Florida No Fault Insurance – Protect Yourself
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Every state that requires drivers to have no fault insurance has different requirements. In Florida, it is required by law that all vehicle owners have a minimum of $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL). No matter what type of four-wheeled vehicle you drive, you must carry no fault insurance in the State of Florida, and you must carry it for the duration that your vehicle is registered. It is important to understand the Florida car insurance laws, so if you do happen to be in an accident, you will know how to make your insurance claim, and whose insurance company you need to deal with.
Even if you are not a permanent resident of Florida, you must have no fault insurance. If you are a seasonal resident, and live in the state for at least 90 days every year, you are required to carry PIP and PDL insurance coverage. These 90 days do not need to be consecutive.
Many people think that they can get away with just having the minimum amount of insurance that is required by the State of Florida. In fact, it is actually better to carry extra insurance if you can afford it because you just never know when you are going to need it. If you have a car accident and you are injured, you could be facing a lot of medical bills, as well as time lost from work. Your bodily injury insurance will take care of most of these expenses. To be in compliance with the Florida Financial Responsibility Law, it is mandatory for vehicle owners to carry bodily injury liability coverage of at least $10,000 per person and $20,000 per occurrence.
PIP Insurance Coverage
PIP coverage will pay for medical expenses for you and your passengers, up to the limits of the policy. Other things covered include:
- Protection if you are a passenger in someone else’s vehicle and you are in an accident
- Protection for your children while they are passengers on school buses
- Protection if you are a pedestrian or cyclist and are hit by another vehicle
- Protection for certain licensed drivers who you allow to use your vehicle
- Protection if you and your household members if you are in an accident outside of Florida, as long as you are within the United States or Canada
When you have PIP coverage, your medical expenses are covered whether you are at fault or the other driver is. Your medical claims will go through your own insurance company, up to the limits of your policy.
PDL Insurance Coverage
If you are at fault in an accident, your PDL insurance will cover expenses for the other person’s damages. The coverage only pays for damages for which you or other insured drivers on your policy are legally liable. It is not just vehicles that are covered by PDL insurance. If you hit any structure, including fences, poles and buildings, you are expected to be financially responsible for any damages. You can decide whether you want to have anyone driving your vehicle to be covered, or just those who you specifically name on the policy. One thing that you need to remember is that PDL insurance will only cover damages to another person’s vehicle if you are at fault in an accident. In order to have your own expenses covered, you must carry collision coverage.
Other Insurance Options in Florida
Although a lot of drivers opt to simply have the minimum amount of PIP and PDL coverage that is required in Florida, there are other insurance options available. These will provide you with additional coverage, which you may need if you have an accident that results in a lot of expenses. Other ways you can protect yourself include:
- Bodily injury liability insurance coverage
- Collision coverage
- Comprehensive coverage
- Uninsured/underinsured driver coverage
Understanding Your Policy
Whether you opt for the minimum insurance requirements for Florida or you choose to have additional coverage, you need to understand the ins and outs of your policy. If there is anything about your policy that you do not understand, don’t hesitate to contact your insurance agent and ask questions. It costs nothing to talk to someone, and if you are in an accident, you will know exactly what is covered, what is not, how much your deductible will be, etc.
Getting Insurance Quotes
No matter what you decide you want for coverage, whether you simply want to meet the basic requirements, which include no fault insurance, you need to make sure that you are going to get the coverage you need at a price you can afford. This is why it is so important to get a number of quotes before you actually buy anything. When you are getting your quotes, you should be asking a lot of questions about such things as cost and what your coverage entails. Here are some questions you should include on your list:
- How much does it cost to have the basic, bare minimum coverage required by the state?
- What type of additional coverage is available?
- What does the additional coverage cost?
- What is covered by the basic coverage?
- What is covered with the additional coverage?
- How much will my deductible be?
- How can I make payments?
- Do you offer discounts if I belong to certain organizations, such as AARP or AAA?
- Do you offer safe-driver discounts?
- Will my coverage be effective immediately?
- Are other members of my household covered under this policy?
- Can I contact you 24 hours a day, seven days a week if I need help with a claim?Bottom of Form
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