Obviously the $50,000.00 limit will be more expensive.
Your specific needs will vary based on factors such as whether you have other insurance coverage such as health insurance, what your assets are worth, whether you have children, the value of your car, and other factors that we will further discuss in this website.