Each state has individual laws concerning auto insurance. It is vital to understand the different insurance terms, state requirements, and coverage descriptions before purchasing auto insurance.

How vital is it to understand auto insurance, EXTREMELY VITAL!  Twenty years ago, during the first year I had relocated to Florida, I was involved in a motorcycle accident. I had purchased auto insurance, which supposedly covered me. Not knowing and understanding the Florida laws prior to the purchase cause me to have no insurance or medical coverage. Thankfully, I survived the life threatening injuries and overcame the ordeal with few disabilities.

I hired an attorney with no results as the agent was already being sued and the company not very forthcoming. By signing a “payment plan”, the company who financed my payments had the right to cancel the policy and collect balance of the note. You see, the agent held my original three payments, which generated a cancellation notice. Once received, I called the agent. They said, “Oh that was an error, we have already taken care of it.”  am happy to report that Florida has since improved the insurance laws and none of three companies involved are in business today.

Did you know?

  • When you agree to allow your child to obtain a learners permit in Florida, you are accepting financial responsibility for their driving actions.

In Florida, to purchase a tag, you must carry:

  • A minimum of $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP)
  • A minimum of $10,000 of property damage liability

However, Florida’s Financial Responsibility law requires drivers to be financially responsible for bodily injuries to limits of $10,000 per person with a maximum of $20,000 per accident. If a driver or owner of a vehicle does not have sufficient cash reserves to meet the financial responsibility requirement, it is a very good idea to purchase Bodily Injury Liability.

  • Verify the license of the agent and the insurance company with your state insurance agency before you sign the application for a policy. Had I been wise enough to do this, I would have known that the agent was dishonest and the company a scam.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) is one of the best “Additional Coverages” you can buy.
  • Optional Comprehensive insurance covers losses beyond liability, collision, medical payments, and uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. Comprehensive insurance generally cover losses to your vehicle from hazards such as theft of the car or some of its contents, impact with an animal, glass breakage, falling objects, acts of God(explosion, earthquake, windstorm, hail, water, flood) malicious mischief, vandalism or riots. Coverage for those losses is usually up to the car’s cash value and in some cases, subject to a deductible.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Florida
    • PIP was designed to help reduce the need for Floridians to sue to cover injuries resulting from automobile accidents. PIP covers the named insured and other members of the household. PIP pays:
      • 80 percent of medically necessary expenses;
      • 60 percent of lost wages;
      • 100 percent of replacement services such as child care, housekeeping, or yard work;
      • Up to $5,000 for death benefits.

The basic PIP limit is $10,000. However, additional PIP may be purchased.

With all the online shopping of auto insurance it is in your best interest to be informed before you shop!