What You Need to Know About Being Insured While Driving in Florida
Most state auto insurance laws are similar, but since some differences always exist, you need to familiarize yourself with your own state's regulations.
Florida Car Insurance Laws
The Sunshine state requires minimum liability protection levels of $10,000 bodily injury and $10,000 property damage. These requirements are in effect for as long as your car is registered to you in the state of Florida, regardless of whether you are driving it or it is just sitting in your garage. Although comprehensive and collision add-ons are not required by law, your lender or leaseholder may require you to have these products. Some things to think about are that hospital costs can be quite expensive, and many popular new vehicles cost over $30,000. You may want to buy more than the minimum limits required.
The industry recommends purchasing minimum liability limits of 100/300/50. This coverage would mean that, for one auto accident, your provider would pay $100,000 per person for bodily injuries; $300,000 in total bodily injuries; and $50,000 in property damage.
Comprehensive and Collision
Comprehensive protection pays claims for non-auto-accident-related damage to your vehicle like broken windshields. Collision pays for damages to your vehicle, regardless of which driver in an accident is at fault. For instance, if you are not at fault, but the other driver's coverage level is insufficient to pay the entire amount needed to take care of your car repairs, your collision protection will pay the amount left over (after your deductible has been paid).
Although liability protection is required in 45 states, 17 percent of drivers in the U.S. do not have it, and some who do have it do not have enough. For this reason, many states require that you also obtain uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This is designed to protect you in case your car is damaged by one of these drivers.
Medical Payments (aka MedPay)
MedPay pays medical bills and lost wages for you and your passengers, regardless of which driver is at fault in the accident. You may not need this if you already have health insurance through your employer.
This offering sounds good at first glance, but it might be better to set aside the money you would be paying towards this add-on, and put it in an emergency account, so you can earn interest on it. Then, if you ever need it, it will be there. And usually, if the accident is not your fault, the other driver's insurer will pay the cost of your rental car.
Gap plans were designed to close the "gap" between what a car is worth and how much you still owe on it. If you own your car free and clear, you won't need this add-on, but if you still owe, you should give it some thought.
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